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Transforming the understanding
and treatment of mental illnesses.

2019 Winter Inside NIMH

Inside NIMH Winter 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 (NAMHC), 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. I hope you find this edition interesting and helpful.

I also invite you to check out the NIMH website for regular updates on timely topics, and to follow me on Twitter (@NIMH Director).

Sincerely,

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

Please let us know if you have questions or comments on this edition. If you wish to unsubscribe, subscribe, or change your e-mail address, please contact the NIMH Webmaster or visit the Inside NIMH subscription page.

NIMH Director’s Updates

As we venture into the new year, we focus this edition of Inside NIMH on recent efforts to advance NIMH research priorities, as well as key developments across the NIH. This fiscal year, we are operating under a regular appropriation from Congress, enabling us to chart a clear course to fund research across our portfolio.

NIMH Planning and Priorities

  • Strategic Research Priorities and Strategic Planning: To keep pace with the ever-changing mental health research enterprise, NIMH updated its Strategic Research Priorities (SRPs) in January 2019. The SRPs align with Strategic Objectives in the NIMH Strategic Plan for Research. The SRPs were refreshed to include, among other things, an emphasis on developmental approaches across the Strategic Objectives. In related efforts, NIMH is beginning work to refresh its Strategic Plan for Research, slated for release in 2020.
  • Updates on Aligning NIMH Mission and Structure: As announced in the Autumn 2018 edition of Inside NIMH, the Institute is working to optimize its structure to advance its mission. To this end, the new Office for Disparities Research and Workforce Diversity (ODWD) was developed to coordinate NIMH efforts to reduce mental health disparities and to diversify the mental health research workforce. In addition, the newly-formed Center for Global Mental Health Research (CGMHR) was developed to coordinate the Institute’s efforts to generate knowledge that will improve the lives of people living with mental illnesses in low-resource settings worldwide.
  • Clarifying Priorities in Genomics and Stress Biology
    • Genomics Research: To support the use and uptake of recommendations from the Genomics Workgroup of the National Advisory Mental Health Council (NAMHC), NIMH released specific guidance for grant applicants, outlining factors NIMH considers when assessing human genetics research applications for the study of common genetic variation, rare genetic variation, and genetic syndromes. This guidance also includes answers to frequently asked questions and example case studies.
    • Stress Biology Research: NIMH released a Notice of Information encouraging stress biology research and establishing guidelines and priorities for potential applicants. NIMH encourages efforts that address a set of critical topics: the resilience to susceptibility spectrum; consideration of complex systemic interactions; inclusion of both sexes and consideration of sex differences; methods to speed translation; and, development of translatable biomarkers. Rigorous and realistic animal models of stress will allow for comparisons with human studies and hold promise for identifying targets for intervention.
  • Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) Announcements: On September 27, 2018, the NIMH-led IACC hosted a workshop on 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 IACC also held two full committee meetings; the October 17, 2018 meeting included discussions about unintentional injury and the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, and the January 16, 2019 meeting included presentations on housing, the Department of Defense Autism Care Demonstration project, and wandering and criminal justice issues for people with disabilities.

NIH Policies and Progress

Budget Overview

  • Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Budget: The FY 2018 budget information presented here excludes 21st Century Cures funding. NIMH awarded 589 new and competing research project grants (RPGs) in FY 2018 and achieved an overall success rate of approximately 22 percent (defined as number of RPG applications funded divided by the number of applications received; see Figure 1). In accordance with NIH Next Generation Researchers Initiative (NGRI) efforts, NIMH awarded grants to 81 unique early stage investigators (ESIs) and 361 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 2701 589 22


    Figure 2 shows the number of competing R01 and equivalent applications that were awarded or not awarded across the full percentile scoring range in FY 2018. Data are presented using a method developed by the NIH Office of Extramural Research which shows success by percentile rank. The number of percentiled competing awards was 282 for $161M.


