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MRC/AHRC/ESRC Workshop on Adolescence, Mental Health and the Developing Mind: Expressions of Interest Call

Please note this opportunity is now CLOSED.
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Call for Expressions of Interest to attend

Date: 22 November 2019, 10:00 – 16:00
Venue: Birmingham


75% of mental health problems emerge before age 18, and 1 in 8 children and adolescents have a mental disorder, with overall rates continuing to rise. An integrated multi-disciplinary approach is needed to better understand the developing adolescent mind, accelerate innovation in policy and practice, and generate evidence-based solutions for changing models of mental health provision and the education environment for adolescents.

Since its establishment in April 2018, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has sought to promote ground-breaking national programmes in multidisciplinary research. This major new cross-council partnership in Adolescence, Mental Health and the Developing Mind is funded through UKRI’s Strategic Priorities Fund and will support multidisciplinary research and innovation that addresses an area of strategic importance aligned with governmental policy research priorities. The £35M programme will be jointly delivered by the Medical Research Council, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Economics and Social Research Council.

Activity supported through this programme will help to provide a better understanding of how genetic, physiological, psychological, social and cultural factors across the lifecourse shape the adolescent mind; of how they interact to influence, both positively and negatively, lifelong mental health, educational attainment, identity, social relationships and behaviour; and of the key concepts and values involved in these explanations, such as mental health/illness and autonomy. Research will address complex, multifactorial problems that cut across a number of policy domains, requiring engagement of wide-ranging stakeholders and active coordination. This integrated approach is intended to generate better interventions to promote good mental health; accelerate translation of research into policy and practice in education, healthcare and other public services; promote young people’s life chances; and strengthen young people’s involvement in research and innovation.

To launch the programme we will be holding a facilitated workshop to engage the breadth of relevant research communities and stakeholders, communicate our ambitions and forge new multidisciplinary networks. Alongside this we have launched a £1.6M call for Engagement Awards, to support the formation of new collaborations, pilot funding for novel multidisciplinary research or methods development, and kick start knowledge exchange between researchers, stakeholders, policy makers, young people and those with lived experience of mental health problems. Both activities are intended to underpin the development of larger scale research projects and collaborations in this important area, as well as build capacity and networks that will add value to future investments through this programme.

The workshops will consist of a mixture of presentations from UKRI, keynote talks, stakeholder engagement and knowledge exchange, opportunities to meet other researchers and facilitated discussions of key challenges and opportunities for research. We intend to:

  • Communicate the scope and ambitions of this initiative
  • Foster cross-disciplinary networking and knowledge sharing
  • Facilitate interactions with key stakeholders, including policy makers, health, social care and education sectors, young people, carers and those with lived experience of mental health problems
  • Explore research and methodology challenges, including opportunities for innovation and novel approaches.

Applying to attend and selection procedure

It is expected that participants are in a position to contribute to the workshop discussions, to participate in new research activities and communicate messages back to their host organisations.

UKRI would like to enable a broad range of researchers and stakeholders with interests related to adolescence, mental health and the developing mind to attend the workshop, and applications are welcome from a variety of research backgrounds including health and life sciences, social science, economics, arts and the humanities, with particular encouragement for individuals with experience of working across these disciplinary fields.

If you wish to attend a workshop, please complete a short expression of interest by 16:00 on 31st Oct 2019, with confirmation sent to you by 8th November 2019.

Places are limited to approximately 100 attendees.

The number of attendees from a given institution may have to be restricted in the event of multiple applications from that institution. In the event that the workshop is oversubscribed, an internal cross-Council panel will select attendees in order to ensure a balance of research interests and organisations. If selection is necessary beyond this point, answers to questions regarding applicant motivation for attendance and plans for wider dissemination of information learned will be taken into account.

Please note: attendance at the workshop is encouraged but is NOT a requirement for applying to the call for Engagement Awards under this initiative or any other calls for funding under this programme.

We are unable to provide travel and subsistence costs for all attendees; however, we may be able to support reasonable travel and subsistence costs for those attendees who would otherwise not be able to attend the workshop. Individuals wishing to request this support should provide brief justification within the Expression of Interest form.

Please note: All personal data provided will be held securely by the MRC and will only be accessible to those supporting the workshop, including representatives of the AHRC and ESRC. The information provided will be deleted one month after the event is held.

Data Protection Act 2018

All personal data provided will be processed by the MRC, part of UK Research and Innovation, in accordance with the UK Data Protection Act. Further information can be found on the UK Research and Innovation Privacy Notice.

Complete an Expression of Interest to attend this workshop.

Key dates



Workshop key dates

Workshop announcement

October 2019

Workshop Expression of Interest (EoI) deadline

16:00 31 Oct 2019

Applicants notified of outcome of EoI

08 Nov 2019


22 Nov 2019

Engagement Awards key dates

Launch of call for Engagement Awards

October 2019

Closing date for Engagement Awards call

16:00 17 Dec 2019

Expert panel for Engagement Awards call

Feb 2020

Engagement Awards start

1 April 2020


For general enquiries, please contact MRC Adolescent Mental Health

For specific queries the relevant contacts are: