Notice of Clarification of NIMH Research Priorities for RFA-ES-23-007 "Exploratory Grants for Climate Change and Health Research Center Development (P20 Clinical Trial Optional)"
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

September 18, 2023

Related Announcements

  • March 01, 2023 - Exploratory Grants for Climate Change and Health Research Center Development (P20 Clinical Trial Optional). See RFA-ES-23-007

Issued by

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)


The purpose of this Notice is to clarify the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) research priorities for RFA-ES-23-007 “Exploratory Grants for Climate Change and Health Research Center Development (P20 Clinical Trial Optional)”

Research Priorities

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) accepts research to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illness through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery, and cure. For the purposes of this NOFO, the NIMH has interest in:

  • Evaluating hypothesis-driven models of the mechanisms by which climate change and/or extreme weather events may impact mental health outcomes in individuals with mental illness.
  • Basic mechanistic neuroscience studies of persistent effects of the direct and indirect impacts of climate change on brain signaling, circuits, and proximal effects on functional processes such as cognition that are impaired in mental illnesses.
  • Research to understand the neurobehavioral bases of the impact of climate change on specific domains of function relevant to mental health in individuals with mental illness, as informed by the Research Domain Criteria approach.
  • Research to identify the mechanisms underlying extra-individual level factors and/or social and structural determinants of health (e.g., interpersonal, community factors, and societal determinants) associated with risk and/or resiliency during climate-induced humanitarian crises.
  • Identification of targets for intervention for those living with mental illness during climate-induced humanitarian crises.
  • Develop surveillance systems for mobile populations to facilitate the development of mental health services with features (convenient location, open hours, etc.) conducive to use by mobile/migrating populations during climate-induced humanitarian crises.

Basic and translational research are relevant but note that for this NOFO, NIMH only allows mechanistic clinical trials (see NOT-MH-23-375 Consolidated Notice on NIMH Clinical Trial Policies and related announcement for intervention development). NIMH will not accept clinical trials to develop therapeutic interventions, to test the safety and/or tolerability of an intervention, to demonstrate pharmacodynamic or neurodynamic effects to establish dosing or to demonstrate the efficacy or effectiveness of an intervention through this NOFO.  Applications that propose a clinical trial for the purpose of testing the safety and/or clinical efficacy of novel interventions are outside the scope of NIMH research interests in this NOFO and will not be supported through this NOFO. Applicants interested in evaluating treatments for clinical efficacy should apply through one of the NIMH NOFOs listed at the Support for Clinical Trials at NIMH web page, which includes links to the NIMH clinical trials NOFOs and Applicant FAQs.

NIMH strongly encourages applicants to consult with NIMH Program Officials when developing an application. This early contact will provide an opportunity to clarify NIMH policies and guidelines and identify whether the proposed project is consistent with NIMH mission and program priorities. This is particularly important if there is a question whether the submission is determined to be an NIH-defined clinical trial, and if found to be a clinical trial, whether it is a mechanistic clinical trial as defined by NIMH.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Megan Kinnane, Ph.D.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)