NIH has issued a new funding opportunity to support research on injuries and death resulting from firearms. This cross-NIH opportunity is another in a line of new grants that support research on this topic. Science is critical to understanding the crisis faced in the US due to firearm injury. This opportunity continues NIH support of research on the topic and comes on the heels of appropriations bills allocating funds to NIH to conduct research in the area.
NIH reports that firearms are the most lethal means of suicide and account for three quarters of homicide deaths. Along with the physical injury that results from firearms violence, there are numerous mental and behavioral health conditions that can develop from even witnessing a violent experience. Various health disparities accompany firearm violence, too, NIH notes.
Research submitted to the new NIH funding opportunity should be focused on a broad public health approach. This funding opportunity will prioritize proposals that would:
- Improve the ability to identify individuals at risk for firearm injury and mortality including suicide, homicide, and accidental injury and mortality.
- Develop, validate, and study implementation procedures, particularly for healthcare systems to determine who should be screened and how to screen accurately and efficiently for risk of firearm injury and mortality.
- Improve understanding of developmental and contextual factors associated with firearm injury and mortality that extends individual risk assessment to include situational factors such as use of alcohol or substances, among other factors, as well as multiple levels including peers, family, community, and structural determinants, and interactions across these levels.
- Understand potential factors that could be enhanced to reduce the negative effects of risk exposure.
- Develop and pilot test innovative and culturally competent interventions delivered online, in healthcare, and/or community settings to prevent injury and mortality and revictimization/repeat injury or retaliatory firearm violence among those at risk.
- Conduct implementation research with existing evidence-based interventions to assess barriers at multiple levels and improve fidelity, adherence, and adoption of these programs.
- Study precision public health questions to determine for whom various firearm injury and mortality prevention programs are likely to be most effective.
- Assess the impact of combining public health and criminal justice (crime prevention) approaches to reduce firearm injury and mortality. This includes the evaluation of changes in various laws and policies that may influence the impact of firearm injury and mortality prevention efforts.
This R61 grant is an Exploratory/Developmental Grant. NIH will allow multiple submissions so long as the submissions are distinct in research topic and do not have too much overlap.
The deadline for applications is May 15, 2020.
To read more about the directive from Congress in its appropriations to allow NIH to conduct research on the underlying causes of gun violence, visit the APS Observer article from March, “Funding for Gun-Violence Research Ends 20-Year Drought.”
To learn more about revising an existing NIH grant to include firearm injury research, see the recent APS post, “NIH Grant Funding for Firearms Injury and Mortality Prevention Research.”
Psychological scientists interested in learning more about this opportunity should visit NIH’s “Firearm Injury and Mortality Prevention Research (R61 Clinical Trial Optional).”