    Figure 2
    NIMH FY 2018 Applications and Awards for Research Project Grants
    Awarded Not Awarded
    1 12 0
    2 10 0
    3 14 0
    4 12 2
    5 8 0
    6 13 2
    7 12 0
    8 8 0
    9 12 0
    10 23 1
    11 10 2
    12 7 3
    13 7 3
    14 15 3
    15 19 1
    16 8 1
    17 9 5
    18 5 5
    19 7 6
    20 8 8
    21 8 8
    22 10 4
    23 5 8
    24 12 9
    25 4 6
    26 5 8
    27 0 5
    28 4 7
    29 3 11
    30 2 9
    31 1 10
    32 1 14
    33 0 12
    34 3 18
    35 0 18
    36 1 9
    37 1 8
    38 0 15
    39 0 7
    40 0 13
    41 0 15
    42 0 14
    43 0 19
    44 0 13
    45 0 12
    46 3 16
    47 0 13
    48 0 25
    49 0 9
    50 0 14
    51 0 8
    52 0 12
    53 0 6
    54 0 1
    61 0 1


    Figure 3 shows the NIMH budget in appropriated (current) versus constant (FY 2000) dollars. Constant dollars are “inflation adjusted” for variations in the purchasing power of the dollar over time. Dollar amounts are adjusted based on the Biomedical Research and Development Price Index (BRDPI). The annual change in BRDPI indicates how much the NIH budget must change to maintain purchasing power similar to FY 2000.


    Figure 3
    NIMH Budget in Appropriated Dollars and Constant 2000 Dollars
    Appropriation Appropriation in 2000 Dollars
    2000 973.146 973.146
    2001 1106.536 1071.187
    2002 1248.093 1169.722
    2003 1341.014 1213.587
    2004 1381.774 1205.736
    2005 1411.933 1185.502
    2006 1403.515 1126.417
    2007 1404.494 1086.229
    2008 1411.968 1042.812
    2009 1450.491 1041.271
    2010 1489.372 1037.167
    2011 1476.2932 999.521
    2012 1480.265001 989.482
    2013 1403.005347 920.607
    2014 1446.172 929.416
    2015 1433.603 902.773
    2016 1548.39 954.030
    2017 1604.658 963.759
    2018 1711.775 1000.839
    2019 1812.796 1031.756
  • Outlook for FY 2019: On September 28, 2018, President Trump signed the Appropriations Act of 2019 (Public Law No. 115-245) providing funds through September 30, 2019. The law provides $1.813 billion to NIMH, representing a 6 percent increase over the FY 2018 appropriation.

NIMH Staff News and Awards

  • Staff News
    • We are sad to announce that Lewis Judd, M.D., former Director of NIMH (1988 – 1992), passed away on December 16, 2018. During his tenure at NIMH, Dr. Judd helped usher in the 1990’s Decade of the Brain, laying the initial groundwork for NIMH-supported biological and genetic research on mental illnesses. Dr. Judd had a tremendous impact on the field of biological psychiatry and will be missed.
  • Staff Awards
    • Joshua Gordon, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, was elected to the National Academy of Medicine. Election to the Academy recognizes outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service and is one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine.  
    • Ellen Leibenluft, M.D., Chief of the Section on Mood Dysregulation and Neuroscience in the NIMH Intramural Research Program (IRP), was elected to the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Leibenluft also received the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) Julius Axelrod Mentorship award. She received this award for her outstanding contribution to the field through mentorship of young scientists who developed into leaders in the field. Dr. Leibenluft is the first female recipient of this award.
    • Barbara Lipska, Ph.D., Director of the Human Brain Collection Core in the NIMH IRP, received the ACNP 2018 Media Award in recognition of major contributions to the education of the public regarding mental illness research and the positive impact of research on treatment.
    • Jane Pearson, Ph.D., Director for Suicide Prevention in the NIMH Division of Services and Intervention Research, received the American Psychological Association Meritorious Research Service Commendation for Leadership. Dr. Pearson was recognized for her accomplishments in advancing psychological science by identifying priorities for funding, designing funding initiatives, supporting project implementation, and facilitating interdisciplinary research in suicide prevention.

