Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Practice-Based Suicide Prevention Research Centers (P50 Clinical Trial Optional)
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:
June 26, 2020
Estimated Publication Date of Funding Opportunity Announcement:
August 01, 2020
First Estimated Application Due Date:
October 15, 2020
Earliest Estimated Award Date:
June 18, 2021
Earliest Estimated Start Date:
July 16, 2021
Related Announcements

NOT-MH-20-070, Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for ALACRITY Centers for Practice-Based Effectiveness and Services Research with Near-Term Impact (P50 Clinical Trial Optional)

Issued by

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)


The NIMH intends to promote a new initiative through a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) that will solicit applications for transdisciplinary research centers to support integrated programs of high-impact, practice-based research with near-term potential to address NIMH suicide prevention priorities and help achieve the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention goals of reducing the rate of suicide in the US.

This Notice is being provided to allow potential applicants sufficient time to develop meaningful collaborations and responsive projects.

The FOA is expected to be published August 2020 with an expected application due date in Fall, 2020.

This FOA will utilize the P50 activity code. Details of the planned FOA are provided below.

Research Initiative Details

Acknowledging the reality that suicide rates have risen across all ages of U.S. citizens, the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention set a goal of reducing the rate of suicide by 20% by 2025. Consistent with these goals, NIMH has prioritized suicide prevention research and intends to issue a FOA to invite applications for Practice-Based Suicide Prevention Research Centers as a key element of a prioritized agenda for research with near-term potential to facilitate this goal.

The Centers program provides a mechanism for maximizing synergies across various components of the mental health research ecosystem, including new discoveries in clinical research, transformative health care technologies, advances in information science, and new federal and state mechanisms for organizing suicide prevention services. The scope of science for these Centers spans interventions science (optimizing the effectiveness of therapeutic or preventive interventions) through services research (innovative strategies to improve access, engagement, coordination and quality of service delivery). These research Centers are intended to serve as catalysts for establishing practice-based, transdisciplinary suicide prevention research programs that substantially advance suicide prevention science and yield effective, scalable strategies and tools for identifying, preventing, and treating suicide risk.

The Center mechanism is intended to facilitate transdisciplinary projects that could not be achieved using standard research project grant mechanisms and to enable cohesive programs of practice-based suicide prevention research that are defined in terms of:

  • Setting(s), including health-care systems, mental health or primary care practices and networks, or other systems and settings that serve individuals at risk for suicide (e.g., schools, criminal justice systems); and
  • Target Population(s), with an emphasis on groups known to experience elevated risk and/or disparities in healthcare access, engagement, or quality.

The Center approach is also intended to facilitate integrated research programs that simultaneously optimize and test scalable patient-, provider-, and systems- level interventions and service delivery approaches for intervening at key intercepts in the chain of care including:

  • Identification of high-risk individuals (e.g., innovative assessment strategies and computationally informed approaches to screening and risk stratification);
  • Referral/continuity of care (including approaches to promote continuity over high-risk transitions, e.g., Emergency Department to outpatient care, discharge from inpatient care); and
  • Intervention, including a range of prevention strategies and treatment for acute risk (e.g., rapid-acting treatments, safe alternatives to inpatient hospitalization).

Given the explicit focus on research with potential for near term impact, the funding opportunity will be based on the NIMH ALACRITY ( Advanced Laboratories for Accelerating the Reach and Impact of Treatments for Youth and Adults with Mental Illness ) Research Center Program. As such, the Centers are expected to incorporate ALACRITY features and best practices that are intended to speed the translation of research into practice, including:

  • Practice-based infrastructure that leverages clinical practice settings as incubators for new research ideas and as laboratories for nimbly refining and testing interventions and service delivery strategies;
  • Deployment-focused approaches that consider the perspective of key stakeholders (e.g., service users, families, providers, administrators, payors, policy makers) to yield interventions and service strategies that are relevant and can be more rapidly integrated into practice; and
  • Transdisciplinary research teams that broaden traditional clinical and mental health services collaborations to include new insights, technologies, and research methods from experts in areas such as behavioral economics, health information and communications technology, decision science, and health systems engineering, to advance clinical research and practice.

While the scale and scope of the Center research projects might differ, these suicide prevention centers will follow the basic structure of the ALACRITY Center program, with Administrative and Methods Cores to cultivate and support Center collaborations and projects, pre-specified Research Projects, and resources to facilitate additional collaborations and future projects, including NIH research project applications. Centers will be expected to incorporate provisions for:

  • Translationalassessment approaches and research opportunities, including multi-level, translational assessment approaches (e.g., via low-burden, multi-level assessment approaches, such as mobile-/sensor- based assessments or computerized task-based assessments that can be incorporated in the effectiveness context) to characterize functional domains of behavior and relevant cognitive/affective processes, as well as aspects of the environmental, social, and developmental context. These assessmentscan be used to inform basic understanding of risk/protective factors and can potentially help guide risk-stratification and treatment assignment;
  • Innovative Research Methods Development through transdisciplinary collaborations that leverage scientific, technological, methodological, and analytic innovations to address research challenges unique to suicide prevention research (e.g., challenges related to studying low base-rate events and understanding the time course and transition from ideation to behavior); and
  • Provisions for Common Data Elements and Data/Resource Sharing, including the use of common measures (e.g., PhenX Toolkit measures) to promote sharing and analyses within, across, and beyond Centers, and Dissemination Plans that include websites and others means through which the Center will share resources (e.g., innovative data collection/assessment/analytic approaches; web-based platforms for identifying and recruiting participants and accelerating research; data sets for re-analysis/meta-analysis; and other common-source materials, including new methods and analytic strategies for mining and analyzing "big data" from large-scale data collection efforts, and programming for technology-assisted approaches).

Finally, recognizing that advancing suicide prevention depends on a diversity of scientific perspectives and contributions from a diverse research workforce, these Centers are also expected to provide opportunities for new transdisciplinary collaborations and for research education and training for graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and early-career investigators, to help ensure a well-trained, diverse research workforce. NIMH strongly emphasizes the importance of including early-career and established scholars from diverse backgrounds.

This Notice encourages transdisciplinary teams of investigators with expertise and insights into suicide prevention to consider applying for this new FOA.

Funding Information
Estimated Total Funding


Expected Number of Awards
Estimated Award Ceiling


Primary CFDA Numbers


Anticipated Eligible Organizations
Public/State Controlled Institution of Higher Education
Private Institution of Higher Education
Nonprofit with 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institution of Higher Education)
Small Business
For-Profit Organization (Other than Small Business)
State Government
Indian/Native American Tribal Government (Federally Recognized)

Applications are not being solicited at this time.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Joel Sherrill, Ph.D.



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NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices