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TLDR: Get funded up to £50k over six months to write 3,500 words on novel ideas from domains outside of mental health science that could accelerate progress in early intervention for depression, anxiety, or psychosis.

MQ Mental Health Transdisciplinary Research Grants

This funding opportunity from MQ Mental Health Research and Wellcome aims to support researchers outside psychiatry, psychology, and neuroscience to apply bold and novel ideas and methods from their discipline to mental health science. 

We seek to bring ambitious ideas and new thinking from different academic disciplines and backgrounds to make contributions to mental health science and drive breakthroughs in prevention and treatment of depression, anxiety, or psychosis.

The chosen awardees (individuals or small teams) will have 6 months to review the relevant literature and produce a viewpoint paper of publishable standard (for example, as a review, personal view, position paper, or comment) of up to 3,500 words, as well as a single-page summary.

What do we fund?

This pilot scheme will provide funding of up to £50,000 (GBP) for a period of 6 months. Funds must be used for direct research costs such as materials, supplies, personnel, and travel to the extent that such expenses are directly related to the proposed project.

What are we looking for?

We will fund innovative and bold ideas to advance the field of mental health science and further our understanding of what causes mental health conditions or supports their resolution, and how we can personalise and improve pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions to prevent and treat depression, anxiety, and psychosis.

Proposed projects should include novel applications of methods and concepts from domains outside of mental health science to accelerate progress in early intervention for depression, anxiety, or psychosis.

We encourage applicants to consider how they will incorporate patient and public perspectives in their proposed projects. MQ will support awardees in embedding patient and public involvement in their research through genuine and meaningful partnership with patients and the public in design, delivery and dissemination of research.

Career Level: All career levels: Early-career, mid-career, and established researchers

Research Area: Individuals or teams from any academic discipline or background outside mental health science including but not limited to:

  • Arts and humanities
  • Economics, social and political sciences
  • Basic sciences, e.g. physics, mathematics
  • Engineering and physical sciences
  • Environmental sciences
  • Biotechnology and biological science

Host institution: Anywhere in the world except for institutions that are based in mainland China and countries which are under UK financial sanctions.

Funding Period: 6 months

Funding Amount: Up to £50,000 (GBP)


  • Projects should have one lead applicant responsible for creating and submitting the application. The lead applicant will be accountable for completion of grant activities and financial management of the grant.
  • Applicants should only act as lead applicant or co-applicants on one application.
  • Lead applicants should identify a host institution which will act as the lead applicant’s employer for the duration of the award. Host organisations hosting the MQ grant must be able to provide the applicant with a contract of employment for the duration of the award.
  • Team applicants should clarify the distinct roles and responsibilities of each co-applicant involved.


  • Webinar: 5th of July at 14:30
  • Expression of interest opening date: 01 July 2023
  • Expression of interest closing date: 08 September 2023 – at 13:00 UK time
  • Full application opening date: 22 September 2023
  • Full application closing date: 23 October 2023 – at 13:00 UK time
  • Peer review: October to November 2023
  • Award start date: 01 January 2024

How to apply?

  • Expression of Interest: All applicants are expected to complete an online expression of interest via our grants management system Flexi-Grant by 8 September 2023 13:00 (UK time). You will be asked to provide:
    • Details about the applicant/s (employment, education/training, career stage)
    • Breakdown of funds requested
    • Project summary of up to 800 words outlining aims and objectives, background and rationale, work plan, and potential outcomes
    • Lay summary of proposed project
  • Full Application: Shortlisted applicants will be invited to submit an online full application by 23 October 2023 13:00 (UK time). Full applications will be reviewed by the Funding Committee. The Committee will include lived experience and academic experts including mental health experts as well as experts from other disciplines.

How will applications be assessed?

The Funding Committee and external reviewers will assess the applications based on:

Potential of the proposal to accelerate advances in the field of mental health science

Novelty and boldness of the proposed ideas

Experience and/or qualifications of the lead applicant and co-applicants

The extent to which the project supports novel applications of methods and concepts into mental health science brought in from other fields

Potential for further development of the project in relation to scale, applicability, and ambition (e.g broader applicability to mental health research and types of literature surveyed)

Feasibility: Ability to successfully carry out the proposed project with resources and facilities available to applicant/s

The proposed use of funds: costs requested should be for the direct costs of the research and be reasonably justified in line with work plan


Please register to attend our webinar on 5th of July at 14:30 to learn more about the funding call, application and review process, and to ask any questions. We will then compile all the questions in an FAQ document which will be added to the call webpage.

Download the full information pack

The programme team is happy to respond to questions regarding the call, please contact us at grants@mqmentalhealth.org





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TL;DR: If I was going to try to seriously accelerate mental health research, I'd try to fix the Science, incentives, and data accumulation (having raw data about experiments, so that others can analyze it too). Then I'd give prestige and money to whoever actually makes progress.


As inspiration, "chapters" from ProjectLawful.com: To Hell With Science, To Earth With Science (if you read one, read this. especially the end)


This is of course too short to describe the approach in full, but my main point is that I'd try to fix incentives for people to have good ideas rather than having one good idea myself.


I know this isn't the submission you asked for, but maybe relevant people will read this comment

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