Applying to the Transformation of Mental Health Care Program

Application portal opens annually on September 1 and closes on December 15.


Since 1998, the Klingenstein Third Generation Foundation (KTGF) has awarded post-doctoral fellowships for innovative scientific research that improves our understanding of the causes, prevention, and treatment of depression and ADHD in children. Since 2002, the Foundation has funded programs at select medical schools to bolster medical students’ knowledge and interest in mental health and build the pipeline of psychiatrists.

In 2015, the Foundation initiated the “Transformation of Mental Health Care,” a program focused on improving access to high quality mental health care for children and adolescents, especially those from low-income families and under-resourced communities, or other minoritized populations that may have limited supports and resources. This includes families that come from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds and families that live in poverty. This program was prompted by recognition by KTGF Board members, based in part on their personal experiences, that it is often difficult for parents to access high-quality care when confronted with the challenging and often complex mental health needs of their children.


• Proposals are due 11:59 pm EST December 15
• Applications are submitted online

Goal of the Program

We are soliciting applications for academic investigators conducting research to demonstrate the benefits of novel ways to access or deliver mental health care or prevention approaches that can be implemented at scale. This application is specifically for high quality research that builds upon promising pilot work and will lead to a larger demonstration project. Requests for service projects and applications that primarily focus on expanding services or measuring quality within an organization will not be reviewed.

In particular, Klingenstein Third Generation Foundation is interested in improving access to high quality mental health care and prevention for children and adolescents through the use of novel models or promising approaches, including expanding the number of professional and paraprofessional treatment personnel who are trained to deliver mental health services, delivering care in non-psychiatric settings (e.g., primary care, schools, home, or other novel settings), digital technology (e.g., the internet, apps for cell phones), and approaches that help parents access care for their children.

The primary outcomes of the project include improved access and/or reduced time to service delivery, or implementation outcomes such as stakeholder involvement, acceptability, feasibility, and fidelity. Primary outcomes should demonstrate that the project is being designed for scalability. Secondary outcomes include clinical or functional outcomes that are likely to improve when access to care is high quality, such as decreased symptoms, burdens and maladaptive behaviors associated with mental health challenges; improved educational, relational and health outcomes; or enhanced youth and family functioning.

Eligibility, Guidelines and Components

Eligibility and Funding Levels

  1. Academic researchers from universities, research institutions, health systems or other settings that are positioned to provide rigorous high-quality research focused on transforming mental and behavioral health care that improves outcomes for children and adolescents are eligible. Investigators must reside within institutions based in the United States, where all research on the project will be completed.
  2. Investigators can be at any stage in their career but must have collected enough pilot data to inform the development of the proposed research project and must be well enough established to lead an effort such as this. For investigators who are early in their career, we strongly recommend collaborating with a more senior academic researcher who has expertise in program development and dissemination. Co-applicants / principal investigators are allowed if they reside at the same institution.
  3. The foundation expects to make up to two grant awards. Each award will be in the amount of $100,000 per year over a two-year period, for a total of $200,000 per grant.  Payment of the second year of funding is contingent on sufficient progress during the first year of the grant.
  4. Applicants cannot apply for both a KTGF Fellowship grant and a Transformation of Mental Health Care grant in the same year.
  5. Each applicant has the opportunity to re-submit one time.


  1. The proposal should build upon promising pilot data demonstrating improved access to high quality care or prevention approaches and functional outcomes in youth with mental health problems. This might include augmentation and larger-scale implementation of a program initially funded by the KTGF (for example, as one of its Fellowships), or a project not previously funded by KTGF. Requests for service projects and applications that primarily focus on expanding services or measuring quality within an organization will not be reviewed.
  2. The proposal should clearly outline how the project will use novel approaches to improve access to prevention or high quality mental health care for at-risk youth or youth with existing mental health problems. These novel approaches may include the use of non-professionals, health care providers other than mental health clinicians, digital technology (e.g., the internet, apps for cell phones), or other innovative approaches, including those that help parents access care for their children.
  3. The proposal must demonstrate that the program is easy to use and convenient for children and/or parents accessing mental health care.
  4. The proposal must demonstrate how the program has potential for scaling (e.g., production of a template which can be applied in real world settings).
  5. The proposal must include a plan to measure the effectiveness of the proposed project using established methods.
  6. After one year, and at the conclusion of the research project, the awardee will submit a report to the KTGF detailing the activities which have been conducted, recommendations to the field, and next steps required for program implementation and evaluation. Payment of the second year of funding is contingent upon adequate progress in the first year of the grant.

Proposal Components

The program should include the following components in single spaced 12-point font:

  1. Summary page: one-page description of the nature and scope of the project.
  2. Contact information of Principal Investigator (PI).
  3. Background information regarding the site(s) at which the research will take place.
  4. Brief summary in layperson’s terms of proposed research.
  5. Detailed description of the proposed research: the research plan must clearly state the objectives of the research, how they will be tested, and the primary and secondary outcomes of the project, and should address any challenges or potential barriers to program implementation and how the project is integrated with a larger plan to scale the work (not to exceed six pages).
  6. Letters of support from key personnel other than the PI, along with their 2-page NIH-style biosketch.
  7. Indication of the level of institution and faculty support of the project, including letter of support from Department Chair or Division Director.
  8. Timeline for project implementation and completion.
  9. Sources of potential funding for larger scaling.
  10. Itemized budget: indirect costs may be requested, but the Program limits indirect costs to 10%.


All submissions are completed online. Applications are due on December 15, 11:59 pm EST. The Foundation expects to award the grant by April 1. Funding will begin July 1, after IRB approval has been established and all relevant contracts have been put in place.

Please note the academic researcher must initiate the application process. Once the academic researcher has started the application, they may invite other people (e.g., development and administrative staff) to work on the request. Co-applicants / principal investigators should choose one investigator to initiate the process. For this proposal, select “KTGF Transformation of Mental Health Care”.  

Questions should be referred to

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