Director’s Highlights: NIMH Scientists and Science

Grantee Awards and Updates

NIMH is proud to recognize significant achievements and awards received by our current grantees:

  • 2018 Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health, National Academy of Medicine
    • Kenneth B. Wells, M.D., M.P.H. (University of California, Los Angeles)
  • 2018 Daniel H. Efron Research Award, American College of Neuropharmacology (ACNP)
    • Sergiu Pasca, M.D. (Stanford University)
  • 2018 Joel Elkes Research Award, ACNP
    • Amit Etkin, M.D., Ph.D. (Stanford University)
  • 2018 Dolores Shockley Minority Mentoring Award, ACNP
    • Maria Oquendo, M.D., Ph.D. (University of Pennsylvania)
  • 2018 Media Award, ACNP
    • Jeffrey Lieberman, M.D. (Columbia University)

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 Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Science (DNBBS) is supporting research on microglia-mediated suppression of dopamine responses. Anne Schaefer, M.D., Ph.D. (Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai), discovered that a subpopulation of striatal microglial cells express dopamine D1 receptors and inhibit dopamine signaling. With continued NIMH support, Dr. Schaefer will characterize this subpopulation of microglia that directly sense and respond to dopamine and will assess how dopamine-stimulated microglia signal back to inhibit dopamine neuronal activity. This work is expected to support a novel model of dopamine-mediated control of neuronal activity by regionally selective microglia.
  • Hoarding disorder (HD) is a common, chronic, and debilitating mental illness that disproportionately affects older adults. With support from the NIMH Division of Translational Research (DTR), Carol Matthews, M.D. (University of Florida), Scott Mackin, Ph.D. (University of California, San Francisco), and Jeremiah Scharf, M.D., Ph.D. (Massachusetts General Hospital), will examine the relationships among cognitive functioning, hoarding symptom severity, and disability; assess the genetic risk profile of HD; and, examine medical and psychiatric comorbidities. These researchers will conduct in-person clinical, neuropsychological, and medical frailty assessments with participants recruited from a unique epidemiological resource, the Brain Health Registry. This registry comprises information from more than 50,000 older adults whose psychiatric, neurological, family, and medical history are well-characterized. This research holds promise for shedding light on factors that contribute to the development of HD and may elucidate targets for prevention and treatment.
  • Access to mental health services is a challenge for many individuals, especially those living in poor and/or rural communities. The NIMH Division of Services and Intervention Research (DSIR) is supporting a large-scale study to determine if telehealth approaches to treatment decrease disparities in mental health services use among these disadvantaged populations. Ateev Mehrota, M.D., M.P.H. (Harvard Medical School), seeks to understand how telehealth is currently used in conjunction with in-person care; regional factors associated with the use of telehealth services; the association between telehealth and factors like uptake and quality of care; and, the mechanisms by which telehealth impacts quality of care. Telehealth represents one method to address the Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC) focus on improving access to quality care.
  • HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) offers strong protection from HIV, yet it has been challenging to facilitate uptake and use of PrEP among some groups of individuals that would derive the most benefit. Current PrEP use in the United States is characterized by racial/ethnic, urban/rural, and regional disparities, with the greatest unmet need in the Deep South. To address these challenges and improve access to PrEP, the NIMH Division of AIDS Research (DAR) is supporting research led by Larry Brown, M.D. (Rhode Island Hospital), and Leandro Mena, M.D., M.P.H. (University of Mississippi Medical Center), who plan to develop a telehealth approach that enables community-based-organizations (CBOs) to deliver PrEP in rural areas of Mississippi. This approach would allow CBOs to conduct remote clinical consultations with a physician team and may provide a foundation for expanded PrEP delivery through telehealth-based PrEP programs in many contexts.

Current Funding Opportunities and Announcements

NIH electronically posts the NIH Guide, a listing of all NIH funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) that includes 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 has links to listings of all NIMH FOAs and other resources.

You can subscribe to the NIMH Funding Opportunities ListServ to receive the latest information about NIMH funding opportunities, as well as administrative updates and changes to grant policies and procedures. You can also subscribe to a separate listserv to receive weekly e-mails from the NIH Guide.

