Academic Psychiatry

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 221–228 | Cite as

Integrating Statistical and Clinical Research Elements in Intervention-Related Grant Applications: Summary From an NIMH Workshop

  • Joel T. Sherrill
  • David I. Sommers
  • Andrew A. Nierenberg
  • Andrew C. Leon
  • Stephan Arndt
  • Karen Bandeen-Roche
  • Joel Greenhouse
  • Donald Guthrie
  • Sharon-Lise Normand
  • Katharine A. Phillips
  • M. Katherine Shear
  • Robert Woolson
Original Article



The authors summarize points for consideration generated in a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) workshop convened to provide an opportunity for reviewers from different disciplines—specifically clinical researchers and statisticians—to discuss how their differing and complementary expertise can be well integrated in the review of intervention-related grant applications.


A 1-day workshop was convened in October, 2004. The workshop featured panel presentations on key topics followed by interactive discussion. This article summarizes the workshop and subsequent discussions, which centered on topics including weighting the statistics/data analysis elements of an application in the assessment of the application’s overall merit; the level of statistical sophistication appropriate to different stages of research and for different funding mechanisms; some key considerations in the design and analysis portions of applications; appropriate statistical methods for addressing essential questions posed by an application; and the role of the statistician in the application’s development, study conduct, and interpretation and dissemination of results.


A number of key elements crucial to the construction and review of grant applications were identified. It was acknowledged that intervention-related studies unavoidably involve trade-offs. Reviewers are helped when applications acknowledge such trade-offs and provide good rationale for their choices. Clear linkage among the design, aims, hypotheses, and data analysis plan and avoidance of disconnections among these elements also strengthens applications.


The authors identify multiple points to consider when constructing intervention-related grant applications. The points are presented here as questions and do not reflect institute policy or comprise a list of best practices, but rather represent points for consideration.


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Copyright information

© Academic Psychiatry 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joel T. Sherrill
    • 1
  • David I. Sommers
    • 2
  • Andrew A. Nierenberg
    • 3
  • Andrew C. Leon
    • 4
  • Stephan Arndt
    • 5
  • Karen Bandeen-Roche
    • 6
  • Joel Greenhouse
    • 7
  • Donald Guthrie
    • 8
  • Sharon-Lise Normand
    • 9
  • Katharine A. Phillips
    • 10
  • M. Katherine Shear
    • 11
  • Robert Woolson
    • 12
  1. 1.Division of Services and Intervention Research (DSIR)NIMHBethesdaUSA
  2. 2.Division of Extramural ActivitiesNIMHRichmondUSA
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry at MGHChapel HillUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychiatryWeill Medical College of Cornell UniversityNew YorkUSA
  5. 5.Iowa Consortium for Substance Abuse ResearchUniversity of Iowa Hospitals and ClinicsIowa CityUSA
  6. 6.Department of BiostatisticsJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA
  7. 7.Department of StatisticsCarnegie MellonPittsburghUSA
  8. 8.UCLALos AngelesUSA
  9. 9.Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  10. 10.Department of Psychiatry & Human BehaviorBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  11. 11.School of Social WorkColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  12. 12.Department of Psychiatry/BiostatisticsMedical University of South CarolinaCharlestonUSA

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