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NIMH Mentoring Networks for Mental Health Research Education (R25)

This award supports research education activities that advance the NIMH mission with a primary focus on mentoring activities that complement and/or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs.

Notice of funding opportunity

Due date

  • New applications, renewals, and resubmissions: May 25

Program director(s)/principal investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) eligibility

The PD(s)/PI(s) should be an established investigator in the scientific area in which the application is targeted and capable of providing both administrative and scientific leadership to the development and implementation of the proposed program. The PD(s)/PI(s) should have a strong track record as a leader, educator, and/or mentor in an area relevant to the scientific focus of the proposed mentoring network and should be actively engaged in research educator in a scientific area related to the mission of the NIMH.

Researchers from diverse backgrounds, including underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and women are always encouraged to apply for NIH support.

Program faculty

Mentors should have research expertise and experience relevant to the proposed program. Mentors must be committed to continue their involvement throughout the total period of the mentee’s participation in this award and for a period of no less than one year.

Researchers from diverse backgrounds, including individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, persons with disabilities, and women are encouraged to participate as preceptors/mentors.


Unless strongly justified on the basis of exceptional relevance to NIH, research education programs should be used primarily for the education of U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Participants are limited to graduate/medical students, medical residents, postdoctoral scholars, and/or early-career investigators.

Institution eligibility

  • U.S. domestic institutions
  • Foreign components allowed

Additional information

While the proposed research education program may complement ongoing research training and education occurring at the applicant institution, the proposed educational experiences must be distinct from those research training and research education programs currently receiving federal support.

It is expected that a combination of didactic interactions (e.g., in the form of week-long summer institutes and/or regularly occurring webinars), one-on-one, and small group discussions will be components of any proposed mentoring network. Both formal and informal interactions between mentors and participants are expected. Applicants are encouraged to take advantage of contemporary communication strategies, e.g., distance learning and social networking, as appropriate for the goals of their network.

For Renewal Applications, the description of the proposed network for the next funding period should highlight how the program continues to offer research education at the scientific cutting-edge as well as any changes in activities that are planned to maintain the currency of the research education offered. Renewal applications should describe the continuing need for the existing network to advance NIMH's goal of a well-trained pool of researchers with state-of-the-art knowledge and skills essential for achieving the Institute's research priorities.

For complete guidance on the components of the Research Education Program Plan, see Section IV of the funding opportunity .


Application budgets may not exceed $200,000 in direct costs annually and are expected to reflect actual needs of the proposed project. The scope of the proposed project should determine the project period. The maximum period is 5 years.

Indirect Costs (also known as Facilities & Administrative [F&A] Costs) are reimbursed at 8% of modified total direct costs (exclusive of tuition and fees, expenditures for equipment and consortium costs in excess of $25,000), rather than on the basis of a negotiated rate agreement.

Personnel costs

Individuals designing, directing, and implementing the research education program may request salary and fringe benefits appropriate for the person months devoted to the program. Salaries requested may not exceed the levels commensurate with the institution's policy for similar positions and may not exceed the congressionally mandated cap. If mentoring interactions and other activities with participants are considered a regular part of an individual's academic duties, then any costs associated with the mentoring and other interactions with participants are not allowable costs from grant funds.

Administrative and clerical costs, as well as salaries of the PD/PI associated with directing, coordinating, administering, and implementing the program should be well-justified, reasonable, and may not exceed 25% of the total direct costs in any year. Consultant costs may not be used to substitute for these costs.

Participant costs

Participants may be compensated for participation in activities specifically required by the proposed research education program, if sufficiently justified. Participant costs must be itemized in the proposed budget.

Other program-related costs

Consultant costs, equipment, supplies, travel for key persons, and other program-related expenses may be included in the proposed budget. These expenses must be justified as specifically required by the proposed program and must not duplicate items generally available at the applicant institution. Consultant costs may not be used to substitute for Personnel costs.

Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to review the funding opportunity and the FAQs below prior to contacting the appropriate NIMH Research Training and Career Development representative for additional information.


Q: Is a letter of intent required as part of the R25 application?

A: No. Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review of a subsequent application, the information that it contains allows institute staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review.

Q: How will my R25 application be evaluated?

A: Reviewers will assess to what extent implementation of the proposed program will support educational activities that will enhance the participants' professional development and foster their career trajectories toward independent mental health research. Applications will be characterized by state-of-the-art approaches to mentoring and research education, scholarship, and documentation of a strong need in the research community for the proposed mentoring network. Renewal applications should also demonstrate a continuing need for the existing network to advance NIMH's goal of a well-trained pool of researchers with state-of-the-art knowledge and skills essential for achieving the Institute's research priorities as outlined in the current NIMH Strategic Plan. Please see Review Criteria in Section V. of the funding opportunity .

Q: I would like to participate as a mentor, but I work at a foreign institution. Am I eligible to participate in this R25 program?  

A: Yes. Programs that include faculty participation through a foreign component should be well-justified and should clearly describe the benefit to the research education program (e.g., unique expertise of the faculty member).

Q: I am currently supported by another NIH research training and career development award. Am I eligible to supplement my stipend with this R25 program? 

A: No. R25 funds cannot be used to provide additional salary or stipend support to individuals supported by NIH training and career development mechanisms, such as K-, T-, or F-series awards). The R25 program is not intended as a substitute for an NRSA institutional training program (e.g., T32), costs to support full-time participants (supported for 40 hours/week for a continuous, 12-month period) are not allowable. However, PIs on other training awards may receive, and indeed are encouraged to receive, educational experiences supported by an R25 program.