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Neurosciences and mental health research: responsive mode research grant

Neurosciences and mental health research: responsive mode research grant

Apply for funding to support research projects focused on neurosciences and mental health. You must be a researcher employed by a research organisation eligible to apply for MRC funding.

You can involve more than one research group or organisation in the project.

There is no limit to the funding you can apply for, but it should be appropriate to the project. We will usually fund up to 80% of your project’s full economic cost.

Projects can last up to five years, but they typically last three to four years.

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

Who is eligible to apply

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

  • be a researcher employed by an eligible research organisation
  • show that you will direct the project and be actively engaged in the work
  • focus your application within the research area of population and system medicine

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

Scope

We’re looking to fund research into neurosciences and mental health.

The neurosciences and mental health board funds research in:

  • neurosciences
  • mental health
  • disorders of the human nervous system

We aim to transform our understanding of the physiology and behaviour of the human nervous system throughout the life course in health and in illness, as well as how to treat and prevent disorders of the brain.

The research we support includes the interactions between the nervous system and other parts of the body, the brain, mental health and physical health. We are also interested in how episodes throughout life impact on lifelong mental and neurological health.

We’re looking to fund research in areas including, but not limited to:

  • neurodegeneration
  • clinical neurology and neuroinflammation
  • mental health
  • addictions and substance misuse
  • behavioural and learning disorders including autism
  • cognitive and behavioural neuroscience and cognitive systems
  • sensory neuroscience including vision and hearing
  • neurobiology and neurophysiology
  • underpinning support, such as:
    • neuroimaging technology
    • brain banking
    • neuroinformatics

Find out more about the Neurosciences and mental health areas of investment

We encourage you to contact us first at support@funding-service.ukri.org to discuss your application, especially if you believe your research may cross MRC or research council interests. If your application fits another research board remit better, we may decide to transfer it there to be assessed.

MRC responsive mode research grants:

  • are suitable for focused short or long-term research projects
  • can support method development or development and continuation of research facilities
  • may involve more than one research group or organisation

For more information on the background of this funding opportunity, go to the Additional information section.

Duration

We will fund projects lasting up to five years, although projects typically last three to four years. If your project will last more than three years, you must justify the reason for this.

If your project will last less than two years, it must be for proof of principle or pilot work only. We expect proof of principle proposals to support high-risk or high-reward research by critically testing a key hypothesis or demonstrating the feasibility of an approach that could lead to fundamentally new avenues of research.

Contact support@funding-service.ukri.org for advice if you would like to apply for a short or long-duration project.

Projects should start between one to six months after the funding decision date.

Funding available

There is no limit to the funding you can apply for. Your application must be for an amount that:

  •  is appropriate to the project
  • you can justify in order to deliver the objectives of the proposed research

We will fund 80% of the full economic cost and 100% of permitted exceptions.

Find out more about full economic costing.

What we will fund

You can request funding for costs such as:

  • a contribution to the salary of the project lead and co-leads
  • support for other posts such as research and technical staff
  • research consumables
  • equipment
  • travel costs
  • data preservation, data sharing and dissemination costs
  • estates and indirect costs
  • NHS research costs, when they are associated with NHS studies

You can also request costs for work to be undertaken at international organisations by international project co-leads. We will fund 100% of the full economic cost.

The total of such costs requested for international applicants from developed countries (those not on the OECD DAC List of ODA Recipients), India and China must not exceed 30% of the total resources requested.

There is no cap on costs requested for international applicants from DAC list countries.

For more information on international costs and what we will and will not fund see costs we fund-overseas costs and the Collaborate with Researchers in Norway guidance.

What we will not fund

We will not fund:

  • research involving randomised trials of clinical treatments
  • costs for PhD studentships
  • publication costs
  • funding to use as a ‘bridge’ between grants

If you are applying using a lead agency agreement, MRC will not fund the international partners, they will be funded by their respective funding agency.

Team project partner

You may include team project partners that will support your research project through cash or in-kind contributions, such as:

  • staff time
  • access to equipment
  • sites or facilities
  • the provision of data
  • software or materials

Each project partner must provide a statement of support. If your application involves industry partners, they must provide additional information if the team project partner falls within the industry collaboration framework.

Find out more about subcontractors and dual roles.

Who cannot be included as a team project partner

The individual named as the contact for the project partner organisation cannot also be a named applicant, such as those with a role of project lead or co-lead and any other named member of staff.

Supporting skills and talent

We encourage you to follow the principles of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers and the Technician Commitment.

International collaboration

UKRI is committed in ensuring that effective international collaboration in research and innovation takes place with integrity and within strong ethical frameworks.

Trusted research and innovation (TR&I) is a UKRI work programme designed to help protect all those working in our thriving and collaborative international sector by enabling partnerships to be as open as possible, and as secure as necessary. Our TR&I principles set out UKRI’s expectations of organisations funded by UKRI in relation to due diligence for international collaboration.

As such, applicants for UKRI funding may be asked to demonstrate how their proposed projects will comply with our approach and expectation towards TR&I, identifying potential risks and the relevant controls you will put in place to help proportionately reduce these risks.

Further guidance and information about TR&I – including additional where applicants can find additional support – can be found on UKRI’s website.

Find out about getting funding for international collaboration.

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