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and treatment of mental illnesses.

2018 Autumn Inside NIMH

Inside NIMH Autumn Edition

Welcome

Welcome to the latest edition of Inside NIMH!  We publish Inside NIMH in conjunction with each meeting of the National Advisory Mental Health Council, which advises the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Director of NIMH on all policies and activities relating to the conduct and support of mental health research, research training, and other programs of the Institute.

Check out our website for regular updates on timely topics at NIMH. I hope you find this information interesting and helpful. Please let us know if you have questions or comments on this edition.

Sincerely,

Joshua A. Gordon, M.D., Ph.D.
Director, National Institute of Mental Health

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NIMH Director’s Updates

As leaves take to the air, news at NIMH is falling all around. NIMH is striving to increase public awareness about suicide prevention, working to revise its structure to better align with its mission, sharing updates on NIH-wide initiatives and policies, and much more.

News to Know

  • Suicide Prevention Awareness: September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, shedding light on a tremendously important, yet often avoided, public health issue. Suicide rates are on the rise, claiming the lives of more than 40,000 people in the U.S. each year. NIMH is working to increase public awareness by posting social media messages across TwitterFacebookYouTube, and LinkedIn to promote educational suicide prevention resources and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.  During Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, NIMH is reaffirming the critical importance of suicide prevention research as a top Institute priority. As highlighted in several NIMH Director’s Messages, NIMH Science News articles, and general media items, NIMH’s robust suicide prevention research portfolio requires collaboration, big data, specialized approaches for particular at-risk groups, and more. To foster innovation and speed progress, the Institute also prioritizes suicide prevention research consortia, teams, and meetings. Moving forward, NIMH will maintain steadfast commitment to its collaborative national research agenda for suicide prevention, designed to mobilize the scientific community to systematically address suicide prevention.
  • Aligning NIMH Mission and Structure: Based on input from a variety of key stakeholders, NIMH is working to optimize its structure to advance the ambitious mission of the NIMH. Across existing Divisions and Offices, principle changes include: distributing the genomics and global mental health portfolios into existing Divisions; enhancing the focus on mental health disparities; adopting a more team-based approach; establishing short-term workgroups; enhancing scientific and operational support; strengthening intramural-extramural interactions; and, addressing operational processes. The restructuring will be phased in during the coming months and program officers will notify grantees.
  • Report of the NAMHC Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) Changes to the Matrix (CMAT) Workgroup: The NAMHC RDoC CMAT workgroup is charged with developing a standardized format for submitting suggested revisions to the RDoC matrix, evaluating proposed changes, and making final recommendations to the NAMHC. The workgroup proposed adding a Sensorimotor Domain to the RDoC matrix, aimed at delineating the relationship between motor symptoms and mental health. On September 20, 2018, the workgroup presented a report on the proposed changes to the NAMHC. This workgroup report will soon be available to the public. A forthcoming NIH Guide Notice will clarify NIMH interest in basic sensorimotor research.
  • Announcements from the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC): On September 27, 2018, the IACC will host a workshop, Addressing the Health Needs of People on the Autism Spectrum, to discuss health epidemiology, patient-provider interactions, and co-occurring health conditions that affect individuals with autism spectrum disorder. The next IACC full committee meeting will be held on October 17, 2018. The workshop and meeting will be open to the public.
  • NIH Leadership News:
    • NIH named Helene Langevin, M.D., Ph.D., as Director of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). Dr. Langevin comes to NIH from the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston. She has served as director of the Osher Center and professor-in-residence of medicine at Harvard Medical School since 2012.
    • NIH announced the selection of Bruce J. Tromberg, Ph.D., as Director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB). Dr. Tromberg is currently a professor at the University of California at Irvine (UCI), with appointments in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Surgery. He is also director of UCI’s Beckman Laser Institute and Medical Clinic. Dr. Tromberg is expected to join NIBIB in 2019.
