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Interdisciplinary Research Consortium (U54)

This RFA invites applicants selected under PAR-06-122 to submit an interdisciplinary consortium application. The purpose of this program is to support interdisciplinary approaches to solving significant and complex biomedical problems, particularly those that have been resistant to traditional approaches. These applications must hold the promise of leading to new research approaches to improving human health. Interdisciplinary consortia are expected to identify an important biomedically relevant problem, evaluate why previous approaches have not worked, justify why the proposed interdisciplinary approach will work, identify the methods that will keep the interdisciplinary team focused and coordinated, and propose a timeline. The review criteria will involve both the significance of the problem as well as the interdisciplinary nature of the approach to solving the problem. Applications will have to be strong in both of these areas. A successful interdisciplinary approach is defined as combining aspects of individual disciplines to provide a new conceptual approach to solving a problem that is likely to yield insights that could not have been achieved by an isolated laboratory or using a multi-disciplinary approach.

Refining and Testing Mental Health Interventions and Services for Youth with Mental Illness who are Transitioning to Adulthood (R34)

The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to solicit research aimed at refining and testing innovative interventions and service delivery models for youth transitioning to adulthood (herein conceptualized as about 16 to 24 years old, to broadly encompass the transition process and accommodate individual differences in timing). The specific focus is on youth with severe mental illness (e.g., youth with disorders that are severe, chronic, and/or significantly impairing; youth for whom treatment is complicated by the need to address comorbid psychiatric and/or substance use disorders and/or HIV/AIDS). As detailed below, care for individuals in this age range is complicated by the unique developmental context; the multi-problem nature of behavioral health conditions; the lack of evidence-based interventions and services adapted for this age group; and various discontinuities in service systems and health care financing. Left untreated, mental health disorders and related impairment during this critical period is associated with trajectories that may lead to negative outcomes, including high rates of chronicity or relapse, disrupted parental custody, hospitalization, incarceration, homelessness and poor community functioning. This FOA is intended to solicit research that addresses gaps in available intervention and service delivery strategies in order to ultimately enhance availability of and access to appropriate care for youth with severe mental illness who are in transition to adulthood.

Field-Deployable Tools for Quantifying Exposures to Psychosocial Stress and to Addictive Substances for Studies of Health and Disease (U01)

The Exposure Biology Program of the GEI is intended to be a multi-component program involving several solicitations. A major component will support the development of technology to make precise, quantitative measurements of personal exposure to environmental chemical/biological agents, diet, physical activity, and psychosocial stress. The other exposure biology component includes development of biological response indicators for a variety of environmental stressors. These activities will generate new exposure assessment tools that can be applied in future population-based and whole genome association studies supported by the GEI to better inform about the role of gene-environment interactions in human disease. The GEI will also consider pathways to disparities in health outcomes, including but not limited to environmental exposures, genetic variations and/or other underlying biological, race/ethnic, social, and familial factors. Health disparities research provides an important opportunity to integrate biological with social/behavioral knowledge in better identification and understanding of the determinants of disease, reducing disease risks, and providing better treatment. How genetic variation contributes to health disparities remains largely unclear since most genetic studies do not have adequate measures of behavioral, physical, social, and environmental factors. The GEI will provide a valuable scientific contribution to health disparities research by its collection and analyses of genotype, phenotype, and exposure data, while simultaneously measuring other factors within disease subgroups (e.g., race, ethnicity, behaviors, geography, genetic backgrounds, exposures and social environments) that may lead to differential health outcomes.

Public Announcements from the NIH can be found here.


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