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

  • Building in vivo Preclinical Assays of Circuit Engagement for Application in Therapeutic Development
    • Release date: October 30, 2018; Application due date: February 4, 2019
    • R01 announcement (RFA-MH-19-235)
  • Early Screening for Autism Spectrum Disorder
    • Release date: October 25, 2018; Application due date: February 4, 2019
    • R01 announcement (RFA-MH-19-120)
    • R21 announcement (RFA-MH-19-121)
  • BRAIN Initiative: Research on the Ethical Implications of Advancements in Neurotechnology and Brain Science
    • Release date: October 17, 2018; Application due date: February 4, 2019
    • R01 announcement (RFA-MH-19-400)
  • Pilot Effectiveness Trials for Treatment, Preventive and Services Interventions
    • Release date: November 14, 2017; Application due date: February 15, 2019
    • R34 announcement (RFA-MH-18-706)
  • Clinical Trials to Test the Effectiveness of Treatment, Preventive, and Services Interventions
    • Release date: November 14, 2017; Application due date: February 15, 2019
    • Collaborative R01 announcement (RFA-MH-18-700)
    • R01 announcement (RFA-MH-18-701)
  • Confirmatory Efficacy Clinical Trials of Non-Pharmacological Interventions for Mental Disorders
    • Release date: November 14, 2017; Application due date: February 15, 2019
    • R01 announcement (RFA-MH-18-707)
  • Development of Psychosocial Therapeutic and Preventive Interventions for Mental Disorders
    • Release date: November 14, 2017; Application due date: February 15, 2019
    • R33 announcement (RFA-MH-18-705 )
    • R61/R33 announcement (RFA-MH-18-704)
  • Early Stage Testing of Pharmacologic or Device -based Interventions for the Treatment of Mental Health Disorders
    • Release date: November 14, 2017; Application due date: February 15, 2019
    • R33 announcement (RFA-MH-18-703)
    • R61/R33 announcement (RFA-MH-18-702)
  • Revision Application for Implementation Research to Inform and Enhance PEPFAR HIV Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Delivery
    • Release date: December 19, 2018; Application due date: February 18, 2019
    • R01 announcement (RFA-MH-19-425)
  • A Practice-Based Research Network to Transform Mental Health Care: Science, Service Delivery and Sustainability
    • Release date: November 29, 2018; Application due date: February 28, 2019
    • U19 announcement (RFA-MH-19-225)
  • BRAIN Initiative: Integration and Analysis of BRAIN Initiative Data
    • Release date: July 17, 2018; Application due date: March 7, 2019
    • R01 announcement (RFA-MH-19-147)
  • Novel Mechanism Research on Neuropsychiatric Symptoms (NPS) in Alzheimers Dementia
    • Release date: September 18, 2018; Application due date: March 19, 2019
    • R01 announcement (RFA-MH-19-510)
    • R21 announcement (RFA-MH-19-511)
  • Reducing the Duration of Untreated Psychosis in the United States
    • Release date: November 21, 2017; Standard due dates apply; Expiration date: March 20, 2019
    • R01 announcement (PAR-18-233 )
    • R34 announcement (PAR-18-232 )
  • HEAL Initiative: Effectiveness Trials to Optimize, Implement, Scale, and Sustain the Collaborative Care Model for Individuals with Opioid Use Disorders and Mental Health Conditions
    • Release date: December 10, 2018; Application due date: April 1, 2019
    • U01 announcement (RFA-MH-19-525)
  • 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)
    • Release date: February 6, 2018; Application due date: June 20, 2019
    • R01 announcement (RFA-MH-19-130)
  • NIMH Career Enhancement Award to Advance Autism Services for Adults and Transition-Age Youth
    • Release date: July 3, 2018; Application due date: June 21, 2019
    • K18 announcement (RFA-MH-19-100)
    • K18 announcement (RFA-MH-19-101)
  • BRAIN Initiative Fellows: Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship
    • Release date: November 7, 2017; Application due date: August 7, 2019
    • F32 announcement (RFA-MH-18-510 )
  • BRAIN Initiative: Data Archives for the BRAIN Initiative
    • Release date: July 17, 2018; Application due date: September 6, 2019
    • R24 announcement (RFA-MH-19-145)
  • BRAIN Initiative: Standards to Define Experiments Related to the BRAIN Initiative
    • Release date: July 17, 2018; Application due date: September 6, 2019
    • 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
    • Release date: May 3, 2018; Application due date: September 6, 2019
    • R01 announcement (RFA-MH-19-136)
  • 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)
  • BRAIN Initiative: Development of Novel Tools to Probe Cell-Specific and Circuit-Specific Processes in Human and Non-Human Primate Brain
    • Release date: August 2, 2018; Application due date: September 26, 2019
    • UG3/UH3 announcement (RFA-MH-19-135)
  • Computationally-Defined Behaviors in Psychiatry
    • Release date: August 9, 2018; Application due date: November 20, 2019
    • R21 announcement (RFA-MH-19-240)
  • Computational Approaches for Validating Dimensional Constructs of Relevance to Psychopathology
    • Release date: September 26, 2018; Application due date: November 20, 2019
    • R01 announcement (RFA-MH-19-242)
  • First in Human and Early Stage Clinical Trials of Novel Investigational Drugs or Devices for Psychiatric Disorders
    • Release date: December 6, 2017; Standard due dates apply; Expiration Date: January 8, 2021
    • U01 announcement (PAR-18-427)