    • On August 31, 2018, Patricia A. Grady, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N, retired as Director of the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), a position she held for more than 23 years. During her tenure at NIH, Dr. Grady also served as the Deputy Director of National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and Acting Director of NINDS. NIH is conducting a national search for a new Director of NINR. The Scientific Director and Acting Deputy Director of NINR, Ann Cashion, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N, is serving as Acting Director.
  • Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative
    • NIH Advisory Committee to the Director BRAIN Initiative Working Group: The ACD BRAIN Initiative Working Group met on August 24, 2018 to discuss the state of human neuroscience. Experts discussed neural recording and stimulation; functional imaging; brain connectivity; and translating research from mouse to human. A video recording of the meeting is available to the public. The next meeting of the ACD Working Group on the BRAIN Initiative will be held on September 21, 2018.
    • NIH BRAIN Initiative Cell Census Network: The BRAIN Initiative Cell Census Network (BICCN) released its first large data set. The release includes molecular profiling data for over 1.3 million individual cells from the mouse brain. Datasets include snRNA-Seq, scRNA-Seq, snATAC-seq, snmC-Seq. The BICCN has also completed molecular profiling on 800,000 human cells and is working through the data release approval pipeline. 
  • NIH Publishes Updates on Large Studies: In 2018, NIH published updates on some of NIH’s largest initiatives. A cover article in the Journal of Neuroscience detailed the state of the BRAIN Initiative, summarizing past efforts and providing a vision for the future. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience devoted a special issue to the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study, highlighting multiple components of the Study. A viewpoint article in the Journal of the American Medical Association described the purpose and plans for the Helping to End Addiction Long-Term (HEAL) Initiative designed to stem the opioid epidemic. These resources provide readers with the NIH perspective on large cohort studies with potential for high impact in the era of big science.
  • NIH Policy Updates:
    • Biomedical Research Integrity: On August 23, 2018, Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the National Institutes of Health, issued a statement about protecting the integrity of U.S. biomedical research. Dr. Collins outlined three areas of concern that, in some instances, involve foreign entities: 1) failure by some researchers at NIH-funded institutions to disclose contributions from other resources; 2) diversion of intellectual property to other entities; and, 3) sharing of confidential information by peer reviewers with others. In response, NIH will work with other government agencies, NIH-funded institutions, and a working group of the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director to identify robust methods to protect the integrity of U.S. biomedical research.
    • Returning Research Data to Study Participants: The Revised Common Rule, a substantial update to the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects, took effect on July 19, 2018 with a delayed compliance date of January 21, 2019 (except for three specific provisions). Included in the delay are new provisions for returning data to study participants. NIH and other federal agencies are reviewing a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine consensus study to examine whether other federal policies are consistent with such information sharing. Meanwhile, the scientific community is placing greater emphasis on returning certain study results to participants, who are viewed as partners in the research process. A key example is the NIH All of Us Research Program that plans to make data available to study participants.
    • Resources to Enhance Rigor in Research: In July 2018, the NIH Office of Extramural Research published a perspective on scientific rigor, highlighting NIH resources designed to help researchers develop better grant proposals. Resources include blog posts, reviewer guidance, and much more, all available on the NIH Reproducibility webpage.
    • Behavioral and Social Clinical Trial Template: In light of recent NIH policies that expanded the requirements of clinical trials, NIH developed a draft Behavioral and Social Clinical Trial Template to assist NIH-funded investigators as they prepare Phase 2 and 3 Investigational New Drug or Investigational Device Exemption clinical trial protocols. The template is specifically aimed at studies involving social and behavioral interventions, and NIH is seeking public comment through October 11, 2018.
    • Basic Studies Involving Human Subjects: NIH posted several blogs and articles over the past two years about efforts to enhance stewardship and transparency in clinical trial research. Concerns emerged regarding how NIH’s Policy on the Dissemination of NIH-Funded Clinical Trial Information applies to basic science studies involving human participants. NIH is seeking public comment through November 12, 2018 on standards NIH should use to assure adequate registration and results reporting for the subset of studies that meet NIH’s definition of a clinical trial and that focus on basic research

