Emerging Minds Special Interest Research Groups

The Emerging Minds Network wants to help drive a step change in how research makes a difference to mental health promotion, prevention and early treatment for children & young people’s mental health.

From our Emerging Minds kick off meetings it was clear that there was real interest in developing further research collaborations across a range of subjects.  We want to further support the development of research collaborations that build bridges between different types of expertise and across different types of organisations and sectors. 

Emerging Minds is launching its second call for anyone who is interested in coordinating a special interest research group in a number of specific areas that our leadership team and advisory groups have identified as priorities. As before, groups will be offered up to £1500 to ensure that those with lived experience expertise can get involved. SIRGs bring together young people, researchers, practitioners and the charity sector, building bridges between different types of expertise to push forward relevant research. 

Anyone interested is invited to get in touch to discuss your ideas with us by 10 June 2021. You can do this via our Expression of Interest form:


The application deadline is 1 July 2021

We are seeking passionate people to help establish and grow special interest research groups over next 12 months.

Would you like to work with us to bring together a group with different expertise and perspectives but united to address a particular topic related to the Emerging Minds research challenges:

Click here for more information on Emerging Minds Research Challenges

We would also welcome applications from existing groups who would benefit from communications support and a small amount of seed funding to involve key stakeholders such as young people with lived experience.

We hope that these research groups will:

  • Drive increased interest and engage new people with a diverse range of expertise and experience in important research areas.

  •          Develop new fundable collaborative project proposals.

  •          Progress research agendas in key areas, for example, by publishing proposed priorities for further research in your focus area.

Key areas of interest

Young adults

How can we best support young adults who are outside of education in ways that promote good mental health, and prevent or treat/support those with mental health problems? Emerging Minds would like to support a multidisciplinary team, including people with relevant lived experience, who will set up and run a Special Interest Research Group in this area. 

Early years – understanding prevention of problems and promotion of good mental health 

How can we best support children in the early years age range (2-5 years) and their families to promote good mental health and prevent mental health difficulties? Emerging Minds is looking to support a Special Interest Research Group in this area. We particularly welcome groups that will look at the effect of multiple disadvantage. 

*We can help you bring together a dream team!  Take advantage of the chance to express interest and we can support you to find coordinating team members with the experience and expertise needed. Feel free to email us at any time for an informal chat!

What we can offer

  • Up to £1500 for each group, to cover costs of participation of stakeholders, including young people and parents/ carers or those from small community organisations as needed.

  • Membership of a supportive Emerging Minds community, including training and support for you to establish and grow your group.

  • The reach and connections of the Emerging Minds network: For example, we can share communications to our UK wide network (e.g. through the Emerging Minds Network Newsletter and Twitter).

  • Support in coordinating & promoting virtual events.

  • Supporting your group with an online presence/ networking function if needed. E.g. through our Emerging Minds website to share news and discussions from your group and potentially also through Slack and Basecamp.

What we ask of you

  • That you help coordinate a special interest research group for at least 12 months bringing together members from a range of expertise and sectors to address and make progress on a key topic for children & young people’s mental health research.

  • That your focus helps to address one or more of our Emerging Minds Research Challenges

  • That your coordinating team includes representatives who are: Early Career Researchers (with senior academic support), lived experience experts, representatives from voluntary & community sector, practitioners and/or policy makers.*

  • That you make your group as open and inclusive as possible, e.g.: sharing outputs in different formats to make it as easy as possible for people to engage, considering how your members might best feel welcome and valued.

  • That you are prepared and interested to keep in touch with the Emerging Minds team and other groups supported by Emerging Minds; to share what works well and what you are learning with each other.

*We can help you bring together a dream team!  Take advantage of the chance to express interest and we can support you to find coordinating team members with the experience and expertise needed. Feel free to email us at any time for an informal chat!

How to express interest (optional)

We are happy to support you in developing your group and your proposal

Before 10 June 2021, you can submit an expression interest form to  express interest in this opportunity. You should explain what you’d like to focus on and what kind of group you’d like to help set up.  It would also be useful if you could explain:

  • Why you believe this group is needed – why this is a priority or why it is important to bring together the particular areas of expertise you intend to.

  • How you anticipate the group would benefit from the support, connections and expenses provided by the Emerging Minds Network.

We will then arrange a short phone call with you to discuss your ideas, offer any feedback and put you in touch with any others interested in the same area or topic.

How to make an Application

You should complete the application form found here and email to info@emergingminds.org.uk

Final deadline for applications is 9am 1 July 2021.

Please contact us with any questions at info@emergingminds.org.uk

Note on funding/ budget

The seed funding can be spent on payments for those with lived experience or those from small community organisations to enable their participation in your activities.  These payments will be paid as per the in line with the INVOLVE recommendations and will be administered directly by the Emerging Minds team at the university of Oxford. The budget will be held by the Emerging Minds team at the University of Oxford.


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