Applications are now open for the Mental Health Award to investigate the causal mechanisms through which brain, body and environment interact over time in the development, persistence and resolution of anxiety- and trauma-related disorders.
Wellcome’s mental health strategic aim is to drive a transformative change in the ability to intervene as early as possible in the course of anxiety, depression and psychosis, in ways that reflect the priorities and needs of people who experience these problems.
Mental Health Conditions in Scope
The primary focus of this call is on anxiety- and trauma-related disorders, defined here to include:
- generalised anxiety disorder
- panic disorder
- social anxiety disorder
- all types of phobias
- obsessive-compulsive disorder
- post-traumatic stress disorder
- acute stress disorder
- trans diagnostic symptoms strongly associated with the above conditions (for example, threat hyper reactivity, repetitive negative thinking, etc.).
- Research that considers multiple levels of explanation
- The causes and solutions of mental health problems are likely to involve a combination of biological, psychological and social factors. Integrated approaches are therefore crucial to understanding the causal mechanisms of mental health problems.
- They are therefore looking to fund research that examines questions at more than one level of explanation (for example, molecular, cellular, systems, cognitive, behavioural, social, environmental or societal). This may involve using different experimental models (for example, organoid and rodent models) and human participants; however, this is not a requirement.
- Research in low- and middle-income countries
- Without a better understanding of how these problems develop, persist and resolve in these countries, they will not be able to progress towards the vision of a world in which no one is held back by mental health problems.
- They are therefore looking to fund research within and/or across low- and middle-income countries, to better understand how different contexts may impact the trajectory of anxiety-related problems.
- Projects of any duration up to 5 years
- Applicants should ask for the duration of funding that is appropriate for their project.
- Projects of any budget up to £4 million.
- There is no average award amount for this call. You should ask for the level of funding you need for your proposed research.
Examples of other Elements in Scope
Research proposals can:
- Include secondary research objectives and activities exploring how anxiety-related problems precede or develop alongside depression and/or psychosis (both of strategic interest to Wellcome), but this cannot be the primary focus of the research proposal.
- Examine interactions between different causal factors.
- Explore multiple mechanisms for a single causal factor.
- Look at how anxiety-related problems develop, persist and resolve across an individual’s lifespan.
- Focus on populations of any age but make the case as to how insights would ultimately have implications for early intervention.
- Focus on transdiagnostic symptoms of mental health problems that can be experienced by individuals with anxiety-related problems (for example, persistent worrying or irritability).
- Study anxiety-related problems in the context of other conditions (for example, study how generalised anxiety disorder develops in the context of autism).
- Focus on under-represented and/or under-researched populations (for example, children living with intellectual disabilities, ethnic minority communities).
- Conduct comparative research (for example, compare how post-traumatic stress disorder develops in low- and/or middle-income countries as opposed to in a high-income country).
Who can apply?
- You can apply to this call if you are a team of researchers:
- from any relevant discipline
- from an eligible organisation
- based anywhere in the world (apart from mainland China)
- They encourage applications from:
- diverse and interdisciplinary teams, with collaborations covering multiple areas of expertise (for example, biological, psychological and social)
- researchers at any stage of their career, including early career researchers and/or those who are new to the field of mental health science
- Each application should include the necessary team expertise and organisational support to answer the proposed research question(s). The contribution of each coapplicant (and collaborator, if applicable) to the project should be justified. Teams may want to consider involving people with lived experience of mental health problems in the project team, as lead applicants, coapplicants and/or collaborators.
- The lead applicant must:
- Have the experience needed to drive and lead a collaborative, large-scale research project and/or the necessary support structures in place to enable this.
- Have experience of people and research management, as appropriate for their career stage.
- Have experience of, or demonstrate commitment to, effectively leading a team that embeds lived experience expertise, as relevant to the research project.
- Each co-applicant must:
- Be essential for the delivery of the project and make a significant contribution, for example, in designing the proposed research and leading a specific component of the project.
- Demonstrate the team’s commitment to effectively embed lived experience expertise, as relevant to the research project.
- Have a guarantee of space from their administering organisation for the duration of their commitment to the project, but do not need to have a permanent, open-ended or long-term rolling contract.
- Collaborators can also be included in applications. They are distinct from coapplicants in that they will support the delivery of the project but will not lead on a specific component of the research.
- The team:
- The team should include all the necessary expertise and technical skills to deliver the proposed research, including lived experience expertise and/or the skills needed to effectively involve and collaborate with people with lived experience.
- The team will be expected to actively foster a diverse, inclusive and supportive research environment within the team and across represented organisations.
- The organisation can be a:
- higher education institution
- research institute
- non-academic healthcare organisation
- not-for-profit or non-governmental research organisation
- commercial organisation
- You cannot apply to this call if you intend to carry out activities that involve the transfer of grant funds into mainland China.
- You can only be an applicant on a maximum of two applications to this funding call (irrespective of your career stage):
- You can be a lead applicant on one application and a coapplicant on another.
- You can be a coapplicant on two applications.
- You must be able to demonstrate that you can dedicate enough time and resources to both projects if funded.
For more information, visit Wellcome.