Budget Overview

  • Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Budget: NIMH currently anticipates awarding approximately 575 competing research project grants (RPGs) in FY 2018. The projected success rate for competing RPGs in FY 2018 is 21%. In accordance with the NIH Next Generation Researchers Initiative (NGRI) policy, NIMH projects awarding 80 unique early stage investigators (ESIs), and anticipates funding more than 340 unique at-risk investigators.


    Figure 1
    NIMH Applications, Awards, and Success Rates for Research Project Grants
    Fiscal Year Applications Awards Success Rate
    2013 2736 512 19
    2014 2830 548 19
    2015 2480 507 20
    2016 2568 587 23
    2017 2735 571 21
    2018 Est. 2715 575 21
  • Outlook for FY 2019: On September 13, 2018, the House Appropriations Committee filed a two-bill appropriations “minibus” funding bill, which has been approved by a joint House and Senate Conference Committee. The bill provides a total of $39.1 billion for NIH, an increase of $2.0 billion above the FY 2018 enacted level. For NIMH, the bill provides $1,812.8 million, an approximate increase of $98 million above the fiscal year 2018 enacted level. It is highly likely that the bill will be passed by both chambers prior to the start of the fiscal year.

NIMH Staff News and Awards

  • NIMH Staff News:

    In October 2018, NIMH will announce a national search for the Office of Disparities Research and Workforce Diversity (ODWD) Director.

    Hugo Tejeda, Ph.D. joined the NIMH Intramural Research Program on September 16, 2018, as tenure-track Chief of the Unit on Neuromodulation and Synaptic Integration. He studies the modulation of synaptic integration in the nucleus accumbens by endogenous opioids, monoamines, and aversive learning.

    We are sad to announce the passing of an outstanding colleague. Dr. David Jacobowitz (“Dr. J”), Ph.D. passed away on September 7, 2018. Dr. Jacobowitz established and led the Section on Histopharmacology in the NIMH Division of Intramural Research Programs. His career spanned 60 years, 30 of which he spent at NIMH. Dr. Jacobowitz’s legacy includes complete neuroanatomical maps of 11 neuronal systems; an early atlas of the mass, charge, and relative concentration of over 100 proteins in 25 regions of rat brain; and, a chemoarchitectonic atlas of the developing mouse brain, an invaluable resource for researchers interested in the fetal brain. He was dedicated to the belief that the key to uncovering the secrets to brain function lies in understanding neuronal conductivity. Dr. Jacobowitz was a friend to many and known for his collaborative nature, widely sharing his neuroanatomical and proteomics expertise with experts and students alike.
     
  • NIMH Staff Awards:

    Robert K. Heinssen, Ph.D., A.B.P.P, Director of the NIMH Division of Services and Intervention Research, received the American Psychological Association’s Michael S. Neale Award. Dr. Heinssen was recognized for his outstanding leadership in fostering new research programs that promote evidence-based practices to improve the lives of individuals with early serious mental illness. His work in psychosis risk factors, early detection and intervention, and broad implementation of effective practices has had national-level impact on those affected by serious mental illness.

    Michael Freed, Ph.D., Chief, Services Research and Clinical Epidemiology Branch; Denise Juliano-Bult, M.S.W., Chief, Services Research and Clinical Epidemiology Branch; and Andrea Horvath-Marques, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H, Chief, Mental Health Disparities Program, received the 2018 Administrator’s Award for Collaboration Health Resources and Services Administration for participation in the HRSA Bureau of Health Workforce-NIMH Partnership to Reduce Health Disparities through Collaborative Care Implementation.

Director’s Highlights: NIMH Scientists and Science

Notable NIMH Grants

The following is a selection of the Institute’s most recently funded projects that exemplify our efforts to accelerate research on mental illnesses, and to advance the NIMH Strategic Plan for Research.

For more information on these and other grants selected for funding, visit the NIH RePORTER website.