NIMH-Participating Funding Opportunity Announcements

  • HEAL Initiative: Pain Management Effectiveness Research Network: Clinical Trial Planning and Implementation Cooperative Agreement
    • Release date: December 10, 2018; Application due date: February 1, 2019
    • UG3/UH3 announcement (RFA-NS-19-021)
  • U.S.-China Program for Biomedical Collaborative Research
    • Release date: January 2, 2019; Application due date: February 21, 2019
    • R01 announcement (RFA-CA-19-009)
  • Limited Competition: NeuroImaging Tools and Resources Collaboratory
    • Release date: December 18, 2018; Application due date: February 22, 2019
    • R24 announcement (RFA-EB-18-004)
  • HEAL Initiative: Back Pain Consortium (BACPAC) Research Program: Phase 2 Clinical Trials
    • Release date: December 10, 2018; Application due date: February 26, 2019
    • UG3/UH3 announcement (RFA-AR-19-029)
  • Promoting Research on Music and Health: Fundamentals and Applications
    • Release date: October 30, 2018; Application due date: February 28, 2019
    • R01 announcement (RFA-NS-19-008 )
    • R21 announcement (RFA-NS-19-009 )
  • Promoting Research on Music and Health: Phased Innovation Award for Music Interventions
    • Release date: October 30, 2018; Application due date: February 28, 2019
    • R61/R33 announcement (RFA-AT-19-001)
  • U.S.-Brazil Collaborative Biomedical Research Program
    • Release date: December 10, 2018; Application due date: March 8, 2019
    • R01 announcement (RFA-AI-18-054)
  • Genetic Engineering Technologies for HIV Cure Research
    • Release date: November 29, 2018; Application due date: March 11, 2019
    • U19 announcement (RFA-AI-18-058)
  • HEAL Initiative: Coordinating Center to Support NIDA Preventing Opioid Use Disorder in Older Adolescents and Young Adults (ages 16-30) Initiative
    • Release date: December 10, 2018; Application due date: March 13, 2019
    • U24 announcement (RFA-DA-19-034)
  • HEAL Initiative: Preventing Opioid Use Disorder in Older Adolescents and Young Adults (ages 16-30)
    • Release date: December 10, 2018; Application due date: March 13, 2019
    • UG3/UH3 announcement (RFA-DA-19-035)
  • Single-Cell Multi-Omics of HIV Persistence
    • Release date: November 13, 2018; Application due date: March 13, 2019
    • R01 announcement (RFA-AI-18-053)
  • HEAL Initiative Limited Competition: Behavioral Research to Improve MAT: Ancillary Studies to Enhance Behavioral or Social Interventions to Improve Adherence to Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders
    • Release date: December 10, 2018; Application due date: March 15, 2019
    • R01 announcement (RFA-AT-19-007)
  • NIH Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hub (REACH) Awards
    • Release date: December 17, 2018; Application due date: March 19, 2019
    • U01 announcement (RFA-OD-19-014)
  • HEAL Initiative: Back Pain Consortium (BACPAC) Research Program Data Integration, Algorithm Development and Operations Management Center
    • Release date: December 10, 2018; Application due date: March 20, 2019
    • U24 announcement (RFA-AR-19-027)
  • HEAL Initiative: Back Pain Consortium (BACPAC) Research Program Technology Research Sites
    • Release date: December 10, 2018; Application due date: March 20, 2019
    • UH2/UH3 announcement (RFA-AR-19-028)
  • HEAL Initiative: Back Pain Consortium (BACPAC) Research Program: Mechanistic Research Centers
    • Release date: December 10, 2018; Application due date: March 20, 2019
    • U19 announcement (RFA-AR-19-026)
  • HEAL Initiative: Clinical Devices to Treat Pain
    • Release date: December 10, 2018; Application due date: March 22, 2019
    • UH3 announcement (RFA-NS-19-018)
  • HEAL Initiative: Translational Devices to Treat Pain
    • Release date: December 10, 2018; Application due date: March 22, 2019
    • U44 announcement (RFA-NS-19-017)
  • HEAL Initiative: Translational Devices to Treat Pain
