Despite the high impact of mental disorders in society, European mental health research is at a critical situation with a relatively low level of funding, and few advances been achieved during the last decade. The development of coordinated research policies and integrated research networks in mental health is lagging behind other disciplines in Europe, resulting in lower degree of cooperation and scientific impact. To reduce more efficiently the burden of mental disorders in Europe, a concerted new research agenda is necessary. The ROAMER (Roadmap for Mental Health Research in Europe) project, funded under the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme, aims to develop a comprehensive and integrated mental health research agenda within the perspective of the European Union (EU) Horizon 2020 programme, with a translational goal, covering basic, clinical and public health research. ROAMER covers six major domains: infrastructures and capacity building, biomedicine, psychological research and treatments, social and economic issues, public health and well-being. Within each of them, state-of-the-art and strength, weakness and gap analyses were conducted before building consensus on future research priorities. The process is inclusive and participatory, incorporating a wide diversity of European expert researchers as well as the views of service users, carers, professionals and policy and funding institutions.