  • The NIMH Division of Services and Intervention Research is funding two new projects aimed at reducing suicide among at-risk youth.
    • Suicide among youth is a significant public health concern, and the prevalence of suicide attempts among sexual and gender minority (SGM) youth is estimated to be more than four times higher than that for non-SGM youth. Yet, due to small sample sizes, few studies have tested the specific impact of suicide prevention programs on SGM youth. Hendricks Brown, Ph.D. (Northwestern University) and colleagues will examine the effectiveness of 20 suicide prevention programs to reduce suicide risk for youth in general, and for SGM youth in particular. By combining data across many sites, the researchers will be able to test several key hypotheses about impact on suicide risk, including whether SGM youth receive differential benefit.
    • Suicide affects incarcerated youth at higher rates than non-incarcerated youth. In partnership with the New York City Administration for Children's Services, Shabnam Javdani, Ph.D. (New York University) and Erin Godfrey, Ph.D. (New York University) will evaluate staff-level training to mitigate suicidality during two critical points of contact for juvenile justice-involved youth; placement and post-release aftercare. Staff training will include an evidence-based model for acute suicide detection training for juvenile justice staff, as well as suicide prevention skill-building training informed by dialectical behavior therapy for adolescents at risk for suicide. The researchers aim to fill critical knowledge gaps that may guide the next generation of suicide prevention efforts for incarcerated youth.
  • Family accommodation is a cross-cultural phenomenon that occurs when parents of children with anxiety modify routines to alleviate a child’s anxiety. For example, parents of a child with social anxiety may speak on behalf the child or not allow guests into the home. Family accommodation may make it difficult for children with anxiety to learn to self-regulate anxious responses. The NIMH Division of Translational Research is supporting research to test a novel intervention for parents of children with anxiety, called Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions (SPACE). Eli Lebowitz, Ph.D. (Yale University) and Dylan Grace Gee, Ph.D. (Yale University) plan to assess the efficacy of SPACE to reduce family accommodation, change the children’s brain activation patterns in regions association with anxiety-regulation, and decrease anxiety in the children.
  • Depression affects nearly one-third of people with HIV, and depression is associated with poorer adherence to antiretroviral treatment (ART). In partnership with the University of Zimbabwe, Marondera Provincial Hospital, and Kunaka Rural Hospital, Melanie Abas, M.D. (King’s College of London) and Conall O'Cleirigh, Ph.D. (Harvard University) will test a stepped-care task-shifting model to help patients achieve HIV viral suppression in a very low-income country. Interventions will focus on treating depression and increasing adherence to ART using nurses and ART adherence counselors as interventionists. Outcomes from this research, supported by the NIMH Division of AIDS Research, may inform strategies to improve adherence counseling and depression care for those living with HIV in very low-income countries.
  • The mechanisms by which molecular changes modify neuronal networks to maintain long-term memory are elusive and reflect fundamental questions in neuroscience. The NIMH Division of Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Science is supporting research that combines state-of-the art molecular and circuit approaches to understand how atypical protein kinases (aPKCs) contribute to maintaining memory. Todd Sacktor, M.D. (SUNY Downstate Medical Center) and Andre Fenton, Ph.D. (New York University) hypothesize that aPKCs sustain representations of memory in ensembles of neurons. The researchers aim to uncover fundamental information on molecular mechanisms underlying long-term memory, establishing a basis for understanding the role those mechanisms may play in cognitive symptoms that characterize many brain disorders.

Current Funding Opportunities and Announcements

NIH posts the electronic NIH Guide, a list of all NIH funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) including requests for applications (RFAs), program announcements (PAs), and important notices for the scientific community. Below is a selection of recently issued FOAs in which NIMH participates. The Funding page on the NIMH website also has links to all NIMH FOAs and other resources.

