2023 Autumn Inside NIMH
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 invite you to check out the NIMH website for regular updates on timely topics, and to follow me on X (@NIMH Director ).
Joshua A. Gordon, M.D., Ph.D.
Director, National Institute of Mental Health
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NIMH staff have been busy this summer, hosting meetings and workshops and preparing to celebrate the institute’s 75th anniversary. In this edition of Inside NIMH, we share NIMH-supported funding opportunities, as well as key developments across NIH-wide initiatives.
News to Know
- NIMH Begins its 75th Anniversary Celebrations: Over the next year, NIMH will celebrate 75 years of transforming the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses. The commemoration kicks off on September 13, 2023, with an event on The Evolution of Mental Health Research. This symposium—the first of several planned events—offers a unique opportunity to gain insights from distinguished thought leaders and learn about the exciting discoveries and therapeutics shaping the future of mental health research. Subscribe to email updates and follow NIMH on social media to stay up to date about NIMH’s 75th Anniversary.
- Advancing Precision Medicine in Psychiatry: Effective treatments for mental illnesses exist, yet tailoring treatments for individuals is often a trial-and-error process that can lead to unacceptable delays in receiving effective treatment. To address this pressing challenge, NIMH launched the Precision Psychiatry Initiative, an ambitious research program that will address two parallel areas of need: precision diagnostics and biomarker development. The Individually Measured Phenotypes to Advance Computational Translation in Mental Health (IMPACT-MH) initiative plans to support research that tests new ways of adding data, such as performance on computerized behavioral tasks or information about activity levels, to traditional clinical information in ways that could help mental health providers and their patients make informed decisions about future treatment options (RFA-MH-23-105 , RFA-MH-23-106 ). To support biomarker development, NIMH launched a funding opportunity to create an “innovation pipeline” to develop accurate, fast, easy-to-use, and accessible biomarkers/tools integrating individual pre-treatment measures to predict response among multiple existing treatments for depression (RFA-MH-24-120 ). Together, these efforts offer promise for paving the way to personalized, more effective interventions to treat mental illnesses.
- NIMH Announces its Third James Jackson Memorial Award: On July 23, 2023, NIMH named Lisa Bowleg, Ph.D., M.A., the 2023 James Jackson Memorial Award recipient. She is a professor of applied social psychology in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at The George Washington University and co-director of the Social and Behavioral Sciences Core of the District of Columbia Center for AIDS Research. She is also the founder and president of the Intersectionality Training Institute. Dr. Bowleg’s work focuses on social-structural and behavioral factors that impact the mental and physical health of Black men in the United States at diverse intersections of socioeconomic status and sexuality. Dr. Bowleg will present her research at an NIMH virtual webinar on October 25, 2023. In 2021, NIMH launched the James Jackson Memorial Award, named in honor of the late Dr. James Jackson, a renowned social psychologist and member of the NAMHC. Dr. Jackson’s research on race, ethnicity, racism, health, and mental health had far-reaching impacts on the fields of disparities research and minority mental health.
- Outreach Spotlight: Over the last few months, NIMH shared resources and hosted events supporting several mental health observances. For Clinical Trials Awareness Day on May 20, 2023, NIMH promoted its updated webpage on clinical trials information for participants. In recognition of National Men’s Health Week from June 12–19, 2023, NIMH shared resources on the signs and symptoms of depression in men , as well as how to support men experiencing depression . In June, NIMH also observed National Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month by promoting its digital sharables and an updated brochure on PTSD. For the institute's back to school campaign in August, NIMH promoted its digital toolkit to support the mental health of students, parents, and teachers. In recognition of National Suicide Prevention Month (September), NIMH promoted its digital toolkit with resources that help others recognize the warning signs for suicide and how to get help.
Updates and Announcements from HHS and NIH
- Social Media and Youth Mental Health: On May 23, 2023, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, M.D., M.B.A., released a Surgeon General’s Advisory on Social Media and Youth Mental Health . The Advisory calls for swift, multi-sector action to maximize the benefits and reduce the risk of harm posed by social media on the mental health of children and adolescents. The Advisory is a part of HHS’ ongoing efforts to support President Joseph Biden’s government-wide strategy to transform mental health care for all Americans.
