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National Institutes of Health

Overview of NIMH’s Research Funding Strategy

NIMH is committed to research training that prepares junior and early-to-midcareer scientists to conduct innovative multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research in areas of program relevance. To accomplish its goal of training future generations of mental health researchers, NIMH has long been a leader among the NIH Institutes in supporting National Research Service Award (NRSA) institutional (T32) and individual pre- (F30, F31) and post- (F32) doctoral training programs and Research Career Development programs (K-awards). In FY2005, NIMH spent roughly 10% of its research budget on training (roughly $125M), twice that of most other Institutes.

Given the lower rate of increase in the research budget compared to recent years, the NIMH has determined that it is important to strike a strategic balance between building the pipeline of potential new investigators and maintaining a viable pay line to support research projects. We will continue to invest significant funds to train investigators in areas highly relevant to the Institute's mission. Over the next few years, however, the NIMH will strategically decrease the percentage of the NIMH budget invested in training from roughly 10% to about 8.6%. If the number of incoming applications remains stable in FY2007, the success rate for institutional training grants (T32) will decrease notably. The success rate for mentored career development awards (K awards) and individual fellowships (F30, F31, F32), however, will remain about the same as in FY2006.

Prospective applicants for NRSA institutional training grants, NRSA individual fellowships, and career development awards are strongly encouraged to contact Program Officers with specific expertise and seek their advice on program priorities, the relevance of their proposed research to the mission of the NIMH, and other issues such as eligibility for a particular mechanism (e.g., F31 predoctoral fellowships or K01 mentored career development awards).