To receive the latest information about NIMH funding opportunities, administrative updates, and changes to grant policies and procedures, subscribe to the NIMH Funding Opportunities ListServ. For weekly email updates from the NIH Guide, subscribe to the NIH Guide ListServ.

Please refer to a specific FOA for submission instructions including applications due dates, award and eligibility information, agency contacts, and additional information.

NIMH-Administered Requests for Applications

  • Clinical Trials to Test the Effectiveness of Treatment, Preventive, and Services Interventions (Clinical Trial Required)
    • Release date: November 14, 2017; Application due date: October 15, 2018
    • Collaborative R01 announcement (RFA-MH-18-700
    • R01 announcement (RFA-MH-18-701)
  • Confirmatory Efficacy Clinical Trials of Non-Pharmacological Interventions for Mental Disorders (Clinical Trial Required)
    • Release date: November 14, 2017; Application due date: October 15, 2018
    • R01 announcement (RFA-MH-18-707)
  • Development of Psychosocial Therapeutic and Preventive Interventions for Mental Disorders (Clinical Trial Required)
    • Release date: November 14, 2017; Application due date: October 15, 2018
    • R61/R33 announcement (RFA-MH-18-704)         
    • R33 announcement (RFA-MH-18-705)   
  • Early Stage Testing of Pharmacologic or Device-based Interventions for the Treatment of Mental Disorders (Clinical Trial Required)
    • Release date: November 14, 2017; Application due date: October 15, 2018
    • R61/R33 announcement (RFA-MH-18-702)
    • R33 announcement (RFA-MH-18-703)   
  • Pilot Effectiveness Trials for Treatment, Preventive and Services Interventions (Clinical Trial Required)
    • Release date: November 14, 2017; Application due date: October 15, 2018
    • R34 announcement (RFA-MH-18-706)
  • NIMH Career Enhancement Award to Advance Autism Services Research for Adults and Transition-Age Youth (Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
    • Release date: July 3, 2018; Application due date: October 22, 2018
    • K18 announcement (RFA-MH-19-100)   
  • NIMH Career Enhancement Award to Advance Autism Services Research for Adults and Transition-Age Youth (Clinical Trial Required)
    • Release date: July 3, 2018; Application due date: October 22, 2018
    • K18 announcement (RFA-MH-19-101)   
  • Early Psychosis Intervention Network (EPINET): Practice-Based Research to Improve Treatment Outcomes (Clinical Trial Optional)
    • Release date: July 30, 2018; Application due date: November 2, 2018
    • R01 announcement (RFA-MH-19-150)
  • Early Psychosis Intervention Network (EPINET): Data Coordinating Center (Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
    • Release date: July 30, 2018; Application due date: November 2, 2018
    • U24 announcement (RFA-MH-19-151)
  • Computationally-Defined Behaviors in Psychiatry (Clinical Trial Optional)
    • Release date: August 9, 2018; Application due date: November 20, 2018
    • R01 announcement (RFA-MH-19-240)
  • Reducing the Duration of Untreated Psychosis in the United States (Clinical Trial Required)
    • Release date: November 21, 2017; Standard due dates apply; Expiration date: March 20, 2019
    • R01 announcement (PAR-18-233)
    • R34 announcement (PAR-18-232)
  • From Genomic Association to Causation: A Convergent Neuroscience Approach for Integrating Levels of Analysis to Delineate Brain Function in Neuropsychiatry
    • Release date: April 11, 2017; Standard due dates apply; Expiration date: May 8, 2019
    • Collaborative R01 announcement (PAR-17-252)
    • R01 announcement (PAR-17-253)
  • NIMH Biobehavioral Research Awards for Innovative New Scientists (NIMH BRAINS) (Clinical Trial Optional)
    • Release date: February 6, 2018; Application due date: June 20, 2019
    • R01 announcement (RFA-MH-19-130)
  • Innovative Mental Health Services Research Not Involving Clinical Trials
    • Release date: April 28, 2017; Standard due dates apply; Expiration date: September 8, 2020
    • R01 announcement (PAR-17-264)
  • First in Human and Early Stage Clinical Trials of Novel Investigational Drugs or Devices for Psychiatric Disorders (Clinical Trial Required)
    • Release date: December 6, 2017; Standard due dates apply; Expiration Date: January 8, 2021
    • U01 announcement (PAR-18-427)

