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Pre-call announcement: MRC/AHRC/ESRC Adolescence, Mental Health and the Developing Mind initiative - call for Research Programmes

  • Time remaining: 4m 1w 5d 6h 34m
  • Status: Future
  • Open date: 30 Mar 2020
  • Closing date: 30 Jun 2020 16:00 GMT+1
  • Type: Grants, Researcher-led

Please note: This is a pre-call announcement. The call for Research Programme proposals is due to launch March 2020. More details to follow on the MRC website. 

The Medical Research Council (MRC), Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) are pleased to announce they will shortly be launching a £24M call for ambitious multi and inter-disciplinary Research Programmes. This funding will come from the new cross-Council initiative in Adolescence, Mental Health and the Developing Mind, which is supported through the UKRI Strategic Priorities Fund.

The call will make £24M available to fund impactful multidisciplinary research at a range of interfaces, including medicine, biology, social science, arts and humanities. We will also welcome applications which draw in non-traditional disciplines that can provide novel insights and approaches to mental health research. It is expected that the call will fund a number of multidisciplinary research programmes for up to £4M each over a 4-year period.

Call information

The initiative will provide funding for multi- and inter-disciplinary teams with the aim to:

  • Address important and novel research questions under the broad scope of Adolescence, Mental Health and the Developing Mind.
  • Actively strengthen intersections between disciplines that do not routinely engage with each other, build capacity in the field and develop skills.
  • Embed knowledge mobilisation and strengthen patient and public involvement.


This call will involve a 3-stage process. The call will launch with an invitation for outline proposals. Successful outline applicants, selected by an expert panel, will be invited to submit a full proposal. Full proposals will be subject to international peer-review and interview by an expert panel.


It is expected that this call will support a range of awards that are focused on key research challenges in Adolescence, Mental Health and the Developing Mind. This may include (but is not exclusive to):

  • Exploration of the dynamic and complex interaction of factors that impact during adolescence, and the methods to support this, to understand the high degree of inter-individual heterogeneity and the consequences of genetic, environmental and social interactions for life.
  • Understanding the conditions that mitigate risk as well as enable resilience, both during and preceding adolescence.
  • Identification of vulnerable young people in school and other settings, including health services and the youth justice system.
  • Data collection and the evidence base for mental health support in schools, including understanding and enhancing the education environments that promote learning, healthy behaviours (and reducing antisocial behaviour), positive mental health and wellbeing, executive function and social-emotional skills development.
  • How the digital environment influences brain development and function, mental health and mental health problems, risk behaviours, bullying, loneliness and social isolation. How digital technologies can be harnessed to promote positive behaviours and mental wellbeing.

Key dates

The call for proposals will be launched in March 2020, with awards commencing in April 2021.

The call for proposals will be finalised in discussion with key stakeholders and therefore some of the details presented here may be subject to change.



Pre-call announcement

January 2020

Call for Outlines opens

March 2020

Outline deadline

June 2020 tbc

Call for full proposals opens (invite only)

August 2020 tbc

Full proposal deadline (invite only)

October 2020 tbc

Start date

1 April 2021