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Applications Invited for Mental Health Award

Applications Invited for Mental Health Award

Organization: Wellcome

Apply By: 07 Jun 2023

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About the Organization

Wellcome is a global charitable foundation established in 1936. Through our work we support science to solve the urgent health issues facing everyone.

We fund curiosity-driven research, and we’re taking on three of the biggest health challenges facing humanity – climate change, infectious disease and mental health.

About the Grant

As part of our new strategic focus, Wellcome aims to drive a transformative change in the ability to intervene as early as possible in the course of anxiety and depression, broadly defined, in ways prioritised by the people who experience them. This work involves advancing scientific understanding of how brain, body and environment interact in the course and resolution of these conditions; finding new and improved ways to predict, identify, and stratify groups of people so that we can provide more timely and personalised interventions; and finding new and improved ways of intervening.

We recognise that to make progress we need to bring together an equitable, ethical, diverse and global research community to focus on the value of stratification for mental health. Through this call, we aim to foster the field of stratification in mental health research by encouraging applications from multi-disciplinary teams from diverse settings, both geographical and in terms of level of resource. We are also looking to encourage equitable collaborations between low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and high-income countries (HICs) so that findings may be applicable globally.

Current mental health diagnostic categories are imperfect, and rely on subjective measures, resulting in significant heterogeneity of people within each diagnostic category, which in turn impacts development and provision of effective interventions. Stratified medicine aims to identify sub-groups of individuals within a heterogenous disease population based upon unique characteristics of each sub-group (strata) such as underlying mechanisms, risk factors, course of disease or treatment responses.

A number of different methods can be utilised to measure the unique characteristics of the sub-groups including, but not limited to:

  • genetics
  • biochemical
  • imaging
  • clinical scores
  • socio-demographic characteristics
  • behavioural or psychological assessments

Use of stratification approaches has the potential to identify the sub-groups of individuals that will benefit most from a targeted pharmacological or non-pharmacological treatment. Furthermore, stratification of people with mental health conditions will enable early intervention with the potential to alter trajectories of these conditions and have maximum impact on people’s lives.

In this call, we aim to advance stratification in anxiety and/or depression, through funding further validation of promising biological, psychological, social and digital markers, whether alone or in combination with observable or behavioural characteristics, with a goal to enable early identification of sub-groups and targeted treatment.

Throughout the duration of the funding, Wellcome will encourage collaboration between funded groups through engagement activities (for example webinars and workshops), to support external validation efforts, in order to foster the field of stratification in mental health research and support the building of a community of stakeholders from various settings.

Eligibility

You can apply to this call if you are a team:

from a relevant discipline from eligible organisations (see below)

based anywhere in the world, apart from mainland China and sanctioned territories

We encourage applications from multi-disciplinary teams, including those outside the life sciences. We consider a broad range of disciplines to be relevant to mental health science, including but not limited to those listed in our mental health funding remit. We want to encourage applications from a range of career stages

Lead applicant You must: 

  • Have the experience, or the necessary support structures in place, needed to drive and lead a research programme to address your proposed research questions in anxiety and/or depression.
  • Have experience of people and research management and training, as appropriate for your career stage. 
  • Have experience of or demonstrate commitment to effectively leading a team that embeds lived experience as relevant to the project and approach.
  • Be able to contribute at least 20% of your research time to this project. 
  • Have a permanent, open-ended or long-term rolling contract for the duration of the award, or guarantee of a salaried post, which is not conditional on receiving this award. 
  • Be based at an eligible host organisation that can sign up to our grant conditions. 
  • Only request salary recovery if this is a condition of your employment contract.

Each co-applicant: 

  • Must be essential for the delivery of the proposed research and make a significant contribution, for example designing the research, writing the application, leading and/or delivering a specific work-package or research aim or managing the programme.
  • Must demonstrate the team’s commitment to effectively embed lived experience as relevant to the project and approach.
  • Must be able to contribute at least 20% of their research time to this project.
  • Does not need to have a permanent, open-ended or long-term rolling contract at their host institution. However, must have a guarantee of space from their host institution for the duration of their commitment to the award.
  • Must be based at an eligible organisation that can sign up to our grant conditions.
  • Can be based in the same or in different organisations, can be at any career stage, and come from any discipline, but the added value of the team approach must be clear.

Host organization

The organization can be a:

  • Higher education institution
  • Research institute
  • Non-academic healthcare organisation
  • Not-for-profit or non-governmental research organisation based anywhere in the world (apart from mainland China and sanctioned territories). These organisations must be able to sign up to Wellcome’s grant conditions.
  • Company: any commercial organisation based anywhere in the world can apply (apart from mainland China and sanctioned territories), as long as they can sign up to our grant conditions. You are not eligible for this call if your company is not established and/or doesn't have working capital. Funding to a company may need to occur through a convertible loan, or revenue sharing agreement to ensure public benefit. Please contact us to discuss further.

How to Apply

Submit your preliminary application 

Complete your application on Grant Tracker.

Your application must be submitted by 17:00 (BST) on the deadline day 7 June 2023 Preliminary application deadline

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