Release Date:  December 8, 2000 (see NOT-MH-03-003 and NOT-MH-03-005)


Update: The following update relating to this notice has been issued:

May 17, 2007  - See Notice (NOT-MH-07-111) This PAR has expired.

April 14, 2006 (NOT-MH-06-112) - See this notice for Extension of the NIMH Minority 
Research Infrastructure Support Program (M-RISP) (R24) (PAR-01-029) 


National Institute of Mental Health

Application Receipt Date:  July 1, 2006


This program announcement (PA) supersedes PAR-95-058, dated April 28, 
1995.  This Minority Research Infrastructure Support Program (M-RISP) 
was established by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) 
primarily to build infrastructure in predominantly minority academic 
institutions to increase the capacity of these institutions and their 
faculty to conduct rigorous mental health-relevant research.  The 
intent of the research infrastructure program is to strengthen the 
research environments of predominantly minority institutions through 
grant support to develop and/or expand existing capacities for 
conducting research in all fields related to mental health.  
Descriptions of the research programs supported by the NIMH can be 
found at  Minority students 
will benefit from participation in projects as research assistants and 
will be encouraged to pursue research careers in fields related to 
mental health.

To assist institutions with increasing their capacity to conduct mental 
health research, the M-RISP program provides support for two types of 
core activities:  1) institutional research development support for 
strengthening the institutional infrastructure and enhancing the 
capability of individual faculty members to undertake mental health-
related research; and 2) individual investigator research support for 
developing research scientists to conduct small grant research 
activities that can lead to successful applications for funding under 
regular research grant mechanisms in research areas relevant to mental 


The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health 
promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2010," a 
PHS-led national activity for setting priority areas.  This PA, 
more of the priority areas.  Potential applicants may obtain a copy of 
"Healthy People 2010" at


Applications may be submitted by domestic for-profit and non-profit 
organizations, public and private, such as universities, colleges, 
hospitals, laboratories, units of state and local governments, and 
eligible agencies of State and local government.  Foreign institutions 
are not eligible for the R24 mechanism.  Racial/ethnic minority 
individuals, women, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to 
apply as principal investigators.  Partnerships between minority and 
majority institutions that will result in strengthening predominantly 
minority institutions in their research capability are encouraged.  
Applicants must indicate which of the following eligibility conditions 
apply to their institution and must furnish evidence to document 

o  an academic institution with at least 50 percent minority (African 
Americans, Hispanic, American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian or 
Pacific Islander) student enrollment;

o  an institution with more than 30 percent minority student enrollment 
in each of the past three years that can provide evidence of efforts to 
recruit members of ethnic or racial groups into scientific careers.
Additionally, the institution should show evidence of demonstrated 
commitment to minority faculty recruitment and development in 
expenditure of resources, as well as documented institutional need for 
support in its research development program.  Potential applicants who 
intend to apply under this eligibility criterion are advised to consult 
with NIMH staff (as listed under INQUIRIES) before submitting an 

o  A Native American tribe may apply in conjunction with one or more 
institutions of higher learning that offer undergraduate and graduate 
degrees in mental health-related fields.  Such applicants must have a 
recognized governing body and perform substantial governmental 
functions, or qualify as an Alaska Regional Corporation (ARC) as 
defined in the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 et 


This PA will use the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Resource-
Related Research Projects (R24) award mechanism.  This mechanism is 
used to support research projects that will enhance the capability of 
resources to serve biomedical research.  The total project period for 
an application submitted in response to this PA may not exceed 3 years 
for the first submission and 5 years in subsequent competing 
continuation submissions.  (See section on FUNDS AVAILABLE for 
details.)  Grants funded under M-RISP are awarded directly to the 
applicant institution and are not transferable.  Responsibility for the 
planning, direction, and execution of the proposed project will be 
solely that of the applicant.


Beginning with competing applications submitted in response to this 
PAR, the maximum direct cost allowed for the M-RISP grant is $400,000 
per year, plus negotiated Facilities and Administrative Costs (F&A)-- 
formerly known as indirect costs.  The infrastructure core component of 
M-RISP grants averages $100,000 per year in direct costs.  Individual 
Investigator projects average $60,000 per year in direct costs.  These 
new amounts do not apply to non-competing continuation grants initiated 
prior to FY 2002.  Support is limited to 3 years for a first-time 
application.  The core, infrastructure component of an M-RISP grant is 
renewable for intervals of up to 5 years, provided that investigators 
are continuing and/or new investigators are selected.  Note that 
individual investigators who participate in subprojects will not be 
supported more than a total of 6 years through the M-RISP program.


