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Transforming the understanding
and treatment of mental illnesses.

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About the IRP at NIMH

The Division of Intramural Research Programs (IRP) at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is the internal research division of the NIMH. NIMH IRP scientists conduct research ranging from studies into mechanisms of normal brain function, conducted at the behavioral, systems, cellular, and molecular levels, to clinical investigations into the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental illness. Major disease entities studied throughout the lifespan include mood disorders and anxiety, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders. Because of its outstanding resources, unique funding mechanisms, and location in the nation’s capitol, the IRP is viewed as a national resource, providing unique opportunities in mental health research and research training.

Training is conducted in all the Institute’s clinical branches and basic neuroscience laboratories located on the 305-acre National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, Maryland. In addition to individualized trainee/mentor-driven postdoctoral training opportunities in the clinical and basic sciences, the IRP offers Postbaccalaureate Research Training Awards, a Clinical Electives Program, as well as a variety of Summer Research Fellowships and an Undergraduate Internship Program.

The mission of the division is to plan and conduct basic, clinical, and translational research to advance understanding of the diagnosis, causes, treatment, and prevention of mental disorders through the study of brain function and behavior; conduct state-of-the-art research that, in part, complements extramural research activities and exploits the special resources of the National Institutes of Health; and provide an environment conducive to the training and development of clinical and basic scientists. In addition the IRP fosters standards of excellence in the ethical treatment and the provision of clinical care to research subjects; serve as a resource to the NIMH in responding to requests made by the Administration, members of Congress, and citizens’ groups for information regarding mental disorders; and analyzes and evaluates national needs and research opportunities and provides advice to the Institute Director on matters of scientific interest.