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NIMH Short Courses for Mental Health Related Research (R25)

This award supports research education activities in the mission areas of the NIH with a primary focus on courses for skills development to facilitate the development of a cadre of investigators with the requisite scientific research skills to advance the mission of the NIMH.

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/PI should have a strong track record as an educator in a scientific area related to the topic of the proposed short course.

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

It is essential that trainees have exposure and access to faculty with a broad range of expertise and perspectives. Faculty should have research expertise and experience relevant to the proposed program. Prior experience as educators is strongly encouraged.

Researchers from diverse backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, and women are encouraged to participate as program faculty.


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.

Each short course is expected to include both didactics and hands-on research experiences. The course duration can vary from a few days to a maximum of 12 weeks. 

For renewal applications, the description of the short course proposed for the next funding period is expected to highlight how the short course continues to offer education at the scientific cutting-edge as well as any changes in course objectives, curriculum, and/or activities that are planned to maintain the currency of the research education offered.

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 the 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.

Administrative and clerical costs, as well as salaries of the PD/PI and other investigators/faculty 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. A letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review of a subsequent application. However, 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 in state-of-the-art research skills important to fulfill the objectives of the current NIMH Strategic Plan. Applications will be characterized by innovation, scholarship, and documentation of a strong need in the research community for the proposed short course. Renewal applications should also demonstrate a continuing need for the existing short course 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. Please see Review Criteria in Section V of the NOFO.

Q: As PD/PI, can I recruit a faculty member at a foreign institution to participate as faculty for this short course?   

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: Are participants already funded through an individual NRSA award eligible to receive salary support through the R25?

A: No. Kirschstein NRSA fellows may not receive salary or stipend supplementation from a research education program. Individuals supported by NIH training and career development mechanisms (K, T, or F awards) may receive, and indeed are encouraged to receive, educational experiences supported by an R25 program, as participants. Because 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.

Q: Should the course director leading the short course be listed as key personnel?

A: Yes. Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the PD/PI is invited to work with his/her organization to develop an application for support. Applicants should describe arrangements for administration of the program and provide evidence that the PD/PI is actively engaged in research and/or teaching in an area related to the mission of NIH, and can organize, administer, monitor, and evaluate the research education program.

For this funding opportunity, applicants should provide evidence that the short course PD/PI has experience as a mentor and educator and is actively engaged in research or other scholarly activity relevant to the goals of the proposed short course.

Q: Are multiple PDs/PIs allowed?

A: Yes. For programs proposing multiple PDs/PIs, describe the complementary and integrated expertise of the PDs/PIs, their leadership approach, and governance appropriate for the planned project.