    • Release date: December 10, 2018; Application due date: March 22, 2019
    • UG3/UH3 announcement (RFA-NS-19-016)
  • HEAL Initiative: HEALthy Brain and Child Development Study (HEALthy BCD)
    • Release date: December 21, 2018; Application due date: March 25, 2019
    • R34 announcement (RFA-DA-19-036)
    • Collaborative R34 announcement (RFA-DA-19-029)
  • NIH Blueprint Diversity Specialized Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Advancement in Neuroscience (D-SPAN) Award
    • Release date: October 3, 2018; Application due date: April 15, 2019
    • F99/K00 announcement (RFA-NS-19-011)
  • Predoctoral Training in Advanced Data Analytics for Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (BSSR) - Institutional Research Training Program
    • Release date: October 3, 2018; Application due date: May 25, 2019
    • T32 announcement (RFA-OD-19-011)
  • NIH Blueprint Program for Enhancing Neuroscience Diversity through Undergraduate Research Education Experiences
    • Release date: September 13, 2018; Application due date: February 15, 2019,
    • R25 announcement (RFA-NS-19-007)
  • Technologies for Improving Minority Health and Eliminating Health Disparities
    • Release date: August 1, 2018; Application due date: April 1, 2019
    • R41/R42 announcement (RFA-MD-18-010)
  • BRAIN Initiative: New Technologies and Novel Approaches for Large-Scale Recording and Modulation in the Nervous System
    • Release date: March 14, 2018; Application due date: May 1, 2019
    • R01 announcement (RFA-NS-18-020)
  • BRAIN Initiative: Optimization of Transformative Technologies for Large Scale Recording and Modulation in the Nervous System
    • Release date: March 14, 2018; Application due date: May 1, 2019
    • U01 announcement (RFA-NS-18-019)
  • BRAIN Initiative: New Concepts and Early - Stage Research for Large - Scale Recording and Modulation in the Nervous System
    • Release date: March 2, 2018; Application due date: May 1, 2019
    • R21 announcement (RFA-EY-18-001)
  • BRAIN Initiative: Biology and Biophysics of Neural Stimulation
    • Release date: December 14, 2017; Application due date: June 4, 2019
    • R01 announcement (RFA-NS-18-018)
  • BRAIN Initiative: Exploratory Team-Research BRAIN Circuit Programs - eTeamBCP
    • Release date: May 17, 2018; Application due date: June 10, 2019
    • U01 announcement (RFA-NS-18-029)
  • BRAIN Initiative: Clinical Studies to Advance Next-Generation Invasive Devices for Recording and Modulation in the Human Central Nervous System
    • Release date: December 21, 2017; Application due date: June 21, 2019
    • UH3 announcement (RFA-NS-18-023)
  • BRAIN Initiative: Next-Generation Invasive Devices for Recording and Modulation in the Human Central Nervous System
    • Release date: December 21, 2017; Application due date: June 21, 2019
    • UG3/UH3 announcement (RFA-NS-18-021)
    • U44 announcement (RFA-NS-18-022)
  • BRAIN Initiative: Research Resource Grants for Technology Integration and Dissemination
    • Release date: October 22, 2018; Application due date: June 27, 2019
    • U24 announcement (RFA-NS-19-006)
  • BRAIN Initiative: Targeted BRAIN Circuits Projects- TargetedBCP
    • Release date: April 19, 2018; Application due date: July 3, 2019
    • R01 announcement (RFA-NS-18-030)
  • BRAIN Initiative: Targeted BRAIN Circuits Planning Projects TargetedBCPP
    • 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
    • Release date: October 12, 2017; Application due date: September 3, 2019
    • R01 announcement (RFA-EB-17-005)
  • BRAIN Initiative: Research Opportunities Using Invasive Neural Recording and Stimulating Technologies in the Human Brain
    • Release date: August 28, 2018; Application due date: October 18, 2019
    • U01 announcement (RFA-NS-19-001)
  • BRAIN Initiative: Team-Research BRAIN Circuit Programs - TeamBCP
    • Release date: August 29, 2018; Application due date: October 30, 2019
    • U19 announcement (RFA-NS-19-002)

