News Release

Friday, September 27, 2013

NIH calls for research projects examining violence

Particular consideration to be given to firearm violence.

The National Institutes of Health is opening funding opportunities calling for research on violence with particular focus on firearm violence. Applications will be accepted through fiscal year 2016.  NIH developed this call for proposals in response to the Presidential memorandum in January 2013 directing science agencies within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to fund research into the causes of firearm violence and ways to prevent it.

NIH plans to fund research projects over the next three years beginning in fiscal year 2014 into the causes and consequences of violence as it relates to the health of individuals and communities. The goal is to identify evidence-based strategies for preventing violence and incorporating them into clinical and community settings.

“In 2010, more than 11,000 individuals died by firearm homicide,” said Kenneth R. Warren, Ph.D., acting director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, one of several NIH institutes and centers that conduct research on violence. “Research has shown a connection between alcohol misuse and homicide and other violent acts. These studies will help us more clearly determine why this relationship exists and develop effective prevention strategies.”

In 2010, some 16,259 Americans were victims of homicide and 38,364 took their own lives, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. Of these, 11,078 Americans died by firearm homicide, while 19,932 died by firearm suicide. Exposure to violence is also linked to chronic diseases such as depression, obesity, and alcohol and drug abuse.

“Suicide is twice as common as homicide and even higher than traffic fatalities as a cause of death in the United States,” said Thomas R. Insel, M.D., director of the National Institute of Mental Health. “Evidence suggests that most suicides are related to a mental illness and statistics show that many involve firearms.”

While NIH funding for violence-related research has been ongoing for many years, several recent reports from key health organizations, including the World Health Organization and Institute of Medicine, have called for additional studies.  The solicited research aims to study:

  • underlying behavioral, neurobiological and genetic mechanisms of violence
  • impact on public health, including individual-level and societal costs of violence
  • mental health and substance-related causes of violence
  • risk and protective factors at the individual, family and community level
  • safe, effective and cost-effective interventions to reduce and/or prevent violence and its triggers
  • best strategies to increase adoption and implementation of evidence-based interventions

More information about these funding opportunity announcements can be found at the following links:

Research on the Health Determinants and Consequences of Violence and its Prevention, Particularly Firearm Violence (R01), (R03), (R21).

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