The Practice Research Network (PRN) in Maryland, funded by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health, extends the historically close collaborative relationship between the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Maryland and the Maryland Mental Hygiene Administration. The PRN focuses on the relationship between university-based investigators and participants in the public mental health system by using local mental health authorities (Core Service Agencies) as the point of contact. PRN staff serve as liaisons to foster partnerships between university researchers and practitioners. The PRN has identified a broader range of research participants by establishing contacts with provider agencies and stakeholder groups. It has addressed concerns about research participation by meeting with consumer and family groups and arranging for investigators to present research projects to stakeholders. This approach to developing a statewide network in support of mental health research can serve as a model for other state and university partnerships.