Future Research Directions

Concept Clearances for Potential New Research Initiatives

This listing of potential future initiatives is meant to provide the earliest possible alert to the field of our research interests and of potential upcoming announcements to solicit that research. While NIMH plans to proceed with these initiatives, their publication and timing are not certain and depend on sufficient funding. The titles and brief descriptions are consistent with the information available at the time of concept clearance. The resultant FOAs may differ from the concepts in the final wording of their titles or other aspects. To send questions about a specific concept, follow the “Submit Comments” link at the bottom of the description.

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

  • NIH Intramural Reddit “Ask Me Anything” on Developing Novel Therapeutics for Depression: On November 13, 2018, the NIMH Intramural Research Program hosted a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” discussion with Carlos Zarate Jr, M.D., Chief of the Experimental Therapeutics and Pathophysiology Branch in the IRP. Dr. Zarate answered questions from the public about current treatments for depression and efforts to develop cutting-edge therapies.
  • Strengthening the Research Workforce of Latina/Hispanic Female Investigators to Address HIV Contextual Factors Affecting Women with HIV: On November 10, 2018, the NIMH Division of AIDS Research (DAR) hosted a learning institute at the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting to address approaches to increasing diversity to strengthen the HIV research workforce. Discussions focused on female investigators from Latina/Hispanic and other underrepresented groups. Topics included mentored research programs, strategies for developing novel mentoring programs, and differences in research academic pathways between minority women and others.
  • Neuroimaging in HIV: Novel Imaging Technologies for Detection of Persistent HIV and Associated Inflammation/Pathology in the Brain: On October 29, 2018, DAR convened a workshop with over 100 clinicians, researchers, and scientists to discuss novel imaging technologies that can be used to detect persistent HIV in the CNS, and to understand mechanisms leading to CNS dysfunction in the antiretroviral therapy era.
  • Alliance for Research Progress Meeting: On October 19, 2018, NIMH convened the twenty-fifth meeting of the Alliance for Research Progress. Alliance participants included representatives from patient and family advocacy organizations, and this meeting provided a forum for attendees to network with colleagues in the advocacy community and to interact directly with the NIMH Director and other senior NIMH staff. Topics included efforts to predict and prevent psychosis in at-risk youth, strategies to sustain treatment effects for attention-deficit hyperactivity/disorder, the role of cognitive neuroscience in alleviating neuropsychiatric symptoms, an evaluation of the Zero Suicide initiative, and general updates from NIMH.
  • Anti-retroviral Therapy (ART)-mediated Mental Health Side Effects Workshop: On September 12, 2018, DAR convened a workshop in Rockville, MD, focused on the neuropsychiatric side effects of ART, and the potential for ART-mediated neurological toxicity when this vital HIV therapy is used across the lifespan. The workshop convened clinical and basic research experts to discuss clinical symptoms, potential risk factors, and the state of the field in understanding the mechanisms of ART-mediated neuropsychiatric side effects.

