Mental health professionals interested in clinical research careers need accurate, current information about research support mechanisms of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). NIMH has recently expanded the research opportunities it offers in response to increased interest by the public and by Congress in schizophrenia, AIDS, and mental disorders of the elderly and children. This article describes the various types of NIMH programs available and their goals, criteria, and time and budget limitations. It also summarizes the grant review process and the role of NIMH program staff. Descriptions of new and revised grant mechanisms, including small grants, FIRST awards, Scientist Development Awards, and Academic Awards, and requirements for NIMH extramural and intramural fellowships and investigator-initiated training fellowships are also outlined.