NIMH Biobehavioral Research Awards for Innovative New Scientists (NIMH BRAINS) (R01 Clinical Trial Optional)

Funding Agency:
National Institutes of Health

 The NIMH Biobehavioral Research Awards for Innovative New Scientists (BRAINS) award is intended to support the research and research career advancement of outstanding, exceptionally productive scientists who are in the early, formative stages of their careers and who plan to make a long term career commitment to research in specific mission areas of the NIMH. This award seeks to assist these individuals in launching an innovative clinical, translational, basic or services research program that holds the potential to profoundly transform the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of mental disorders. The NIMH BRAINS program will focus on the research priorities and gap areas identified in the NIMH Strategic Plan and the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) project.   


  • Letter of Intent Due Date: 30 days before the application due date
  • Application Due Date(s): June 20, 2018 and June 20, 2019

RFA-MH-19-130 Expiration Date June 21, 2019

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must be designated Early Stage Investigators (ESI) by NIH as defined in  NOT-OD-17-101.  In addition, applicants must have faculty appointments which are tenure track or equivalent, generally at the level of Assistant Professor or equivalent, and have a research or health professional level degree (e.g., Ph.D., M.D., or equivalent) at the time of application. If the applicant is at an institution/organization that does not have a tenure track, he or she should hold an equivalent appointment and must have demonstrated support from the institution. Individuals must show that they have established research independence from a mentor, and have dedicated independent laboratory and research resources available to conduct the research proposed in the grant application.

Potential applicants who anticipate developing or testing interventions that focus on measuring target engagement and mechanism of action are strongly advised to contact the Scientific/Research Contact for this FOA regarding the match between an application, current NIMH priorities, and the unique goals of this FOA. 



    Amount Description

     An applicant may request a budget for direct costs up to $1.625 million dollars with no more than $400,000 in direct costs for any single year.

     The total project period for an application submitted in response to this FOA may not exceed five years.   

      Funding Type



      Junior Faculty


      Medical - Basic Science
      Medical - Clinical Science

      External Deadline

      June 20, 2019