Electronic Research Administration (eRA) Activities

NIH-Wide Grant News

  • Removal of the Requirement for Institutional Review Board Review of NIH Grant Applications and Contract Proposals Related to Research: Effective January 21, 2019, NIH will no longer require institutional review board (IRB) review of entire grant applications or contract proposals. However, grantees and offerors will be required to certify that an IRB has reviewed and approved all NIH-supported non-exempt human subjects research, and to provide the date of IRB approval (NOT-OD-19-055).
  • NIH Policy for Review and Resubmission of New Investigator R01 Applications Center for Scientific Review: Effective January 25, 2019, new investigator (NI) R01 applications will be reviewed on the same timeline as other applications submitted to the same funding opportunity announcement (FOA) and will be clustered together for review. Summary statements for all NI R01 applications will be prioritized. To the extent possible, they will be released before summary statements for other applications and no later than 30 days before council (NOT-OD-19-053).
  • Notice of Data Sharing Policy for the BRAIN Initiative: On January 22, 2019, NIH published a new BRAIN Initiative data sharing notice to inform prospective applicants and current awardees of a new policy concerning data collected for the BRAIN Initiative. Effective March 1, 2020, all applications to BRAIN Initiative FOAs are required to include a Resource Sharing Plan, and data collected through funded applications must be submitted to one of the BRAIN data archives (NOT-MH-19-010).
  • Harassment and Discrimination Protections in NIH Training Applications: The Letters of Support section of institutional training (T) applications must include a letter on institutional letterhead, signed by a key institutional leader, describing the institute’s commitment to ensuring that proper policies, procedures, and oversight are in place to prevent sexual harassment and other discriminatory practices (NOT-OD-19-029).
  • Changes to the NIH Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA)/R15 Program: As of January 2019, NIH is shifting its approach to the use of the R15 activity code. The current name, AREA, will be reserved for grants to undergraduate-focused institutions that do not receive substantial funding from NIH. NIH now offers Research Enhancement Award Program (REAP) R15 opportunities to support graduate schools of arts and sciences and health professional schools. NIH will no longer issue an ineligibility list, and institutions will verify eligibility upon application submission (NOT-OD-19-015).
  • New Funding Opportunities for Basic Experimental Studies Involving Humans: On November 28, 2018, NIH issued a notice of intent for new funding opportunities for basic experimental studies involving humans. These new opportunities are designed for studies that meet the definition of basic research and are also subject to clinical trials policies based on the NIH definition of a clinical trial. Resources for grantees include frequently asked questions and a table comparing funding opportunity types.
  • Request for Information (RFI): Input on Draft Report from Working Group on Reducing Administrative Burden to Researchers for Animal Care and Use in Research: NIH is seeking input on a draft report and proposed recommendations to reduce the administrative burden associated with research activities with laboratory animals, while maintaining protections and scientific integrity (NOT-OD-19-028).
  • Publication of the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Levels: On November 27, 2018, NIH announced that the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) raised stipend levels and other budgetary categories for undergraduate, predoctoral, and postdoctoral trainees and fellows (NOT-OD-19-036).
  • Notice of Fiscal Policies in Effect for FY 2019: On November 27, 2018, NIH announced that FY 2019 funding levels will generally be issued at the commitment level on notices of award, NRSA stipends will increase by approximately two percent, meritorious Early Stage Investigator R01 equivalent applications will be prioritized, and salary limits are set at Executive Level II (NOT-OD-19-031).
  • Rigor and Transparency Resources for Applicants: NIH continues to provide resources designed to help researchers develop better grant applications. Resources include blog posts, reviewer guidance, and more, all available on the NIH Enhancing Reproducibility through Rigor and Transparency webpage.

Director’s Messages

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

  • Translational Research: From Research Findings to Transformative Treatments (December 20, 2018): Dr. Gordon discusses some of the exciting work presented at this year’s American College of NeuroPharmocology (ACNP) meeting.
  • It Begins with Basic Science (November 30, 2018): Dr. Gordon highlights some of the excellent basic research on display at this year’s Society for Neuroscience (SfN) conference.
  • Confronting Bias to Advance Science (October 18, 2018): Dr. Gordon discusses the presence—and negative impact—of bias in science and how we can take positive steps as individuals and organizations to challenge these assumptions and combat their damaging effects.
  • Moving Stress Research Forward (October 2, 2018): Dr. Gordon discusses how NIMH is trying to move the field of stress research forward, toward the translation of basic findings into clinical advances.

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.

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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.