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Content provided by the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
93.242 Mental Health Research Grants




Public Health Service Act, Title III, Section 301, Public Law 78-410, 42 U.S.C. 241, as amended; Small Business Research and Development Enhancement Act of 1992, Public Law 102-564.
OBJECTIVES: Click here for help!
To increase knowledge of basic biological and behavioral processes that underlie mental and behavioral disorders and of processes that contribute to maintaining mental health; to improve methodologies for research relevant to these disorders; and to conduct research on mental health services. Research supported by the National Institute of Mental Health may employ theoretical, laboratory, clinical, methodological and field studies. Studies may involve individuals with a mental disorder diagnosis, individuals with symptom levels that do not meet diagnostic thresholds, and healthy individuals of all ages. Research also may involve animal, computational and mathematical models appropriate to the system being investigated and the state of the field. Areas eligible for research support are: neurosciences, including molecular genetics; behavioral sciences; epidemiology; clinical assessment; etiological studies; treatment; prevention; services research; and research on HIV/AIDS behavior. The Minority Research Infrastructure Support Program provides awards to increase the capacity of institutions with a substantial enrollment of racial ethnic minority students to conduct mental health research projects. The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program provide awards to increase small business participation in Federal research and development by means of increasing cooperative research and development between small businesses and research institutions (SBIR); and encouraging participation of socially and economically disadvantaged small business concerns and women-owned small business concerns in technological innovation (STTR).


Project Grants.
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(1) Research project grants provide support for clearly defined projects or a small group of related research activities, and when appropriate, support of research conferences; (2) Program Project and Center grants support large-scale, broad-based programs of research, usually interdisciplinary consisting of several projects with a common focus; (3) Research Resources Development, Research Demonstrations, special Research Exploratory projects, and Dissertation Support; and (4) Small grants support small-scale exploratory and pilot studies or exploration of an unusual research opportunity. Standard small grants are limited to $50,000 direct costs for a period of 2 years or less, while newer small grants are for less time and funds. SBIR and STTR grants are awarded in two stages: Phase I grants are awarded to establish the technical merit and feasibility of a proposed research and development effort; only Phase I awardees are eligible to receive Phase II support.


Applicant Eligibility:   Public, private, profit, or nonprofit agencies (including State and local government agencies), eligible Federal agencies, universities, colleges, hospitals, and academic or research institutions may apply for research grants. SBIR grants can be awarded only to domestic small businesses, and STTR grants can be awarded only to domestic small businesses which "partner" with a research institution in cooperative research and development. For further definitions, requirements, and restrictions see the Omnibus Solicitation of the Public Health Service for Small Business Innovation Research Grant Applications (PHS 97-2) and the Omnibus Solicitation of the National Institutes of Health for Small Business Technology Transfer Grant Applications (PHS 97-3).

Beneficiary Eligibility:   Public, private, profit or nonprofit organizations.

Credentials/Documentation:   Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87 for State and local governments. For-profit organizations' costs will be determined in accordance with 48 CFR, Subpart 31.2 of the Federal Acquisition Regulations. For all other grantees, costs will be determined in accordance with HHS Regulations 45 CFR, Part 74, Subpart Q. For SBIR and STTR grants, applicant organization (small business concern) must present in a research plan an idea that has potential for commercialization and furnish evidence that scientific competence, experimental methods, facilities, equipment, and funds requested are appropriate to carry out the plan. Grant forms PHS 6246-1 and 6246-2 are used to apply for SBIR Phase I and Phase II awards, respectively; grant forms PHS 6246-3 and PHS 6246-4 are used to apply for STTR Phase I and Phase II awards, respectively.

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Pre-application Coordination:   Not applicable. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.

Application Procedure:   Applications must be prepared using the PHS 398 research grant application instructions and forms (Revised May 2001). The PHS 398 is available at http://grants/ in an interactive format. For futher assistance contact GrantsInfo, Telephone (301) 435-0714, Email: Applications for SBIR and STTR grants may be obtained through the NIH's "Small Business Funding Opportunities" homepage at Consultation on a proposed project may be obtained from the NIMH branch or office responsible for the research area of interest. Applications are reviewed by principally nonfederal consultants recruited nationwide from the mental health field. The amounts of the award and period of support are determined on the basis of merit of the project and the nature of the grant mechanism. Completed applications should be submitted to the National Institutes of Health, Center for Scientific Review, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 1040 - MSC 7710, Bethesda, MD 20892-7710 or Bethesda, MD 20817 (for express/courier service). This program is subject to the provisions of 45 CFR, Part 92 for State and local governments, OMB Circular No. A-110 for nonprofit organizations, cost principles of A-21 for educational institutions, and 42 CFR, Part 42.

