To keep pace with the rapidly changing mental health research landscape, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) recently released its second annual update of the Strategic Research Priorities. These priorities serve as guidance to NIMH grantees, potential grant applicants, and staff for the design and implementation of future research.
Developed and reviewed by NIMH subject matter experts and thought leaders, these updates are designed to ensure that the NIMH’s priorities continue to advance research across the Institute’s four Strategic Objectives outlined in its 2015 Strategic Plan for Research, reflect the current state of the science, address gaps in research areas, and promote scientific discovery and service delivery.
The Strategic Research Priorities continue to emphasize the importance of research approaches that enhance rigor and reproducibility, include sex as a biological variable, consider prevention through early intervention, aim to reduce mental health disparities, and maintain a global perspective on mental health across the priority areas.
The Strategic Research Priorities also continue to highlight NIMH’s ongoing commitment to data sharing and the use of common data elements. The updated Strategic Research Priorities encourage work using computational approaches that may provide novel ways to understand relationships among data in complex, integrative datasets to further our understanding of the underlying pathophysiology of mental illnesses. As new tools emerge from the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, NIMH expects these tools to advance the understanding of the development, maintenance, and recovery from mental illnesses.
NIMH updates its Strategic Research Priorities on an annual basis to provide timely guidance to investigators and promote rapid acceleration of scientific discovery.