Each application should describe both core elements (Institutional 
Research Development Support) and Individual Investigator Research 
Projects and indicate how the infrastructure support will enhance the 
individual research projects.  Partial salary support based on effort 
and institutional salary levels for persons engaged on the project 
(normally includes the principal investigators (PIs) or individuals 
directing initial or developmental research projects, co-investigators, 
data analysis and essential technical staff, etc.).  Limited 
administrative or clerical salaries may be considered direct charges to 
the grant only when the duties are specifically identified and 
justified as reflecting significantly greater effort than the level of 
such services routinely provided.  In some cases, the application may 
also request support for research assistantships for students to work 
with faculty members who have mental health related research funding 
through another NIH mechanism of support (R01, R03, P01, etc.).  
Institutions are encouraged to use funds under M-RISP to increase 
availability of research assistants on these projects, but funds are 
not to be used to replace any research assistant positions supported by 
other Federal or non-Federal awards, nor may trainees supported by 
National Research Services Awards (NRSA) be selected until the research 
training programs are completed.

The NIMH recognizes that different types of institutions will require 
different types of research infrastructure development activities and 
initiatives, depending upon particular needs and circumstances.  
Accordingly, this PA provides general rather than specific guidance as 
to the types of development activities appropriate under M-RISP.  
Support may be requested for, but is not limited to, the following:

o  Partial salary support, based on effort and institutional salary 
levels for persons engaged in the project

o  Specialized research training for junior investigators (e.g., 
selected courses related to enhancing capability to conduct research 
such as advanced seminars, instruction on scientific technique)

o  Scientific and statistical consultation, including expenses incurred 
by a scientific advisory committee

o  Biostatistical and data management services

o  Research technicians and assistants

o  Research instruments

o  Small, project-specific equipment and supplies

o  Pilot and feasibility studies

o  Research subject costs

o  Data acquisition and statistical analysis costs

o  Travel to scientific meetings for the PI and individual 



The mission of the NIMH is to reduce the burden of mental illness 
through research on mind, brain, and behavior.  NIMH also takes the 
lead in understanding the impact of behavior on HIV transmission and 
pathogenesis, and in developing effective behavioral preventive 
interventions.  Mental disorders constitute an immense burden on our 
population, with major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and 
obsessive-compulsive disorder ranked among the ten leading causes of 
disability in the United States.  Although, based on current knowledge, 
these and other mental disorders appear to have equivalent incidence 
and prevalence across majority and minority populations, they may exert 
a disproportionate impact on ethnic/minority groups.  Within and among 
minority populations, access to adequate services is uneven at best, 
and where data exist, outcomes of illness as well as treatment often 
have been shown to be poorer than in majority populations.  The NIMH is 
especially interested in increasing the pool of minority researchers 
who can address important questions related to reducing health 
disparities.  Potential applicants are encouraged to consider areas 
that need to be addressed as spelled out in the NIMH "Strategic Plan 
for Reducing Health Disparities."  The plan may be located at

M-RISP is designed to enable predominantly minority institutions with 
small research programs in mental health to develop into significantly 
stronger research settings.  It is part of an integrated NIMH approach 
to developing a broader national infrastructure for mental health 
research that includes NIMH support for clinical and services research 
centers, minority research centers, rural mental health research 
centers, social work research development centers, research 
infrastructure support programs, and M-RISP.  Together, these programs 
provide a continuum of research infrastructure support for 
institutions.  To facilitate these goals, M-RISP provides support for 
two types of primary activities:

Institutional Research Development (Core)

Core support provides funds to strengthen the institutional 
infrastructure to enhance the capability of individual faculty members 
to undertake mental health research.  Requests may be made for 
infrastructure enhancements such as laboratory development, including 
limited support for equipment, support of collaborative linkages with 
senior scientists in other institutions, and provision of resources for 
data management and statistical analyses.  For individual faculty 
development, support may be requested for such activities as enrolling 
in advanced seminars in scientific techniques and for pilot work to 
serve as a basis for the development of individual research projects.

This announcement expires 3 years from the Release Date shown directly 
above, unless reissued.

Individual Investigator Research Projects

In addition to capacity development support, an M-RISP grant provides 
support for at least 2 developmental research subprojects from at least 
2 or more faculty members who serve as individual investigators of 
these subprojects.  The intent of this component of M-RISP is to 
support research activities that will lead to successful applications 
for funding under the usual investigator-initiated grants programs of 
NIMH.  Individual Investigator research projects should be designed to 
take advantage of the infrastructure development being supported by the 

Application Characteristics

An M-RISP application must: 1) describe current institutional and 
faculty capacity to conduct mental health-related research, 2) identify 
unmet needs, and 3) describe activities that will be undertaken to 
develop and strengthen the institutional research infrastructure.  The 
plan should include both an institutional research development program 
and 2 or more individual investigator projects.  The plan should cover 
a period of 3 years (up to 5 years for competitive renewals) and 
indicate how the capacity to conduct mental health research will be 
improved significantly in this time period.

The application should contain the following:

Institutional Research Development Plan

o  Specific aims

o  Summary of relevant ongoing mental health research

o  Assessment of institutional capacity to conduct state-of-the art
research on mental health issues; identification of gaps that M-RISP
is intended to fill

o  A proposed program director or co-program director with a track 
record of directing research programs, a track record as a mentor to 
undergraduate/graduate students, a track record of leadership in 
directing training or health services programs, a record of mental 
health related publications and commitment to increasing diversity in 
the national pool of mental health researchers. 

o  Design and procedures to be used to accomplish the specific aims of 
the research infrastructure development plan over the time period of 
the proposed project (3 years for new applications, up to 5 years for 
competitive renewal applications), including plans for the 
administrative structure, recruitment and retention of persons skilled 
in mental health research, staff training and mentoring, statistical 
and other consultation and data management, and collaboration with 
other institutions

o  Description of equipment, space, and other facility resources 
available to support the development plan and extent to which 
enhancement of these resources is needed

o  Description of institutional financial commitment to support the 
proposed minority mental health research infrastructure development

Individual Investigator Research Projects

o  Linkages to overall institutional capacity development plan

o  Specific aims of the investigator's research project

o  Background and significance

o  Preliminary studies and progress report if currently supported

o  Review of literature relevant to the proposed research project 

o  Research plan, including experimental design and methods

o  Plan for the protection of human subjects, where applicable

o  Plan for the protection of vertebrate animals, if applicable

o  Consultants and collaborators (describe roles and need for 

o  Consortium/contractual arrangements (need must be justified)

o  Detailed budgets for each project

The research plans for the Individual Investigator Research Projects 
are limited to 15 pages each.

Competitive Supplements for New Investigator Projects

The mechanism for requesting funds to support new individual 
investigator projects on M-RISP grants is the competitive supplement 
application (Type 3), which is also due June 1 annually.  The purpose 
of a supplemental application is to request additional funds for either 
the present operating year or for any future year of the current grant 
to further goals of the M-RISP program.  A supplement may be requested 
for an expansion of a project’s scope or research protocol through new 
individual investigator research projects.  The body of the application 
should contain sufficient information from the original grant 
application to allow evaluation of the proposed supplement in relation 
to the goals of the original application.  A supplemental application 
will not be accepted until the original application has been funded, 
and it may not request funding beyond the term of the current grant or 
request funds that, when added to the parent award, would exceed the 
program direct costs maximum amount allowable for an M-RISP grant.  The 
introduction to the supplemental application should provide an overall 
description of the nature of the supplement and how the supplement will 
influence the specific aims, experimental design, and methods of the 
current grant.  Any proposed changes in the allocation of funds within 
and among budget categories for the remainder of the project period of 
the current M-RISP grant should be discussed under the budget 
justification.  If the supplemental application relates to a specific 
line of investigation presented in the original application, but was 
not recommended for approval by the Initial Review Group, then the 
applicant must respond to the criticisms in the prior summary 
statement, and revisions must be clearly summarized in the 
introduction.  The applicant must also incorporate in the Preliminary 
Studies component of the application any work performed since the prior 
version was submitted.


The following restrictions apply to M-RISP supplemental applications:

o  A supplemental application may be submitted only during the first 
12-month period of a 3-year grant; 1 supplemental application may be 
submitted during each of the first 2 years of a 5-year grant.

o  Program Directors already receiving M-RISP grant funds for an 
individual investigator project may not submit a request for support of 
a different or an additional project from the M-RISP Program.

o  Applications must be limited to no more than 3 additional 

o  The proposed supplemental project period of support may not extend 
beyond the end date of the project period for the parent grant, nor 
when added to the parent grant, exceed the annual direct costs program 
cap ($300,000 prior to FY 2002, and $400,000 beginning with competing 
grants submitted in response to this Announcement).

o  Competitive supplemental requests are not appropriate when the 
purpose is solely to restore, to the full IRG-recommended level, awards 
that were administratively reduced by the funding agency.