Award Procedure:   All applications for research grants, cooperative agreements, SBIR and STTR grants are evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate scientific peer review panel and by the National Advisory Mental Health Council (excepting Small Grants). All competitive applications compete for available funds on the basis of scientific and technical merit, program relevance, and program balance. All SBIR and STTR applications receiving a priority score compete for set-aside funds on the basis of scientific and technical merit and commercial potential of the proposed research, program relevance, and program balance among the areas of research.

Deadlines:   New Grants: February 1, June 1, and October 1. Renewals: March 1, July 1, and November 1. AIDS Grants: January 2, May 1, and September 1. SBIR and STTR: April 1, August 1, and December 1. Minority Research Infrastructure Program: June 1. Dissertation Research Grants: April 10, August 10, December 10.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time:   Grants: From 240 to 270 days from submission of application. SBIR/STTR applications: About 7-1/2 months; Mental Health Education Programs and Various/Small Grants: From 5 to 6 months. Review of AIDS-related research is expedited.

Appeals:   A principal investigator (P.I.) may question the substantive or procedural aspects of the review of his/her application by communicating with the staff of the Institute. A description of the NIH Peer Review Appeal procedures is available on the NIH homepage

Renewals:   Support is recommended for a specified project period, not in excess of 5 years. Prior to termination of a project period, the grantee may apply for renewal of support for a new project period. An application for renewal is processed as a new competing request. Small grants are for 1-2 years (depending on program) and are not renewable.


Formula and Matching Requirements:   This program has no statutory formula or matching requirements.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance:   Varies, but a project period is generally limited to 5 years or less. Grantee may apply for renewal of support on a competing basis. Within the project period, continuation applications must be submitted on a non-competing basis for each year of approved support. Small Grant support is limited to 1-2 years and is not renewable. SBIR Phase I awards are generally for 6 months; Phase II awards are for 2 years. STTR Phase I awards are generally for 1 year; Phase II awards normally are for 2 years. Payments will be made either on a Monthly Cash Request System or under an Electronic Transfer System. Necessary instructions for the appropriate type of payment will be issued shortly after an award is made.


Reports:   Reports must be submitted as follows: (1) Interim progress reports annually as part of a non-competing application for previously recommended support; (2) terminal progress report within 90 days after end of project support; (3) annual financial status report within 90 days after termination of annual grant for some programs. In addition, immediate and full reporting of any inventions is required.

Audits:   In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A- 133 (Revised, June 24, 1997), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $300,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $300,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133. In addition, grants and cooperative agreements are subject to inspection and audits by DHHS and other Federal officials.

Records:   Records must be retained at least 3 years; records shall be retained beyond the 3-year period if audit findings have not been resolved.


Account Identification:   75-0892-0-1-552.

Obligations:   (Grants) FY 01 $762,155,000; FY 02 est $855,699,000; and FY 03 est $932,273,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance:  
$1 to $9,428,183; $433,165.

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In fiscal year 2001, NIMH made 88 SBIR/STTR awards totaling $22,879,000; no instrumentation awards were made in fiscal year 2001. NIMH funded 2,228 grants in fiscal year 2001, and an estimated 2,407 grants will be funded in fiscal year 2002. An estimated 2,524 grants will be funded in fiscal year 2003.


42 CFR 52. NIH Grant Policy Statement (Revised March 2001). Grants will be available under the authority if and administered in accordance with the PHS Grants Policy Statement and federal regulations at 42 CFR 52 and 42 U.S.C. 241; Omnibus Solicitation of the Public Health Service for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Applications; and Omnibus Solicitation of the National Institutes of Health for Small Business Technology Transfer Grant Applications.


Regional or Local Office:   Not applicable.

Headquarters Office:   Jean Noronha, Ph.D. 6001 Executive Blvd, Rockville, Maryland 20892-9609 Email: Phone: (301) 443-3367 Fax: (301) 443-4720

Web Site Address:


(1) Basic and clinical neuroscience approaches to normal and disordered behavior; Genetic studies of depressive disorders; (2) prospective study of children of schizophrenic parents; (3) neural bases of major psychiatric disorders; (4) genomic control of CNS development; (5) Psychosocial interventions in senile dementia; (6) legal impact on mental health practice; (7) processes in learning and behavioral change; (8) prevention of high-risk AIDS behavior; and (9) antibodies to rationally modulate specific neurotransmitter receptors.


The following consideration will be used in determining projects to be funded: (1) Scientific and technical merit; (2) the feasibility of the research; and (3) mental health implications and relevance to NIMH priorities and public health. SBIR and STTR grant applications are also evaluated for technological innovativeness and the potential for commercial application.

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