With shrinking federal resources, innovative approaches involving both professional organizations and federal program staff are needed to stimulate research in new or undeveloped clinical areas. National Institute of Mental Health staff and members of the American Psychiatric Association's task force on cost-effectiveness in consultation-liaison psychiatry applied a collaborative model, the research development workshop, to stimulate outcome research in consultation-liaison psychiatry, a field with little previous such research. As a result 12 grant proposals have been submitted to NIMH for review in the last three years, and six are now funded. In contrast, in the previous ten fiscal years none of the nearly 700 services research proposals focused on the consultation-liaison area. The model could be applied to other mental health fields in which research should be stimulated.