- National Autism Coordinator Appointed: On May 18, 2023, Susan Daniels, Ph.D., was appointed as the HHS National Autism Coordinator and Director of the Office of National Autism Coordination at NIMH. Dr. Daniels had been serving as the Acting National Autism Coordinator since July 2021. Dr. Daniels will continue to play a vital role in ensuring the implementation of autism research, services, and support activities across federal agencies. These roles will complement Dr. Daniels’ continuing work as the Executive Secretary of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC).
- NIH-Wide Initiatives
- Input Requested on the NIH Mission Statement: NIH has issued a Request for Information inviting feedback on a proposed update to the NIH mission statement . It stems from a report provided by the NIH Advisory Committee to the Director Working Group on Diversity, Subgroup on Individuals with Disabilities , that included the recommendation to update the NIH mission statement, particularly the phrase “reduce […] disability.” NIH is seeking input broadly from staff; researchers at NIH-funded institutions; and members of scientific and professional societies, the clinical practice community, advocacy organizations, and the public. Responses are due November 24, 2023.
- Accelerating Medicines Partnership® Program - Schizophrenia (AMP® SCZ): Managed by the Foundation for NIH (FNIH), the AMP SCZ program is a public-private partnership between NIMH, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Medicines Agency, and multiple public and private organizations that addresses the critical need for more effective treatments for people with schizophrenia and related mental health conditions.
- On June 16, 2023, the AMP SCZ program held its annual meeting . Junior and senior AMP SCZ investigators presented their research and discussed new directions and opportunities for improvements to diagnosis and treatment.
- The program issued a funding opportunity to support clinical trial networks to evaluate biological and clinical outcome measures in individuals at clinical high risk for psychosis and/or schizophrenia in Proof of Principle trials using pharmacological interventions (RFA-MH-24-150 ).
- All of Us Research Program: The All of Us Research Program seeks to collect health data from one million or more individuals in the United States to accelerate research that may improve health. On May 14, 2023, NIH announced a landmark initiative to advance nutrition research, Nutrition for Precision Health (NPH), which is powered by All of Us and seeks to understand if personalized diets can help improve health and prevent chronic diseases. NPH plans to use artificial intelligence (AI)-based approaches to analyze information provided by participants to develop algorithms that predict responses to dietary patterns. The study’s findings may one day allow healthcare providers to offer more customized nutritional guidance to improve overall health, which aligns with increasing scientific interest in precision medicine.
- Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies® (BRAIN) Initiative: The BRAIN Initiative® seeks to revolutionize the understanding of the human brain.
- On July 17–18, 2023, the BRAIN Neuroethics Working Group held a two-day hybrid workshop on Ethics of Sharing Individual Level Human Brain Data Collected in Biomedical Research . Participants explored meaningful ways to categorize human brain data based on potential risks of sharing such data.
- On June 12–13, 2023, NIH hosted the 9th Annual BRAIN Initiative Meeting: Open Science, New Tools . The purpose of this annual meeting is to provide a forum for discussing scientific developments, potential new directions, and areas for collaboration and research coordination. The event included plenary talks, poster sessions, networking opportunities, and attendee-organized symposia. Meeting facilitators presented 30 awards to trainees for their contributions to BRAIN Initiative projects. In addition, winners of the 2023 Show Us Your BRAINs! Photo and Video Contest were announced at the meeting.
- On May 24, 2023, the BRAIN Initiative Multi-Council Working Group (MCWG) held a virtual meeting to discuss the current state of the BRAIN Initiative. The MCWG coordinates efforts across NIH and provides input on the Brain Initiative’s long-term scientific vision.
- NIH Climate Change and Health Initiative: NIMH is proud to be a part of the Executive Committee of the NIH Climate Change and Health Initiative , a cross-cutting NIH-wide effort to reduce health threats from climate change across the lifespan and build health resilience in individuals, communities, and nations around the world. The initiative recently announced it has provided funding to establish four sites as part of the Alliance for Community Engagement on Climate and Health (ACE-CH). ACE-CH will work to promote sustainable strategies that address the impacts of climate change on disproportionately impacted communities, while emphasizing health equity.
- NIH Leadership News
- On July 30, 2023, Jane Simoni, Ph.D. , began her roles as the NIH Associate Director for Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (BSSR) and Director of the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR). Dr. Simoni will lead OBSSR’s efforts to advance and coordinate behavioral and social sciences research at NIH. She succeeds Christine Hunter, Ph.D., who served as OBSSR Acting Director from January 2022 to May 2023, and Wendy Smith, Ph.D., who served as OBSSR Acting Director between May 2023 and July 2023. William Riley, Ph.D. , retired from the roles of NIH Associate Director for BSSR and OBSSR Director in September 2021.
- On August 2, 2023, Jeanne Marrazzo, M.D., M.P.H. , was named Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and is expected to begin her role in Autumn 2023. Her research in discovery and implementation science has focused on the human microbiome, and the pathogenesis and management of sexually transmitted diseases. As NIAID Director, Dr. Marrazzo will oversee NIAID’s budget of $6.3 billion, which supports research to advance the understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases. Hugh Auchincloss, M.D., began serving as Acting Director of NIAID in January 2023 after the retirement of Anthony Fauci, M.D., who served as NIAID Director for 38 years.
- Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) Budget: The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 (Public Law No. 117-328 ) provides funds through September 30, 2023. The law provides $2.3 billion for NIMH, an increase of 5.5% over the FY22 appropriation. NIMH anticipates awarding more than 600 new and competing research project grants (RPGs) in FY23, with an estimated success rate of 23%, as shown in the figure below. In accordance with NIH Next Generation Research Initiative (NGRI) efforts, NIMH anticipates awarding grants to 86 unique early stage investigators (ESIs) and 172 unique at-risk investigators.
- Outlook for FY24: FY24 is likely to begin under a continuing resolution. On March 9, 2023, the White House released its FY24 budget request to Congress. The discretionary request for NIH is $48.6 billion, an increase of $920 million over the FY23 enacted level. The request for NIMH is $2.5 billion, an increase of $200 million over the FY23 enacted level. The request includes $25 million to support research on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health; $20 million to increase research on the impacts of social media on mental health; $50 million to support the Precision Psychiatry Initiative; and $130 million to accelerate the development of better diagnostics, improve treatments, and enhance the precision of mental health care. On July 14, 2023, the House Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) Subcommittee advanced the FY24 LHHS bill, which would provide $2.2 billion for NIMH, a reduction of $139M from FY23 enacted level. On July 27, 2023, the Senate Appropriations Committee advanced the FY24 LHHS bill, which would provide $2.4 billion for NIMH, an increase of $100M above the FY23 enacted level.
NIMH Staff News
- Staff News
- On August 14, 2023, Patricia Areán, Ph.D., joined NIMH as Director of the Division of Services and Intervention Research (DSIR). Dr. Areán has had a distinguished career in psychology and mental health services and interventions research. She has extensive experience in leading and participating in numerous research studies, including clinical efficacy, effectiveness and implementation trials, and projects involving psychiatry, psychology, health disparities, digital mental health, integrated care, and mental health issues in historically underserved communities. Many thanks to Joel Sherrill, Ph.D., who served as Acting DSIR Director between July 2022 to August 2023 while a national search for Director was conducted. Dr. Sherrill has resumed his previous position as DSIR Deputy Director.
- On August 26, 2023, Pim Brouwers, Ph.D., Deputy Director of the NIMH Division of AIDS Research (DAR), retired from federal service. Dr. Brouwers joined NIH’s Intramural Research Program (IRP) in 1980, and NIMH DAR in 2004, where he held various roles during his tenure. Dr. Brouwers was instrumental in program development, management, and training across all priority areas of research in DAR.
- Staff Awards
- Maryland Pao, M.D., Clinical Director of the NIMH IRP, was awarded a HHS Secretary’s Commendation for exceptional service and leadership during the Public Health Emergency phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Director’s Highlights: NIMH Scientists and Science
We are proud to recognize significant achievements and awards received by some of our current grantees.
- Election to the National Academy of Sciences (Academy) is one of the highest honors in the scientific field. In May 2023, the following NIMH grantees were elected to the Academy:
- Moses Chao, Ph.D. (New York University School of Medicine)
- Gordon Fishell, Ph.D. (Harvard Medical School)
- Hongkui Zeng, Ph.D. (Allen Institute for Brain 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 achieve the research goals outlined in the NIMH Strategic Plan for Research.
