Impact Grants fund research projects at the University of Michigan that have the potential to significantly reduce the burden of mental health conditions.

Impact Grants support innovative, forward-thinking U-M investigators – regardless of field of study – who are interested in accelerating the field of depression and bipolar research. Breakthroughs often occur at the crossroads of disciplinary fields. Our goal is to foster greater collaboration among U-M researchers to expedite discoveries that lead to improved outcomes throughout our communities. Impact Grants typically range from $50,000 to $100,000 per project, with up to $350,000 in total funding available per cycle. 

The 2024 cycle of Impact Grants will be announced later this year. 

Who should apply

This opportunity is open to all University of Michigan faculty, graduate-level students, and post-doctoral researchers and fellows who have an interest in exploring research innovations to lower the burden of depression and bipolar disorders and being a part of interdisciplinary, collaborative teams. Those new to depression research or underrepresented or early-career researchers are strongly encouraged to apply. 

Streamlined application process 

Administrative red-tape is often a barrier for investigators looking to get their study off the ground. To empower researchers to pursue bold, out-of-the box ideas, we’ve streamlined our process to minimize the burden on applicants. One intriguing idea and one compelling page is all you need to get started.

Your one-page letter of intent should include: 

  • Abstract or description of your idea and title of research project
  • Name of principal investigator and any co-investigators, with titles and home departments 
  • Proposed project duration 
  • Total funding amount needed. Please note: You do not need to submit a detailed budget at this stage.

Types of projects we support

We have a 20-year history of supporting high-impact research. Funding awarded through our Center has supported research innovations in basic science, epidemiological studies, treatment development, education and public policy. We are specifically interested in projects that address or include the following:

  • Ideas and approaches that are innovative, bold, original and/or high-impact 
  • Primary, secondary, and/or tertiary prevention of mood disorder symptoms and/or onset
  • Diagnostics, treatment (including precision treatment, personalized medicine and/or mobile technology), management and/or monitoring of mood disorders
  • New and creative approaches to strategic intervention and/or implementation of socio-ecological intervention models

Selection process 

Our committee reviews letters of intent and invites a handful of applicants to move on to the final step, which includes a 5-page proposal with a narrative, detailed budget, principal investigator CV and other financial support. Final proposals are due in July. We anticipate 3-5 projects selected per cycle. Research activities begin in August and may be conducted for 1-2 years. 

Want more details? Check out our FAQ page 

If you have questions, contact the Research Innovation Core Manager, Karen Dugas.


This funding program is made possible through the generous funding provided through the Frances and Kenneth Eisenberg Translational Research Award, the Oscar Stern Award for Depression Research, the Jack L. Berman, M.D. and Barbara A. Berman, Ph.D. Depression Research Fund Award, and the John F. Greden Legacy Research Fund.