It is the policy of the NIH that women and members of minority groups 
and their subpopulations must be included in all NIH supported 
biomedical and behavioral research projects involving human subjects, 
unless a clear and compelling rationale and justification is provided 
that inclusion is inappropriate with respect to the health of the 
subjects or the purpose of the research.  This policy results from the 
NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 (Section 492B of Public Law 103-43).

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should 
read the "NIH Guidelines For Inclusion of Women and Minorities as 
Subjects in Clinical Research," which have been published in the 
Federal Register on August 2, 2000 
(; a 
complete copy of the updated Guidelines is available at  
The revisions relate to NIH defined Phase III clinical trails and 
require: a) all applications or proposals and/or protocols to provide a 
description of plans to conduct analyses, as appropriate, to address 
differences by sex/gender and/or ethnic/minority groups, including 
subgroups if applicable; and b) all investigators to report accrual, 
and to conduct and report analyses, as appropriate, by sex/gender 
and/or ethnic/minority differences.


It is the policy of NIH that children (i.e., individuals under the age 
of 21) must be included in all human subjects research conducted or 
supported by the NIH, unless there are scientific and ethical reasons 
not to include them.  This policy applies to all initial (Type 1) 
applications submitted for receipt dates after October 1, 1998.

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should 
read the "NIH Policy and Guidelines on the Inclusion of Children as 
Participants in Research Involving Human Subjects" that was published 
in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, March 6, 1998, and is 
available at the following URL address:

Investigators also may obtain copies of these policies from the program 
staff listed under INQUIRIES.  Program staff may also provide 
additional relevant information concerning the policy.


All applications and proposals for NIH funding must be self-contained 
within specified page limitations.  Unless otherwise specified in an 
NIH solicitation, Internet addresses (URLs) should not be used to 
provide information necessary to the review because reviewers are under 
no obligation to view the Internet sites.  Reviewers are cautioned that 
their anonymity may be compromised when they directly access an 
Internet site.


Applications are to be submitted on the grant application form PHS 398 
(rev. 4/98) and will be accepted June 1, annually.  Application kits 
are available at most institutional offices of sponsored research and 
may be obtained from the Division of Extramural Outreach and 
Information Resources, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge 
Drive, MSC 7910, Bethesda, MD 20892-7910, telephone: (301) 710-0267, 
Email:  The application is also available at

The title and number of the Program Announcement must be typed on line 
2 of the face page of the application form and the YES box must be 

For competing supplements application procedures are the same as those 
for the parent grant except for the following instructions:

o  The designated Program Director should be the same as that of the 
parent grant.

o  The title of the supplemental application should be the same as that 
of the parent grant and should be typed in item number 1 on the face 
page of the PHS 398 application form.

o  The title of this program announcement should be entered into item 2 
of the face page.

o  Page II, entitled Checklist, should have a check in the box for 
supplement with the parent grant’s number typed as indicated.

o  The application should be completed according to the instructions 
accompanying the PHS 398 forms with special attention being paid to 
instructions for supplements provided on page 6-15 of the PHS 398 form. 


Receipt             Initial Review        Council           Earliest
Date                Group Meeting         Meeting           Start Date

June 1, annually    Oct/Nov               Jan/Feb           April 1

Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application, including the 
Checklist, and 5 signed photocopies in one package to:

BETHESDA, MD 20892-7710
BETHESDA, MD 20817 (for express/courier service)


Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an 
appropriate peer review group convened by the NIMH in accordance with 
the standard NIH peer review procedures.  As part of the initial merit 
review, all applications will receive a written critique and undergo a 
process in which only those applications deemed to have the highest 
scientific merit, generally the top half of applications under review, 
will be discussed, assigned a priority score, and receive a second 
level of review by the National Advisory Mental Health Council.

Review Criteria 

The goals of NIH-sponsored research are to advance our understanding of 
biological systems, improve control of disease, and enhance health.  In 
the written comment, reviewers will be asked to discuss the following 
aspects of the application in order to judge the likelihood that the 
proposed research will have a substantial impact upon the pursuit of 
these goals.  Each of these criteria will be addressed and considered 
in assigning the overall score, weighting them as appropriate for each 
application.  Note that the application does not need to be strong in 
all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact and 
thus deserve a high priority score.  For example, an investigator may 
propose to carry out important work that by its nature is not 
innovative but is essential to move a field forward.