- Habits are learned behaviors, formed after repeated exposure to paired actions and outcomes. Habits are essential to survival, allowing for the fast, fluid, and automatic execution of actions; however, they can become maladaptive, as is the case in a range of mental disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and addiction. With support from the NIMH Division of Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Science, Talia Lerner, Ph.D. (Northwestern University), plans to use a combination of innovative techniques to characterize the role of the dorsolateral striatum (DLS), a brain region that supports a range of cognitive and motor behaviors, in habit formation. Dr. Lerner will measure cellular and synaptic changes within specific DLS circuits during the transition from learning to habit. Understanding this process could advance the knowledge base for studies that examine how habit formation becomes dysregulated in mental disorders, opening the door for new treatment strategies.
- Roughly one-third of individuals with clinical depression develop treatment-resistant depression, a form of depression that does not improve even after one has tried at least two antidepressant therapies. Noninvasive neurostimulation therapies such as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS)—where magnets are used to stimulate precise areas in the brain—have recently emerged as promising, low-risk interventions for treatment-resistant depression. However, it is unclear why rTMS is successful for some patients but not all. With support from the NIMH Division of Translational Research, Logan Grosenick, Ph.D. (Weill Cornell Medicine), plans to create a neural-network model by pairing brain activity recordings with machine learning approaches to analyze responses to rTMS treatment for depression. Dr. Grosenick aims to better understand the mechanisms underlying the antidepressant effects of rTMS in order to improve the ability to predict one’s response prior to treatment.
- Some adults with autism may experience social anxiety and difficulties with maintaining positive peer relationships, including friendships and romantic relationships. Most existing social skills interventions were created for children with autism, leaving a gap in services tailored for adults. With support from the NIMH Division of Services and Intervention Research, Emily Rothman, Sc.D. (Boston University) and Susan White, Ph.D. (University of Alabama), seek to pilot test Healthy Relationships on the Autism Spectrum (HEARTS), an online-delivered course that teaches participants about topics including distinguishing between healthy and unhealthy relationships, initiating new friendships or romantic relationships, negotiating sexual consent, recognizing boundaries, and ending relationships. The HEARTS curriculum was developed through a community-based participatory process engaging adults with autism and uses a neurodiversity-embracing stance that aims to respect, rather than minimize or eliminate, individuals’ differences. Drs. Rothman and White plan to test the intervention’s acceptability and participant engagement, facilitators’ fidelity to the curriculum, and provider satisfaction. HEARTS strives to be an innovative, effective approach to promote wellness and health for adults with autism.
For more information on these and other grants selected for funding, visit the NIH RePORTER website .
Featured Funding Opportunities and Initiatives
NIH electronically posts in the NIH Guide a listing of all NIH Notices of Funding Opportunities (NOFOs), including program announcements and requests for applications, as well as important notices for the scientific community. Below is a description of some types of NOFOs and Notices, as well as a selection of “Featured Funding Opportunities” in which NIMH participates. The Funding page on the NIMH website also has links to listings of all NIMH NOFOs and other resources. Information about the review process can be found on NIH’s Understand Funding Opportunities webpage .
Program Announcements (PAs) are formal statements about new or ongoing extramural activities or programs. NIH may also make funds available through PARs (PAs with special receipt, referral, and/or review considerations) and PASs (PAs with set-aside funds). These types of NOFOs may serve as a reminder of continuing interest in a research area, describe modifications to an activity or program, and/or invite applications for grant support.
Featured PAs, PARs, or PASs:
- Cellular and Molecular Biology of Complex Brain Disorders (PAR-24-024 , PAR-24-025 )
- Native American Research Centers for Health (NARCH) (PAR-23-166 )
- NIH Neuroscience Development for Advancing the Careers of a Diverse Research Workforce (PAR-23-178 )
- Novel Mechanism Research on Neuropsychiatric Symptoms (NPS) in Alzheimer’s Dementia (PAR-23-207 , PAR-23-208 )
- Advanced Laboratories for Accelerating the Reach and Impact of Treatments for Youth and Adults with Mental Illness (ALACRITY) Research Centers (PAR-24-210 )
- Social Disconnection and Suicide Risk in Late Life (PAR-23-238 , PAR-23-239 )
Notices of Special Interest
Notices of Special Interest (NOSIs) highlight interest in a research area that does not have set-aside funds or special review criteria or review considerations. NOSIs direct applicants to one or more active NOFOs (often parent announcements ) for submission of applications for the initiative described.
