NIMH Seeking Guidance for Research on Preventing Black Youth Suicide

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has released a request for information (RFI) seeking input from stakeholders on the prevention of suicide among Black children and adolescents. The RFI seeks information on approaches to understanding suicide risk among Black youth, research needed to expand evidence-based prevention programs and services, and input on additional topics that may be relevant to preventing Black youth suicide. This request follows up on the recommendations included in a 2019 report from the Congressional Black Caucus examining ways to address Black youth suicide and mental health. Comments will…

COSSA and NIH Minority Health Institute Discuss COVID-19 Response

On September 23 as a member of the steering committee of the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research, COSSA Executive Director Wendy Naus participated in a webinar (video recording) for Congressional staff featuring a discussion with Dr. Eliseo Perez-Stable, Director of the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The webinar is the first in a series organized by the Ad Hoc Group and the Coalition for Health Funding aimed at raising the visibility of NIH’s individual institutes and centers on Capitol Hill, specifically as their work relates to COVID-19 response….

NIMH Requesting Comments on Improving Mental Health Disparities

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is requesting stakeholder comments to inform potential research seeking to improve mental health outcomes among minority and health disparity populations. The request specifically seeks input on how certain social determinants can affect mental health outcomes, how racial discrimination may affect mental health outcomes, potentially understudied social or behavioral determinants of mental health, ideas or innovations to reduce mental health disparities, promising interventions to treat mental health disparities, tools to properly measure mental health outcomes, and ideas on preventing racial discrimination at the individual, family, or community…

NIMH Announces New Strategic Plan, Approves Concept Clearances

During a public meeting on May 19, the National Advisory Mental Health Council (NAMHC), the advisory body to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH), released a new Strategic Plan for Research for the Institute. The strategic plan outlines NIMH’s research goals and intended priorities for the next five fiscal years, and cites four high-level goals to guide the Institute: Define the Brain Mechanisms Underlying Complex Behaviors Examine Mental Illness Trajectories Across the Lifespan Strive for Prevention and Cures Strengthen the Public Health Impact of NIMH-Supported Research In addition to the strategic plan…

National Institute of Mental Health Requests Information on Draft 2020 Strategic Plan

In December 2019, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) within the National Institutes of Health released a Request for Information (RFI) soliciting public feedback on its draft Strategic Plan for Research. NIMH publishes a strategic plan for research every five years with updates to the Institute’s stated research priorities. The deadline to submit feedback has been extended to January 15, 2020. The draft of the strategic plan and more information can be found on the NIH website. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

National Institute of Mental Health Releases Update of Strategic Research Priorities

On October 12, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) released updates to its Strategic Research Priorities, which provides guidance to potential grant applicants, NIMH grantees, and NIMH staff “for the design and implementation of future research.” The priorities address the four strategic areas outlined in NIMH’s 2015 Strategic Plan for Research. The recently released Strategic Research Priorities highlight the use of common data elements, the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) project, the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, and NIMH’s experimental therapeutics approach. Back to this issue’s table of contents. 

Joshua A. Gordon Named Director of National Institute of Mental Health

On July 28, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins announced the appointment of Joshua A. Gordon as director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Gordon is currently an associate professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center and research psychiatrist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Additionally, he is an associate director of the Columbia University/New York State Psychiatric Institute Adult Psychiatry Residency Program. His lab studies genetic models of psychiatric diseases from “an integrative neuroscience perspective and across multiple levels of analysis, focused on understanding how a given disease mutation leads to a particular…

NIMH Seeks Perspectives on the State of Mental Illness Research

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is inviting “perspectives on the state of mental illness research” and the institute’s role in development of the research. The institute is seeking the input of the extramural community to “develop briefing materials that represent the full diversity of perspectives on mental illness research in preparation for the next NIMH director.” Comments are solicited on such topics as: basic neuroscience, translational, intervention, clinical, and services research; Research Domain criteria initiative (RDoc), global mental health, diversity and training of the workforce; advocacy and outreach efforts; and translational…

NIMH Seeks Input on Tasks and Measures for the RDoC

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking input from stakeholders, the scientific community, and the general public related to its Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) framework. RDoC is defined as a “new way of classifying mental disorders based on dimensions of observable behavior and neurobiological measures.” Specifically, the Institute is seeking input regarding “existing tests with known construct validity, and also general suggestions on the most important criteria to consider when selecting candidate tests.” NIMH’s National Advisory Mental Health Council will convene a workgroup “charged with the task of recommending a list…

Senior Leadership Changes Occurring at NIH

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) have been experiencing a turnover in the leadership over the past month as several long-term directors have decided to retire and/or move on to new endeavors.  In August, Alan Guttmacher, director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), announced his plans to retire at the end of September. The Friends of NICHD paid tribute to Guttmacher on September 15 with a farewell breakfast in recognition of his dedication and leadership in advancing science and improving human health and well-being. COSSA serves on the Friends Executive Committee. As director of one…

NIH: AIDS Research Center/Developmental Research Centers on Mental Health and HIV/AIDS

The Division of AIDS Research (DAR) within the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking applications for Center Core grants to support an HIV/AIDS Research Center (ARC) (PAR-15-197) and applications to support Developmental AIDS Research Centers (D-ARC) (PAR-15-196). ARC supports innovative, interdisciplinary research in the areas of basic research, neuro-AIDS, behavioral and social, integrated biobehavioral, clinical, translational, and implementation science. D-ARC provides infrastructure support that facilitates the development of high impact science in HIV/AIDS and mental health that is relevant to the NIMH mission. NIMH’s intent is to support research that addresses…

NIMH Releases Strategic Plan for Research

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently released its Strategic Plan for Research which will guide the Institute’s research priorities over the next five years, from basic science of the brain and behavior, to public health impact.  This plan updates the objectives of the 2008 strategic plan. Its aim is to balance the need for long-term investments in basic research with urgent medical health needs.

Aging and Mental Health Institutes Seek Comments on Draft Strategic Plans

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are seeking public comment on the development of the Institutes’ strategic plans. The plans will guide the Institutes’ research priorities. National Institute on Aging The NIA recently released a request for information (RFI) seeking guidance on its strategic plan, Aging Well in the 21st Century: Strategic Directions for Research on Aging. The draft plan outlines NIA’s broad strategic directions for the Institute and “provides a point of reference for setting priorities and a framework for systematically analyzing the Institute’s…

NIMH Creates New Unit to Support Its Research Domain Criteria Initiative

On October 31, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) announced the creation of a new unit designed to reframe mental health research by facilitating communication among scientists, clinicians, and the public. The new unit was established to support the development of the institute’s Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) initiative. According to NIMH, RDoC “attempts to bring the power of modern research approaches in genetics, neuroscience, and behavioral problems of mental illness, studied independently from the classification systems by which patients are currently grouped.” The aim is to accelerate the pace of research that translates basic science into clinical settings “by…


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