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Review Article

Public and Nonprofit Funding for Research on Mental Disorders in France, the United Kingdom, and the United States

Karine Chevreul, MD, PhD; David McDaid, MSc; Carrie M. Farmer, PhD; Amélie Prigent, MSc; A-La Park, MSc; Marion Leboyer, MD, PhD; David J. Kupfer, MD; and Isabelle Durand-Zaleski, MD, PhD

Published: July 15, 2012

Article Abstract

Objective: To document the investments made in research on mental disorders by both government and nonprofit nongovernmental organizations in France, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Data Sources: An exhaustive survey was conducted of primary sources of public and nonprofit organization funding for mental health research for the year 2007 in France and the United Kingdom and for fiscal year 2007-2008 in the United States, augmented with an examination of relevant Web sites and publications. In France, all universities and research institutions were identified using the Public Finance Act. In the United Kingdom, we scrutinized Web sites and hand searched annual reports and grant lists for the public sector and nonprofit charitable medical research awarding bodies. In the United States, we included the following sources: the National Institutes of Health, other administrative entities within the Department of Health and Human Services (eg, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the Department of Education, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense, and the National Science Foundation and, for nonprofit funding, The Foundation Center.

Data Extraction: We included research on all mental disorders and substance-related disorders using the same keywords. We excluded research on mental retardation and dementia and on the promotion of mental well-being. We used the same algorithm in each country to obtain data for only mental health funding in situations in which funding had a broader scope.

Results: France spent $27.6 million (2%) of its health research budget on mental disorders, the United Kingdom spent $172.6 million (7%), and the United States spent $5.2 billion (16%). Nongovernmental funding ranged from 1% of total funding for mental health research in France and the United States to 14% in the United Kingdom.

Conclusions: Funding for research on mental disorders accounts for low proportions of research budgets compared with funding levels for research on other major health problems, whereas the expected return on investment is potentially high.


J Clin Psychiatry 2012;73(7):e906-e912

Submitted: September 26, 2011; accepted February 21, 2012 (doi:10.4088/JCP.11r07418).

Corresponding author: Isabelle Durand-Zaleski, MD, PhD, Département de Recherche Clinique et Santé Publique, Groupe hospitalier Henri Mondor-Albert Chenevier, 51 avenue du Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny, 94010 Créteil, France (


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Volume: 73

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