- Developmentally Tailored HIV Prevention and Care Research for Adolescents and Young Adults (NOT-MH-23-250 )
- Mental Health Comorbidities in HIV Prevention and Treatment (NOT-MH-23-265 )
- Intersectional Stigma and Discrimination (ISD), or Other Social and Structural Determinants of Health (SSDOH) in HIV Prevention and Treatment (NOT-MH-23-270 )
- Implementation Science to Advance the United States HIV Prevention and Treatment Goals and the Global HIV Prevention and Treatment Targets (NOT-MH-23-275 )
Requests for Applications
Requests for Applications (RFAs) are formal statements that solicit grant or cooperative agreement applications in a well-defined scientific area to accomplish specific program objectives. RFAs often list a single receipt date in the announcement and indicate the amount of funds set aside for the RFA in a given fiscal year. Applications in response to RFAs are reviewed using NOFO-specific peer review criteria, which usually includes review by a Scientific Review Group specially convened by the awarding component that issued the RFA.
- Exploratory Grants for Climate Change and Health Research Center Development (RFA-ES-23-007 )
- Precision Mental Health: Develop Tools to Inform Treatment Selection in Depression (RFA-MH-24-120 )
- Accelerating Medicines Partnership® Schizophrenia (AMP® SCZ): Clinical High Risk for Psychosis Clinical Trial Network (RFA-MH-24-150 )
- Developing Measures to Advance Quality in Mental Health Care Services (RFA-MH-23-265 )
- BRAIN Initiative: Development and Validation of Novel Tools to Probe Cell-Specific and Circuit-Specific Processes in the Brain (RFA-MH-24-280 )
NIH periodically issues Notices to update or clarify policies. For example, NIH uses Notices to solicit information from the extramural community, such as a request for information (RFI). NIH may also release Notices of Intent to Publish (NOITPs) to alert the grantee community of an upcoming NOFO (particularly NOFOs that may require coordination by multiple investigators) or if there will be a shorter than normal time from publication of the NOFO to the first application receipt date (such as with a reissue of an existing NOFO). For the most up-to-date list of NIH and NIMH-issued notices, visit the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts website .
- Guidance on Flexibilities for Conducting Semiannual Program Review (NOT-OD-23-129 )
- Extramural Loan Repayment Program for Health Disparities Research (NOT-OD-23-144 )
- Review Integrity and Bias Awareness Training will be Required for NIH Reviewers Effective May 2024 Council Round (NOT-OD-23-156 )
- NIH Application Instruction Updates – Data Management and Sharing (DMS) Costs (NOT-OD-23-161 )
- Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Approaches to Identifying Preteen Suicide Risk and Protective Factors (NOT-MH-23-335 )
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 .
Future Research Directions
Concept Clearances for Potential New Research Initiatives
This list of concept clearances offers the earliest possible alert to the field of our research interests and potential upcoming funding announcements. 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 Notices of Funding Opportunities may differ from the concepts in the final wording of their titles or other aspects.
- Advancing HIV Testing, Prevention, and Care Through Pharmacists and Pharmacies
- Advancing Learning Health Care Research to Improve Mental Health Services and Outcomes
- Streamlining Mental Health Interventions for Youth Living with HIV in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
- NIMH Intramural Research Program (IRP) Training Opportunities: On August 30, 2023, the NIMH Office of Fellowship Training hosted a virtual information session on training opportunities in the IRP. The session highlighted training programs for undergraduate, graduate, and medical students, as well as postdoctoral fellows. Participants learned about research conducted in IRP laboratories and had the opportunity to network with current NIMH trainees.
- Violence and the HIV Care Continuum: On August 7–8, 2023, the NIMH Division of AIDS Research hosted a meeting to bring together principal investigators who received NIMH support and their community partners to address the role of violence on HIV care and viral suppression. At this meeting, researchers provided updates on study progress and findings and, alongside their community partners, discussed challenges and opportunities for future HIV and violence research.