NIMH-Collaborative Requests for Applications

  • BRAIN Initiative: Biology and Biophysics of Neural Stimulation (Clinical Trial Optional)
    • Release date: December 14, 2017; Application due date: October 4, 2018
    • R01 announcement (RFA-NS-18-018)
  • BRAIN Initiative: Tools to Target, Identify and Characterize Non-Neuronal Cells in the Brain (Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
    • Release date: September 22, 2017; Application due date: October 4, 2018
    • R01 announcement (RFA-DA-18-018)
  • BRAIN Initiative: Development of Novel Tools to Probe Cell-Specific and Circuit-Specific Processes in Human and Non-Human Primate Brain (Clinical Trial Optional)
    • Release date: August 2, 2018; Application due date: October 9, 2018
    • UG3/UH3 announcement (RFA-MH-19-135)
  • Regenerative Medicine Innovation Project (RMIP) (Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
    • Release date: August 1, 2018; Application due date: October 19, 2018
    • UT2 announcement (RFA-HL-18-033)
    • U44 announcement (RFA-HL-18-035)
  • Regenerative Medicine Innovation Project (RMIP) Investigator-Initiated Clinical Trials (Clinical Trial Required)
    • Release date: August 1, 2018; Application due date: October 19, 2018
    • UG3/UH3 announcement (RFA-HL-18-031)
    • U01 announcement (RFA-HL-18-030)
  • BRAIN Initiative: Clinical Studies to Advance Next-Generation Invasive Devices for Recording and Modulation in the Human Central Nervous System (Clinical Trial Required)
    • Release date: December 21, 2017; Application due date: October 22, 2018
    • UH3 announcement (RFA-NS-18-023)
  • BRAIN Initiative: Next-Generation Invasive Devices for Recording and Modulation in the Human Central Nervous System (Clinical Trial Required)
    • Release date: December 21, 2017; Application due date: October 22, 2018
    • UG3/UH3 announcement (RFA-NS-18-021)
    • U44 announcement (RFA-NS-18-022)
  • BRAIN Initiative: Team-Research BRAIN Circuit Programs - TeamBCP (Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
    • Release date: August 29, 2018; Application due date: October 30, 2018
    • U19 announcement (RFA-NS-19-003)
  • BRAIN Initiative: Team-Research BRAIN Circuit Programs - TeamBCP (Clinical Trial Required)
    • Release date: August 29, 2018; Application due date: October 30, 2018
    • U19 announcement (RFA-NS-19-002)
  • BRAIN Initiative: Targeted BRAIN Circuits Projects- TargetedBCP (Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
    • Release date: April 19, 2018; Application due date: November 6, 2018
    • R01 announcement (RFA-NS-18-030)
  • BRAIN Initiative: Tools to Facilitate High-Throughput Microconnectivity Analysis
    • Release date: August 30, 2017; Application due date: November 13, 2018
    • R01 announcement (RFA-MH-18-505)
  • BRAIN Initiative: Research Opportunities Using Invasive Neural Recording and Stimulating Technologies in the Human Brain (Clinical Trial Required)
    • Release date: August 28, 2018; Application due date: November 14, 2018
    • U01 announcement (RFA-NS-19-001)
  • BRAIN Initiative: New Concepts and Early - Stage Research for Large - Scale Recording and Modulation in the Nervous System (Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
    • Release date: March 2, 2018; Application due date: October 29, 2018
    • R21 announcement (RFA-EY-18-001)
  • BRAIN Initiative: Optimization of Transformative Technologies for Large Scale Recording and Modulation in the Nervous System (Clinical Trials Not Allowed)
    • Release date: March 14, 2018; Application due date: October 29, 2018
    • U01 announcement (RFA-NS-18-019)
  • BRAIN Initiative: New Technologies and Novel Approaches for Large-Scale Recording and Modulation in the Nervous System (Clinical Trials Not Allowed)
    • Release date: March 14, 2018; Application due date: October 29, 2018
    • R01 announcement (RFA-NS-18-020)
  • Sustained Release Innovation for HIV (SRI) (Clinical Trial Optional)
    • Release date: June 11, 2018; Application due date: November 30, 2018
    • R61/R33 announcement (RFA-AI-18-006)
  • BRAIN Initiative Fellows: Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship
    • Release date: November 7, 2017; Application due date: December 7, 2018
    • F32 announcement (RFA-MH-18-510)
  • BRAIN Initiative: Proof of Concept Development of Early Stage Next Generation Human Brain Imaging (Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
    • Release date: October 5, 2017; Application due date: December 11, 2018
    • R01 announcement (RFA-EB-17-003)
  • BRAIN Initiative: Development of Next Generation Human Brain Imaging Tools and Technologies (Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
    • Release date: October 4, 2017; Application due date: December 11, 2018
    • U01 announcement (RFA-EB-17-004)
  • BRAIN Initiative: Integration and Analysis of BRAIN Initiative Data (Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
    • Release date: July 17, 2018; Application due date: September 27, 2018
    • R01 announcement (RFA-MH-19-147)
  • NIH Blueprint Program for Enhancing Neuroscience Diversity through Undergraduate Research Education Experiences (Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
    • Release date: September 13, 2018; Application due date: February 15, 2018
    • R25 announcement (RFA-NS-19-007)
  • BRAIN Initiative: Exploratory Team-Research BRAIN Circuit Programs - eTeamBCP (Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
    • Release date: May 17, 2018; Application due date: June 10, 2019
    • U01 announcement (RFA-NS-18-029)
  • BRAIN Initiative: Targeted BRAIN Circuits Planning Projects – TargetedBCPP (Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
    • Release date: December 14, 2017; Application due date: July 15, 2019
    • R34 announcement (RFA-NS-18-014)
  • BRAIN Initiative: Theories, Models and Methods for Analysis of Complex Data from the Brain (Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
    • Release date: October 12, 2017; Application due date: September 3, 2019
    • R01 announcement (RFA-EB-17-005)
  • BRAIN Initiative: Standards to Define Experiments Related to the BRAIN Initiative (Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
    • Release date: July 17, 2018; Application due date: September 27, 2018
    • R01 announcement (RFA-MH-19-146)
  • BRAIN Initiative: Development and Validation of Novel Tools to Probe Cell-Specific and Circuit-Specific Processes in the Brain (Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
    • Release date: May 03, 2018; Application due date: September 27, 2018
    • R01 announcement (RFA-MH-19-136)
  • BRAIN Initiative: Data Archives for the BRAIN Initiative (Clinical Trial Optional)
    • Release date: July 17, 2018; Application due date: September 27, 2018
    • R24 announcement (RFA-MH-19-145)

Future Research Directions

Concept Clearances for Potential New Research Initiatives

This list of potential future initiatives alerts the research community about NIMH interests and possible upcoming funding opportunity announcements. While NIMH plans to proceed with these initiatives, their publication and timing are not certain and depend on sufficient funding. The titles listed here are consistent with the information available at the time of concept clearance. Resultant FOAs may differ from the concept clearances in final title wording, or in other aspects.

