This FOA comes in R01 and R21 versions, encouraging the submission of innovative research grant applications at the interface between cellular and molecular mechanisms and that address gaps in understanding the biological mechanisms behind putative disease associated processes with the goal of accelerating progress in emerging research areas relevant to complex brain disorders. Applications submitted to this FOA should ask questions that are hypothesis-driven or propose discovery based studies with emphasis on exploring neurobiological mechanisms at the molecular, cellular and circuit levels. This FOA does not support projects aimed at modeling mental disorders or syndromes (i.e. validating models of a mental disorder). Rather, applicants are encouraged to address basic neurobiological questions of potential relevance to domains, processes, or risks for mental illnesses.
Examples of relevant research include, but are not limited to:
- Studies aimed at exploring the molecular, cellular, and circuit-level functions in female and male animals of promising, newly identified or underexplored genetic variants or gene pathways associated with brain disorders.
- Investigations of epigenetic or environmental factors that influence disease-associated molecular, cellular or circuit-level processes.
- Exploratory studies including innovative in vitro approaches to identify new molecules and/or cellular entities and processes critical for neuronal signaling in the context of disorders and/or to identify novel potential treatment targets.
- Optimization and implementation of novel cell-based experimental systems (e.g. induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells) derived from human brain disorders to identify disease-associated alterations in cell processes.
- Studies to identify the functions of molecules linked to disease but for which the basic neurobiology has not yet been established (e.g., the impact of neuroimmune/neuroinflammatory, environmental or neurodevelopmental factors on signaling parameters or cytodifferentiation).
- Development/optimization of new biological tools or scalable technologies for analyzing the expression levels and neurobiological functions of brain signaling molecules relevant to complex brain disorders.
Applications submitted to this FOA should propose work at the cellular/molecular level and address only those basic and translational questions pertaining to disorders appropriate for the mission of NIMH (see: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/about/strategic-planning-reports/nimh-strategic-plan-2008.pdf). Projects with a primary focus on behavioral measures, pharmacology or drug discovery, modeling mental disorder symptoms, human subjects or clinical populations (except for generation of iPS cells) and the neural substrates of neurodegenerative disorders are not appropriate for support under this announcement. The NIMH has high interest in applications that incorporate the longitudinal trajectory of biological changes into the experimental design. In addition, leveraging available new and/or unique resources is strongly encouraged, (e.g. transcriptional atlases of the developing brain, stem cell repositories, mutant mice repositories, etc.). Applicants are strongly advised to consult with institute staff early when developing their projects to ascertain that their proposed study is aligned with NIMH priorities and the FOA purpose.
URL for R01 version: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-14-309.html
URL for R21 version: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-14-310.html
Filed Under: Funding Opportunities