Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Administrative Supplements for NIMH Grants to Inform the Assessment of Suicide Thoughts and Behaviors among Children and Preteens
Notice Number:
NOT-MH-22-085

Key Dates

Release Date:

February 8, 2022

First Available Due Date:
February 09, 2022
Expiration Date:
April 04, 2022 as per issue of NOT-MH-22-196

Related Announcements

PA-20-272 - Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Parent Admin Supp Clinical Trial Optional)

Reissued as NOT-NH-22-195 : Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Administrative Supplements for NIMH Grants to Inform the Assessment of Suicide Thoughts and Behaviors among Children and Preteens

Issued by

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)

Purpose

Background

As of 2019, suicide was the fifth leading cause of death for children ages 5-12. While still relatively rare, the death of a child by suicide is a devastating event and can have long-lasting effects on families, schools, medical providers, and communities. In addition, suicide rates for children have been increasing over time, especially for some subgroups such as Black youth. Despite these concerning trends, little is known about how to assess the presence and severity of STB among younger children. In the FY2022 House Appropriations Report (H. Rept. 117-96), Congress encouraged NIMH to continue to prioritize suicide research in Fiscal Year 2022. In 2021 NIMH convened a four-part virtual research roundtable series, “Risk, Resilience, & Trajectories in Preteen Suicide.” Three topical roundtables culminated in a synthesis meeting and brought together a diverse group of expert panelists to assess the state of the science and short- and longer-term research priorities related to child/preteen suicide risk and risk trajectories. Presentations and discussions among round table participants highlighted the importance of using developmentally and culturally sensitive suicide risk assessment approaches and suggested that the measures and methods used to assess STB in adolescents and adults need to be reconsidered and adapted for this younger population.

Research Objectives

The purpose of this Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) is to encourage research focused on informing or refining developmentally and culturally sensitive approaches for assessing suicide thoughts and behaviors (STB) among children and preteens (defined here as 12-years-old and younger). Supplement applications are encouraged from currently funded projects with infrastructure that can be readily leveraged to inform the development or refinement of developmentally and culturally sensitive approaches for assessing suicide thoughts and behaviors (STB) among children and preteens.

Examples of projects that might be candidates for supplement activities include:

  • Studies that are focused on risk for, etiology/course of, or interventions for psychopathology among children/preteens
  • Projects that focus on the assessment and phenomenology of suicidal thoughts and behavior among adolescent-aged youth, where investigator expertise and assessment protocols could be leveraged and extended to develop and refine developmentally appropriate approaches for assessment with younger children

The application should define and justify the age focus and sampling strategy of the proposed research in terms of the level of suicide risk and research question (e.g., characterizing youths’ understanding of the permanence of death, operationalizing the frequency/intensity/duration of ideation, characterizing potentially suicidal behavior). Applications that consider issues relevant to the assessment of diverse youth are encouraged including those focused on the acceptability and cultural relevance of the strategies for assessment among youth from minoritized backgrounds.

Given the importance of considering youths’ developmental status (e.g., cognitive functioning as it relates to their understanding of death and participation in the assessment) and the importance of assessing youths’ internal states, applicants are encouraged to bring together teams with strong expertise in developmental science and propose projects that directly assess respondents’ comprehension of interview/survey items and the developmental appropriateness of potential assessment approaches. Investigator teams are also expected to include expertise in suicide risk assessment and conceptualization and expertise in measure development and psychometrics, as appropriate. Applicants may choose to utilize mixed method approaches (e.g., cognitive interviewing approaches to assess the young respondents’ comprehension of proposed questionnaire/interview items). In these instances, applicants should specify how the proposed methods are consistent with established standards of rigor for quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis. Examples of responsive administrative supplement applications include but are not limited to projects that:

  • Systematically explore youths’ understanding of death and the permanence of death
  • Develop and refine developmentally appropriate strategies for identifying and quantifying suicidal ideation among younger children (e.g., frequency, intensity, duration, stability/instability of ideation)
  • Explore the relevance of various parameters of STB that are central to the assessment and conceptualization of STB among adults and older youth (e.g., intent to die, lethality of means)
  • Examine how developmental capacity impacts comprehension of assessment approaches, including youths’ understanding of language that is used to assess STB among adults and older children, and the young respondent’s participation in the assessment protocols
  • Explore approaches to integrating information from various sources, including parent-report and approaches that are less reliant on language comprehension
  • Pilot test approaches for validating candidate measures of STB (e.g., against in-depth clinical interview)
  • Leverage assessments included in the parent project protocol (e.g., measures of cognitive ability, self-regulation) to inform, augment, or preliminarily validate approaches to assessing and characterizing STB
  • Explore perceived feasibility, acceptability, and safety of approaches for assessing STB among parents and children/preteens, particularly those from minoritized backgrounds and/or sexual and gender minority youth
  • Examine how respondent (parent, child, other caregivers, educator) characteristics and/or factors related to the assessment setting and context may influence responses and assessment outcomes