For more information, please see recent NAMHC-approved concepts, recent public venue-approved concepts, and past NAMHC meetings, which also contains links to meeting agendas, minutes, and Inside NIMH (Director’s Reports).

NIMH-Sponsored Meetings

  • Outreach Partnership Program: On July 18-19, 2018, NIMH convened the annual meeting of the Outreach Partnership Program. Attendees included NIMH leadership and staff, as well as representatives from the 55 NIMH Outreach Partners and some of the more than 75 National Partner organizations. NIMH Director Joshua Gordon, M.D., Ph.D., provided an update on NIMH activities and priorities. Other speakers presented the role of genetics in mental health research, and services and intervention research to increase access to mental health care.
  • Research Opportunities for Improving Treatment Interventions and Recovery Services for Adults with Serious Mental Illness: On July 23-24, 2018, NIMH and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency sponsored a workshop focused on research to improve treatment interventions and recovery services for adults with schizophrenia spectrum disorders. Participants included experts from a variety of disciplines. Discussions focused on knowledge gaps and research priorities to: improve assessment and diagnosis; develop more effective interventions; enhance the quality mental health services; and, lead to better recovery outcomes for individuals with schizophrenia spectrum disorders.
  • Mental Health Services Research (MHSR) Conference: On August 1-3, 2018, NIMH held the 24th MHSR conference. Participants included researchers, clinicians, federal, state, and local stakeholders, mental health advocates, and people living with mental illnesses. Presenters highlighted research findings and discussed areas of need for people with mental illnesses. MHSR aims to improve access, continuity, quality, equity, and value of mental health care. Achieving these aims is crucial to closing the science-to-service delivery gap.
  • MHSR New Investigators Workshop: On August 3, 2018, NIMH hosted a workshop for Early Stage Investigators (ESIs) in conjunction with the 24th MHSR Conference. Thirty promising ESIs were selected to present posters at the main conference and to attend the post-conference New Investigators Workshop. During the workshop, experts from NIMH and academia gave presentations   that focused on successfully navigating the process of NIMH grant submissions. ESIs met with experts to receive feedback on concepts for future grant applications.

Electronic Research Administration (eRA) Activities

NIH-Wide Grant News

  • Update on the NIH Next Generation Researchers Initiative (NGRI) Policy on Early Established Investigators (EEIs): Based on the work of the NIH NGRI Advisory Committee to the Director Working Group, and stakeholder feedback, NIH will no longer use an EEI flag in application and review systems as previously announced. NIH will continue to prioritize funding for Early Stage Investigators (ESIs). Pending further deliberations of the NGRI Working Group, NIH will use an interim strategy to define “at risk investigators” as those who: 1) have meritoriously-scored applications; 2) would not have major NIH research funding if the application were not awarded; and, 3) do not have significant research support from other sources (NOT-OD-18-214).
  • New System to Manage Human Subjects Clinical Trials Information: On June 9, 2018, NIH launched a new electronic system to manage human subjects and clinical trials information. The Human Subjects System (HSS) replaces the Inclusion Management System (IMS) used by grant applicants, recipients, and NIH staff. The system allows principal investigators and signing officials to update all human subject and clinical trial data associated with their grants. Users can update participant and enrollment information, inform NIH of ClinicalTrials.gov registration, and revise other human subjects-related information as necessary.
  • Delayed Enforcement and Short-Term Flexibilities for Some Requirements Affecting Prospective Basic Science Studies Involving Human Participants: This notice describes interim policy flexibilities, through September 24, 2019, for a subset of prospective NIH-funded studies involving human participants where the primary purpose is the pursuit of basic science. These studies meet the NIH definition of a clinical trial as well as the Federal definition of basic science. NIH will delay enforcement of the policy that expects investigators to register and report their studies in ClinicalTrials.gov. The interim policy includes an expectation that data will eventually be entered into ClinicalTrials.gov (NOT-OD-18-212).
  • Request for Information (RFI): Registration and Results Reporting Standards for Prospective Basic Science Studies Involving Human Participants: Through November 12, 2018, NIH is requesting input on the standards NIH should use to ensure adequate registration and results reporting for fundamental research studies involving human participants (NOT-OD-18-217).
  • Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Stipends, Tuition/Fees, and Other Budgetary Levels Effective for FY 2018: NIH announced that stipends will be increased for those supported by NRSA awards. As a result, approximately 15,000 NRSA training grant appointees and fellows will receive a two percent stipend increase for FY 2018 (NOT-OD-18-175).
  • NIH/Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Application Submission/Resubmission Policy: NIH and AHRQ consolidated policies related to applications for grants and cooperative agreements, providing clarity regarding allowable submissions and resubmissions, and changes of activity codes from one submission to another (NOT-OD-18-197).