- NIMH Office for Disparities Research and Workforce Diversity (ODWD) 2023 Webinar Series: The ODWD webinar series provides a forum for program officials, trainees, researchers, policymakers, and clinicians interested in or conducting research on mental health disparities, particularly among women, minoritized populations, and individuals in rural settings.
- On August 2, 2023, ODWD hosted a webinar on “Advancing Mental Health Disparities Research Focused on Bi+ People Through an Intersectional Lens.” Researchers presented data on modifiable targets and mechanisms of action at the individual, family, and systems levels to improve mental health services and inform theory-based interventions that address mental health disparities among bi+ populations (bisexual and other multi-gender attracted (e.g., pansexual, queer; collectively “bi+”) individuals).
- On July 20, 2023, ODWD hosted a webinar on “Creating Equitable and Inclusive Graduate Programs: From Recruitment to Admission to Retention” that focused on building graduate programs that promote equity and inclusivity across the recruitment, admission, and retention of individuals from diverse backgrounds.
- On June 14, 2023, ODWD hosted “Addressing the Risk for Persistent Effects of Trauma in the Mental Health of Women Across the Lifecourse” which highlighted recent scientific advances in translational, social, behavioral, and intervention research aiming to better understand the influences of sex and gender on mental health outcomes in women.
- NIMH Center for Global Mental Health Research (CGMHR) Webinar Series: Throughout 2022 and 2023, CGMHR has offered a series of webinars to increase researchers’ knowledge about NIH structure and grant processes and enhance global mental health research capacity. On July 26, 2023, CGMHR hosted a webinar on “Human Subjects Protection, Data and Safety Monitoring, and Operational Considerations in NIMH-Funded Clinical Research.” NIMH staff reviewed key factors for grant applicants to consider when developing plans related to protecting human subjects, as well as data safety and monitoring in NIMH-supported clinical research studies.
- Pharmacy-Centered HIV Research: On June 28–29, 2023, NIMH, along with the NIH Office of AIDS Research and in partnership with seven other NIH institutes, hosted a virtual meeting to discuss research opportunities in how pharmacies are used to provide HIV testing, prevention, and care. Researchers, pharmacists, community members, and representatives from federal agencies convened to discuss the current landscape of pharmacies involved in HIV prevention and care, as well as opportunities to build models for effective pharmacy-based delivery and support of HIV-related services.
- Your Role in Winning Hearts and Minds for Research: On June 22, 2023, the NIMH Division of Extramural Activities invited Mary Woolley, President and Chief Executive Office of Research!America, to participate in a virtual fireside chat as part of the NIMH Director’s Innovation Speaker Series. Ms. Woolley and Dr. Gordon discussed the importance of scientists engaging with the public and others outside their institutions to ensure the United States has a strong and thriving health and medical research system. They discussed Ms. Woolley’s history and experience as an advocate for research, a recent survey of Americans’ opinions on brain health, the history of bipartisan consensus on medical research, and the importance of—and strategies for—public engagement with scientists.
- Mental Health Equity and the Power of Self-Care: On June 1, 2023, in recognition of Juneteenth National Independence Day (June 19, 2023), the NIH Eight Changes for Racial Equity (8CRE) and NIMH co-hosted a webinar on mental health equity. Dr. Gordon and NIMH clinical psychologist Krystal Lewis, Ph.D., discussed inequities in risk and care for mental illnesses and the impact and intersection of trauma and racism. They also discussed how to identify and address mental health concerns for oneself and loved ones.
Electronic Research Administration (eRA) Activities
Electronic Grant Application Submission News
- Updated Policy Guidance for Subaward/Consortium Written Agreements: NIH issued updated guidance, effective October 1, 2023, regarding the requirements for consortium/subaward agreements on NIH-funded grants. It includes a new provision requiring foreign subrecipients to provide copies of all lab notebooks, all data, and all documentation that supports the research outcomes as described in the progress report (NOT-OD-23-133 ).