Applications should clearly address the following:

  • Progress in the parent grant project, to date, including participant enrollment and retention
  • The anticipated number of data points that can be captured with the proposed supplemental assessments
  • Plans for how the newly collected data will be analyzed
  • The potential impact of supplement assessments on families’ participation in the parent project (e.g., potential participant burden); the potential impact of the supplement activities on the parent study results and interpretation, as relevant
  • The investigative team’s relevant expertise in measurement development and validation
  • The rationale for the selection of suicide-related constructs and corresponding assessment instruments (e.g., measures of ideation, attempts), the time periods assessed (e.g., lifetime history, current), and the assessment schedule for administration
  • Opportunities for later follow-up of suicide events through self-report and/or medical records/vital statistics data sources (i.e., follow-up measures of ideation, attempts, deaths, crisis-related services such as emergency care) and the need for informed consent, as appropriate
  • Provisions for clinical management when suicidal risk or behavior is reported, as appropriate.

Areas that are lower priority for this NOSI include:

  • Purely qualitative studies that do not incorporative a quantitative or mixed methods approach.
  • Studies seeking to understand suicide risk and protective factors, rather than focusing on developmentally and culturally appropriate approaches to the assessment of STB.

National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
The mission of NIMHD is to lead scientific research to improve minority health and reduce health disparities. Populations that experience health disparities include African Americans/Blacks, Hispanic/Latinos, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asians, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific islanders, socioeconomically disadvantaged populations, underserved rural populations, and sexual and gender minority (SGM) populations. In the context of this NOSI, NIMHD is especially interested in the innovative application of community-engaged approaches and utilization of the NIMHD Research Framework to examine and assess suicide and STB among African American/Black children, American Indian and Alaska Native children, SGM children, and children of mixed race/ethnicity across multiple levels of influence (i.e., individual, community, societal).

Examples of potential topic areas include but are not limited to:

  • Studies that build upon community-based partnerships to develop, inform, enhance, or validate existing approaches to assess and characterize STB among racial and ethnic minoritized children and those who are at intersection with other health disparity population membership In addition to racial/ethnic minorities NIH-designated populations that experience health disparities include sexual and gender minority populations, socioeconomically disadvantaged populations, and underserved rural populations.
  • Studies that explore how the use of Health Information Technology tools (e.g., Clinical decision support/CDS within electronic health records/EHRs, automated algorithms, machine learning, telehealth) may be used to impact STB assessment responses and assessment outcomes among populations that experience disparities.

Note that relevent new research project grant applications utilizing the R21 Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant mechanism are encouraged through NOT-MH-22-086.

Application and Submission Information

Applications for this initiative must be submitted using the following opportunity or its subsequent reissued equivalent.

  • PA-20-272 - Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Parent Admin Supp Clinical Trial Optional)

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and PA-20-272 must be followed, with the following additions:

  • Application Due Date(s) – NIMH will accept and review administrative supplement applications in response to this announcement on a continuous basis until April 1, 2022, by 5:00 PM local time of the applicant organization. All supplement applications must be received by April 1, 2022 and any applications submitted after that date will not be accepted.
  • For funding consideration, applicants must include “NOT-MH-22-085” (without quotation marks) in the Agency Routing Identifier field (box 4B) of the SF424 R&R form. Applications without this information in box 4B will not be considered for this initiative.
  • Requests may be for one year of support only.
  • The parent award must be active and have sufficient time remaining when the supplement application is submitted (e.g., within the originally reviewed and approved project period). Awards in a no-cost extension (NCE) are not eligible.
  • The proposed project must be within the scope of the parent award. Applicants are encouraged to discuss the project scope with their program officer prior to submission.
  • The Research Strategy section of the application is limited to 6 pages.
  • The process for Streamlined Submissions using the eRA Commons cannot be used for this initiative.
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to notify the program contact at the Institute supporting the parent award that a request has been submitted in response to this FOA in order to facilitate efficient processing of the request.

Inquiries

Please direct all inquiries to: 

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Mary Rooney, Ph.D.
Telephone: 301-827-1325
Email: mary.rooney@nih.gov

National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Crystal Barksdale, Ph.D.
Telephone: 301-827-4228
Email: crystal.barksdale@nih.gov

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Janet Kuramoto-Crawford, Ph.D.
Telephone: 301-443-8856
Email: janet.kuramoto-crawford@nih.gov