For the Institutional Research Development Plan:

1) Significance of overall project to the goals of this program 

2) Appropriateness of the institutional research development plan for 
applicant institution and extent to which this plan will build on 
current institutional support for mental health research and 
significantly augment and improve the support for research

3) Quality of the institutional research development plan, including 
plans for enhancing institutional capacity and individual faculty 
research development plans and the degree to which the parts enhance 
one another in achieving overall objectives

4) Probability that the proposed activities can be implemented 
successfully, and the likelihood that they will result in high quality 
competitive research applications from individual faculty 
members/researchers within at least six years of the initial award

5) Qualifications, experience and appropriateness of the program 

6) Evidence of institutional support and commitment to the proposed 

For Individual Investigator Research Projects (the application must 
include at least 2, from different researchers):

1) Significance and originality of proposed research 

2) Appropriateness and scientific quality of the experimental approach 
and methodology proposed to carry out the research, including 
appropriateness of control or comparison groups, plans for recruitment 
and retention of subjects, use of consultants, and provisions for other 
scientifically necessary linkages

3) Qualifications and research experience of the Individual Principal 
Investigator and staff, particularly, but not exclusively, in the area 
of the proposed research

4) Adequacy of literature review and justification of the proposed 
theoretical framework

5) Availability of the resources necessary to perform the research, 
including access to research subjects

6) Appropriateness of the proposed budget and duration in relation to 
the proposed research

7) Adequacy of plans to include both genders and minorities and their 
subgroups, and children, as appropriate for the scientific goals of the 

8) Contribution of Associate Investigator Projects to overall 
objectives of institutional infrastructure plan and benefits to 
students participating on the associated projects

9) For competitive renewals, a progress report, including progress of 
prior supported individual investigators in securing independent grant 
support (if appropriate), and publications associated with the prior 
funding period

The M-RISP Program is developmental in nature and meant to develop 
research capacity at primarily minority institutions so that they can 
conduct rigorous mental health related research.  The standard by which 
to judge the M-RISP individual investigator research projects is 
whether good science is being developed and furthered.  Indications of 
good science include:

o  Use of rigorous measures in a well thought-out research design

o  Generation of interpretable data

o  Production of data that can be used as the basis for a subsequent
R01 application; or, research experience that will enable an individual 
investigator to subsequently apply for an R01 (or the equivalent) grant 
award, with and application having the prospect of being judged highly 

o  Potential for resulting in publication, potentially, but not 
necessarily in referee journal

The initial review group will also examine the provisions for the 
protection of human and animal subjects.


Applications will compete for available funds with all other 
recommended applications assigned to the Institute.  The following will 
be considered in making funding decisions:  Quality of the proposed 
project in response to program requirements as determined by peer 
review, availability of funds, and program priority.

Specific Requirements

M-RISP grant funds may be used for expenses clearly related to 
infrastructure development and necessary to conduct the research 
projects.  Funds may not be used to establish, add a component to or 
operate a treatment, rehabilitation or prevention intervention service 
program.  Support for research related treatment, rehabilitation or 
prevention services programs may be requested only for costs required 
by the research.  When independent research funds become available (PIs 
on sub-projects complete their tenure on the program), the proposed 
reallocation of existing funds must be discussed with appropriate 
Institute staff.


Inquiries are encouraged.  The opportunity to clarify any issues or 
questions from potential applicants is welcome.

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

Carolyn Strete, Ph.D.
Office For Special Populations
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 8130, MSC 9659
Bethesda, MD 20892-9659
Telephone:  (301) 443-2847
FAX:  (301) 443-0954

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Diana S. Trunnell
Grants Management Branch
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 6115, MSC 9605
Bethesda, MD 20892-9605
Telephone:  (301) 443-2805
FAX:  (301) 443-6885


This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance 
No. 93.242. Awards are made under authorization of the Public Health 
Service Act, Title IV, Part A (Public Law 78-410, as amended by Public 
Law 99-158, 42 USC 241 and 285) and administered under NIH grants 
policies and Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Part 74.  This 
program is not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of 
Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review.

The PHS strongly encourages all grant and contract recipients to 
provide a smoke-free workplace and promote the non-use of all tobacco 
products.  In addition, Public Law 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of 
1994, prohibits smoking in certain facilities (or in some cases, any 
portion of a facility) in which regular or routine education, library, 
day care, health care or early childhood development services are 
provided to children.  This is consistent with the PHS mission to 
protect and advance the physical and mental health of the American 

Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices

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