- Policy Changes to the Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR) Pre- and Post-Award Requirements: NIH has implemented additional disclosure requirements and post-award reporting requirements for SBIR/STTR programs (NOT-OD-23-139 ). This policy applies to all competing applications due dates on or after September 5, 2023.
- Reminder: Revised Post-Submission Material Policy: In response to the end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency on May 11, 2023, NIH has revised its special exception for post-submission material (NOT-OD-23-106 ). For applications submitted for the May 25, 2023 receipt date and beyond, NIH, the Agency for Health Research and Quality, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health will accept a one-page update with preliminary data as post-submission material for Type 1 R01, R21, or R03 applications, including resubmissions, if the funding announcement used for submission allows preliminary data in the application. Because applications for emergency competitive revisions and urgent competitive revisions undergo expedited review, post-submission materials will not be accepted for those applications.
NIH-wide Grant News
- Maintaining Integrity in NIH Peer Review: On June 23, 2023, NIH clarified that it prohibits NIH scientific peer reviewers from using natural language processors, large language models, or other generative artificial intelligence (AI) technologies for analyzing and formulating peer review critiques for grant applications and contract proposals (NOT-OD-23-149 ). Such actions violate NIH’s peer review confidentiality requirements. NIH is revising its Security, Confidentiality, and Non-Disclosure Agreements for Peer Reviewers to clarify this prohibition.
- NIH Policies for National Research Service Awards (NRSA) Stipends, Compensation, and Other Income: NIH reminds the extramural community of the policies surrounding stipends, compensation, and other income for trainees and fellows supported under NRSA grants, and notes that stipends are independent of salaried employment or employment benefits (NOT-OD-23-111 ).
For more information on all of these updates, please see the NIH eRA News 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 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:
- Diversity Supplement Professional Development and Networking Workshop: On August 29–30, 2023, NIH hosted 584 Diversity Supplement Program scholars at the NIH Diversity Supplement Professional Development and Networking Workshop . The Diversity Supplement Program provides administrative supplements to help increase the numbers of underrepresented scientists in biomedical and behavioral research. During the two-day workshop, scholars participated in networking sessions, interacted with NIH staff, engaged in professional and career development activities, received information on the NIH grant application and review process, and learned about the transition to independent grant support.
NIMH’s Director’s Messages provide insights into the latest topics in mental health research:
- Celebrating NIMH’s 75 Years (August 30, 2023): Dr. Gordon spotlighted NIMH’s 75th Anniversary and opportunities to celebrate and reflect on the impacts of NIMH-supported research throughout the coming year.
- Supporting the Mental Health Needs of Hispanic and Latino Youth (July 10, 2023): This Minority Mental Health Month, Dr. Gordon highlighted NIMH efforts to understand and support the diverse mental health needs of Hispanic and Latino youth.
- Mental Health Equity (June 19, 2023): On Juneteenth, Dr. Gordon reflected on the persistent mental health disparities experienced by Black Americans and highlighted what NIMH is doing to try to reach the goal of true mental health equity.
Here is the latest news about NIMH-supported research:
- Dr. Patricia A. Areán Named New Director of NIMH’s Division of Services and Intervention Research (August 14, 2023)
- Dr. Lisa Bowleg Named James S. Jackson Memorial Award Winner (July 28, 2023)
- Blocking HIV Enzyme Reduces Infectivity and Slows Viral Rebound (July 26, 2023)
- Youth Emergency Department Visits for Mental Health Increased During Pandemic (July 19, 2023)
- Researchers Solve the Puzzle of a Brain Receptor’s Activation (June 20, 2023)
- Mothers' Difficult Childhoods Impact Their Children’s Mental Health (June 16, 2023)
- Newly Discovered Brain Connection Affects Reward Behavior in Mice (June 14, 2023)
- Researchers Find Order in the Language of the Brain (June 5, 2023)
- Youth Suicide Rates Increased During the COVID-19 Pandemic (May 22, 2023)
- NIMH’s Dr. Susan Daniels Designated National Autism Coordinator (May 18, 2023)
The NIMH Press Team wants to share the latest mental health research with the public. If you are working on NIMH-funded research that has been submitted to a journal for publication, please tell us about it. We might be able to help spread the word about your findings. Also, it is important to acknowledge NIMH's support of your research by citing your NIMH award in journal articles and other communications.
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