Neurosciences and mental health: new investigator: responsive mode

Neurosciences and mental health: new investigator: responsive mode

Apply for funding to:

  • research neurosciences and mental health
  • take the next step towards becoming an independent researcher
Call, Funding, Opportunities
Funding news

Apply for funding to:

  • research neurosciences and mental health
  • take the next step towards becoming an independent researcher

You must have:

  • the skills and experience to ‘transition to independence’
  • the support of a host research organisation eligible for Medical Research Council (MRC) funding

There is no limit to the funding you can apply for, but the typical full economic cost of a project is under £1 million. MRC will usually fund 80% of the full economic cost.

This funding usually lasts three years and covers up to 50% of your salary.

This is an ongoing funding opportunity. Application rounds close every January, May and September.


Before applying for funding, check the Eligibility of your organisation.

UKRI has introduced new role types for funding opportunities being run on the new UKRI Funding Service.

For full details, visit Eligibility as an individual.

Who is eligible to apply

To be eligible to apply for this funding opportunity you must:

  • have research organisation support
  • be able to show that your skills and experience match those in the ‘transition to independence’ stage of the MRC applicant skills and experience table
  • use this grant to support your long-term career goals and chosen career route
  • show that you will direct and be the sole intellectual leader of the proposed project
  • focus your application within the research area of neurosciences and mental health

You are also eligible to apply if you:

  • are employed as a postdoctoral research assistant, although this grant cannot start until your current work finishes
  • hold a lecturer appointment, a junior fellowship or another research staff position
  • hold, or have held, an early career training fellowship such as an MRC skills development fellowship
  • do not have a contract with your chosen host organisation
  • are not currently based at the eligible research organisation that has agreed to host your new investigator award
  • are either a non-clinical or clinically active researcher
  • have any number of years of experience

For applicants who do not have a contract of employment for the duration of the proposed project, by submitting an application the research organisation is confirming, if it is successful:

  • contracts will be extended beyond the end date of the project
  • all necessary support for the project and the applicants will be provided, including mentorship and career development for early career researchers

Who is not eligible to apply

You are not eligible to apply if you have achieved independence, for example by receiving substantial grant income as a fellow or project lead (formally known as principal investigator).

‘Substantial grant income’ is typically defined as grants or fellowships that are three or more years long, providing more than £50,000 direct research costs each year (excluding your salary).

You are also not eligible to apply if you have:

If you are unsure whether you meet the eligibility criteria or have any questions about your eligibility you should contact to find out whether you can apply.

Read our new investigator research grants frequently asked questions for situation-specific eligibility information.

Project co-leads

Project co-leads can be involved, if they bring expertise to the project from outside the research field of the project lead.

The current supervisor or lab head of the project lead should not be a co-lead.

International applicants

You can include international co-leads if they provide expertise in another research field that is not available in the UK. You must justify in your application why their expertise is required, see Applicant and team capability to deliver.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

We are committed to achieving equality of opportunity for all funding applicants. We encourage applications from a diverse range of researchers.

We support people to work in a way that suits their personal circumstances. This includes:

  • career breaks
  • support for people with caring responsibilities
  • flexible working
  • alternative working patterns

Find out more about equality, diversity and inclusion at UKRI.


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