For more information on these updates, please see the NIH eRA News and Events page.

Questions? Contact the eRA Service desk. Note that contacting this help desk is the only way to document problems with an electronic grant application submission. Evidence of this contact is the only way to be eligible for any special consideration by the Center for Scientific Review (CSR) Division of Receipt and Referral, should you run into a system problem with Grants.gov or with eRA that is beyond your control.

Research Training and Career Development

Here is the latest news about Research Training and Career Development at NIMH and NIH:

  • NIMH reissued the Mental Health Research Dissertation Grant to Enhance Workforce Diversity R36 funding opportunity announcement (PAR-18-894). This funding opportunity is designed to enhance the diversity of the mental health research workforce by providing dissertation awards to individuals from underrepresented groups in biomedical, behavioral, clinical, and social sciences research. The first application due date is December 6, 2018. Please visit the NIMH Research Training and Career Development Programs webpage for additional information.
  • NIMH supports the K18 career development mechanism in autism services research (RFA-MH-19-100, RFA-MH-19-101). NIMH encourages applications from experienced investigators seeking to redirect or expand their research programs by acquiring new skills and knowledge in the area of autism services research for adults and transition-age youth. The program will support research training and career development experiences to provide established investigators with the scientific competencies required to conduct research relevant to services for adults or transition-age youth with autism spectrum disorder.
  • The BRAIN Initiative F32 National Research Service Award Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship (RFA-MH-18-510) supports early-stage postdoctoral training. Eligible applicants are those who expect to complete their doctoral degree within 12 months, or those who have completed less than 12 months of postdoctoral training. NIMH encourages applications in any research area aligned with the BRAIN Initiative, and applicants are expected to propose research training in an area that clearly complements their doctoral research. The research training plan should include formal training in analytical tools appropriate to the proposed research.
  • The BRAIN Initiative issued two Postdoctoral Career Transition K99/R00 FOAs focused on enhancing workforce diversity in BRAIN Initiative research areas. This program is designed to facilitate the transition of outstanding postdoctoral researchers from mentored, postdoctoral research positions to independent, tenure-track or equivalent faculty positions (PAR-18-814, PAR-18-813).
  • NIMH is participating in the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research K18 initiative on Short-term Mentored Career Enhancement Awards in Mobile and Wireless Health Technology and Data Analytics (PAR-18-881, PAR-18-882). NIMH encourages applications from behavioral and social science investigators seeking to train in a STEM discipline (e.g., big data analysis, computational modeling, engineering, computer science, or mathematics) or to STEM scientists who wish to train in a behavioral or social science discipline.
  • NIMH participates in the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development T32 Pediatric Clinical and Developmental Pharmacology Training Network. This network supports a co-mentorship model in which an established pediatric pharmacologist co-leads the training with a pediatric psychiatrist (RFA-HD-16-015).

Please refer to the NIMH webpage for research training and career development between issues of Inside NIMH to locate the latest news and resources for potential applicants and current awardees.

We are interested in feedback from the community; comments or suggestions related to NIMH’s support for research training and career development may be directed to NIMH_Training@mail.nih.gov.

Director’s Messages

NIMH’s Director’s Messages provide insights into the latest topics in mental health research:

NIMH Science News

The latest news and updates from NIMH-supported research:

Publicizing NIMH research is a communal responsibility. Please help us spread the word about the results of NIMH funding by acknowledging our support of your research, for example, in journal articles (citing your NIMH award by number when possible) and other communications. NIMH has two primary methods of getting the word out: press releases and science updates. All releases and updates are posted to the Science News section of the NIMH Web site. These are also distributed to the public through a mailing list.

If you have a manuscript accepted for publication that describes an especially significant finding, please contact your NIMH Program Official to discuss the possibility of a news release or other forms of dissemination.

Connect with NIMH

Sign up for the latest mental health news, research advances, upcoming events, publications, clinical trials, meeting summaries, and more. In addition to our email newsletters and RSS updates, please also visit NIMH on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, where we highlight Science Updates, Press Releases, and other timely matters.

Inside NIMH is produced by the National Institute of Mental Health. For more information about the Institute, visit our website at https://www.nimh.nih.gov. For comments and suggestions about Inside NIMH, please contact the NIMH Webmaster. The material in this newsletter is not copyrighted, and we encourage its use or reprinting.