Three Schools' Mental Health Programme: Research Award

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  • The NIHR Schools for Primary Care Research (SPCR), Public Health Research (SPHR) and Social Care Research (SSCR) (“three Schools”) have joined together in a unique collaboration between leading academic centres in England to collaborate on a programme of work on Mental Health, led by the SPCR and funded through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

    A key aspect of the Three NIHR Research Schools Mental Health Programme is funding research projects that will prioritise those groups with high needs for treatment and support, and that have been underserved by research to date to address some of the most fundamental gaps in the evidence base.

ABOUT THIS FUNDING

The NIHR Schools for Primary Care Research (SPCR), Public Health Research (SPHR) and Social Care Research (SSCR) (“three Schools”) have joined together in a unique collaboration between leading academic centres in England to collaborate on a programme of work on Mental Health, led by the SPCR and funded through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR):

Improving mental health and wellbeing in underserved populations through collaborative research

At least one in four people experience mental health problems, many of whom never access care and treatment. There are also large numbers of people with learning disability (prevalence c.2%) and autism (prevalence c.1%). Mental health problems, learning disabilities and autism generate challenges for individuals with these conditions, their families and the wider society, with often quite high utilisation of health, social care and other services. Those challenges are seen across the life course. The impacts of mental health problems on individuals and the wider societal and economic consequences are multiple and vast and include above-average rates of concurrent physical illnesses, shortened life expectancy, social exclusion, socioeconomic disadvantage, and the need for health and welfare support. Despite the high prevalence, many people do not receive the support they need and there are significant inequalities in access. These underserved groups include, but are not limited to, people with learning disabilities, parts of the autistic and neurodiverse community, people from Black and other ethnic minority backgrounds.

REQUIREMENTS / ELIGIBILITY

As part of the Three NIHR Research Schools Mental Health Programme we are inviting applications for research projects that will prioritise those groups with high needs for treatment and support, and that have been underserved by research to date to address some of the most fundamental gaps in the evidence base. By working collaboratively across primary care, public health and social care, we will address problems in a multi-professional, multi-disciplinary way and at the individual, family, group and population levels using a variety of methodological approaches.

This programme seeks to address some of the most fundamental gaps in the evidence base. By working collaboratively across primary care, public health and social care, we will address problems in a multi-professional, multi-disciplinary way and at the individual, family, group and population levels using a variety of methodological approaches.

Research proposals submitted to this call should be underpinned by strong and diverse public, carer, service user and patient involvement and engagement. The programme will prioritise research with groups with high needs for treatment and support, and that have been underserved by research to date. NIHR ‘heatmaps’ (see appendix 1) should be used to help identify and address the disparity between need and research activity. We recognise, however, that those ‘heatmaps’ have some limitations, including that they relate only to common mental disorders and do not cover severe mental illness, learning disability or autism, which are the conditions most likely to bring people into contact with social care services; nor do they cover child and adolescent mental illness.

For this call, we would particularly welcome applications looking at conditions in the following Health Research Classification System (HRCS) ‘mental health’ categories:

  • Depression
  • Addiction
  • Anxiety
  • Learning disabilities.

Funding

There is £500k available for this call.

Awards may start from 1 April 2022 onwards.

Awards can be of any duration but must not extend beyond 31 March 2024.

FURTHER PARTICULARS

Selection criteria

Applications will be reviewed using the following criteria:

  • Relevance and importance to the priorities and needs of primary care, public health and social care
  • Clear alignment with the remit of the Three NIHR Research Schools Mental Health Programme
  • Awareness and understanding of previous relevant research or developments in this area
  • Appropriateness of the research design in relation to the stated objectives
  • Appropriateness of the work plan and project management arrangements
  • Strength of the dissemination plan
  • Strength of the proposed plans for patient and public involvement throughout the duration of the research
  • Level of collaboration across the Three NIHR Research Schools.

APPLICATION PROCESS

All applications will be assessed by the Three NIHR Research Schools Steering Group to ensure three appropriate coverage of relevant themes and geography. Applications will be sent for review outside the schools.

Applicants will be informed of the outcome by the end of January 2022.

Applications should be emailed to e.g.fletcher@keele.ac.uk by 16 December 2021.