Office of Extramural Research (OER)
The NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts is the official publication for NIH medical and behavioral research grant policies, guidelines and funding opportunities. Researchers can use this site to search for funding opportunities or sign up for weekly email updates on NIH-supported grants and contracts.
This section provides examples of current research activities at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and is not intended to be a comprehensive list.
The NINDS supports research on TBI to advance knowledge on mechanisms of injury and recovery, and to develop better diagnostic tools and more effective treatments. TBI, a form of acquired brain injury, occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain. TBI is a major public health problem, especially among male adolescents and young adults ages 15 to 24, and among elderly people of both sexes age 75 and older. Children age 5 and younger are also at high risk for TBI. This website provides information on NINDS activities, opportunities, and resources regarding TBI research. To receive regular updates on funding announcements and other opportunities, please join the NINDS TBI Research Listserv.
The Army STARRS is the largest study of mental health risk and resilience ever conducted among military personnel. The goal of this 5-year project is to identify, as rapidly as possible, risk and protective factors that will help the Army develop effective strategies to reduce rising suicide rates and to address associated mental health problems among soldiers. Because promoting mental health and reducing suicide risk are important for all Americans, the findings from the Army STARRS will benefit not only servicemembers but the Nation as a whole, leading to more effective prevention and treatment for both soldiers and civilians.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and suicide in the military are major concerns in the United States. The NRAP, a coordinated effort by the U.S. Departments of Defense (DOD), Veterans Affairs, Health and Human Services, and Education, was created in response to President Obama's 2012 Executive Order calling for improved access to mental health services for veterans, service members, and military families. The NRAP provides a comprehensive approach to accelerating research on TBI and PTSD, as well as strategies for preventing suicide among veterans and active duty personnel. Short-term objectives include the development of common data elements to facilitate data sharing and a focus on biomarkers to predict PTSD. The NRAP also calls for extending the Army STARRS project into a longitudinal study. For more information on the NRAP, please see the White House fact sheet.
Research suggests that people with schizophrenia whose psychotic symptoms are controlled are no more violent than individuals without serious mental illness. However, the risk for violence (against self and others) may be increased in cases of untreated psychosis. Approximately 100,000 adolescents and young adults have a first psychotic episode each year in the United States. The NIMH EP3 initiative aims to accelerate research on detecting risk states for psychotic disorders, preventing the onset of psychosis in high-risk individuals, and reducing the duration of untreated psychosis in people who have experienced a first psychotic episode. EP3 will develop biomarkers for prediction and new interventions for preemption to significantly reduce the number of individuals experiencing a first psychotic episode.
The NIAMS supports a broad range of basic, translational, and clinical research projects related to prevention of and recovery from bone, joint, muscle, and skin injuries. These projects include basic science studies of the healing of skin, ligament, and tendon injuries, and fractures. Translational studies include efforts to restore joint biomechanics following tendon and ligament injuries and the use of tissue engineering approaches to augment healing or surgical repair of bones and skin. NIAMS-supported clinical studies range from the epidemiology, treatment, and prevention of sports injuries to clinical studies of how to surgically repair fractures of the hip.
Pediatric injury is a leading cause of death and disability for children in the United States. Annually, more than 9 million children visit emergency rooms as a result of unintentional injuries. The NICHD supports and conducts research related to pediatric injury—from prevention to improving treatment and critical care outcomes to developing better rehabilitation methods. Examples include studies on falls, concussion, fire-related burns, motor vehicle accidents, as well as injuries due to all forms of child maltreatment. Also included are studies promoting safe use of liquid medication; improving teen driving; teaching pedestrian, car seat, and bike safety; determining national injury prevention priorities; preventing adverse events associated with prehospital medical care; and promoting sun safety practices in schools. The NICHD supports these investigations through directly funded research, collaborative networks, and professional training programs. Intramural research conducted by investigators in the Health Behavior Branch (Division of Intramural Population Health Research) focuses on the causes of motor vehicle crashes among teenage drivers, including teen passengers, distraction, risky driving, driving or riding while intoxicated, and interventions to increase parental management of young drivers.
This NICHD program supports research and research training to advance the science and elucidate the mechanisms, processes, and contexts within which maltreatment, violence, and injury occur. Accordingly, the NICHD supports research on family processes in high-risk settings (e.g., violent or abusive environments, child protective environments, juvenile justice environments), as well as precipitating events or stressors associated with maltreatment and violence and injury, including poverty, unemployment, homelessness, father absence, military family structure, deployment and combat-related trauma, and parental depression. In addition, the NICHD supports studies that examine protective factors that mitigate the risks of poor outcomes including parenting, social and cultural support mechanisms, and biological influences that shape development and developmental outcomes. The program priorities in the Child Development and Behavior Branch include the development of theory-driven prevention and intervention strategies to reduce risks for child maltreatment and exposure to violence. The Pediatric Trauma and Critical Illness Program was recently established to integrate research on injury and violence prevention through its Pediatric Trauma and Emergency Care Research Program and Pediatric Injury and Violence Research Program.
Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injury in Americans age 65 and older. They can result from multiple factors, including age-related changes to balance, gait, and physical strength. Investigators at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that approximately 5.8 million people age 65 or older, or 15.9% of all U.S. adults in that age group, fell at least once during the preceding 3 months, and nearly a third of those who fell sustained an injury that resulted in a doctor visit or restricted activity for at least 1 day. The NIA supports researchers who are conducting a number of studies aimed at reducing the incidence and severity of falls among older adults in the United States. For example, one study is examining the effects of outdoor neighborhood environmental characteristics on risk of outdoor falls among community-dwelling older people. The results of this study may suggest intervention strategies that could improve the living environment for older adults in the community. Another example is STRIDE (Strategies To Reduce Injuries And Develop Confidence In Elders): Randomized Trial of a Multifactorial Fall Injury Prevention Strategy, a joint initiative of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) and the NIA, which will determine the effectiveness of an evidence-based, multifactorial, patient-centered intervention to reduce the risk of serious fall injuries among non-institutionalized older persons. Other studies focus on the development of strategies to improve strength, balance, and gait in the elderly.
This program supports research training on prevention, diagnosis, and treatment related to injury and trauma in low- and middle-income countries. Key research topics include injury prevention, treatment at the scene, emergency medical facilities and services, diagnostic imaging, postacute care, and long-term care including rehabilitation. Examples of funded projects include the Injury Prevention Research Training in Egypt and the Middle East project, the South African Research in Trauma Training Program, and the International Collaborative Trauma and Injury Prevention Training Programs in Pakistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Romania, and Serbia.