Funding Call FAQs: Second Funding Call

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Our second funding call is now open! Full details about the funding call, including a downloadable briefing, application form and standard terms & conditions are available at

Funding Call Information Session Questions

Participants in our funding call information session on 23 March 2021 asked the following questions

What age range should research projects focus on?

The Emerging Minds network focuses on children and young people from birth up to the age of 24 years. We are keen to support research projects that focus on children & young people anywhere within that age range. As another UKRI funded mental health research network SMARTEN focuses on the mental health of students in higher education we are unlikely to support research projects specifically focused on this group. Other UKRI funded mental health research networks focused on children & young people are e-Nurture and TRIUMPH

How should we approach producing a budget for our research project?

You can find the budget template we’d like you to complete as part of the application form. The funding call briefing also contains a section with guidance for the types of costs you can and can’t include and other financial advice. We recommend seeking the advice and support of the research support office or research services team within the Higher Education Institution who will be the lead applicant on your project. They will be very familiar with putting together a budget and should be able to support you.

I’d like to contribute my expertise and get involved in a research project, where do I start? How can I link up with teams who are working on proposals?

We’d encourage you to get in touch using our simple expression of interest form at any time before the 29th of April 2021. You can briefly tell us about your idea or the skills and experience you would like to bring to a project. When you express interest, you can indicate whether you would be interested in introductions to potential collaborators. If so, we will try to identify possible collaborators.

Will you refer back to the expressions of interest when you are assessing our application?

No, the expressions of interest will not be considered and our review panel will just be assessing the final completed application forms that research teams submit. We hope that the option to express interest informally and receive feedback on your developing plans will be helpful for applications. We will not hold you to the ideas you share when you expressed interest!

What kind of research outputs are you expecting from funded research projects?

Our primary interest with our Emerging Minds network funding is to fund research projects that have the potential to make a difference to children & young people’s mental health. So we are interested in research outputs that are most likely to enable the research project findings to make a difference to children & young people’s mental health. Typically, we would expect to see academic outputs. To ensure that the wider academic community is able to see the research undertaken in peer-reviewed academic journals. However, we are keen for applicants to think creatively about how else they can share their findings. We would encourage you to think about who needs to know about our project and our findings and how can you make sure you engage them.

Can researchers be funded to work on a project part-time alongside existing roles and commitments?

All staffing for a proposed project will need to be costed out and justified in relation to what is needed to deliver the specific project. So you would just need to set out how the project can be delivered by a team including researchers that are working part-time alongside other roles or a researcher dedicated full time to the project. All applicants will need to ensure that your costs fit within the budget window we have set out and that the planned work is appropriate and feasible for the staffing you propose. Many of the successful applicants of our first funding call were Early Career Researchers who are delivering their projects alongside other projects and roles:

How can I focus my research project idea without being overwhelmed by the huge challenge of institutional and structural racism?

We recognise that we are offering relatively small amounts of funding available to deliver projects over just 12 months. Therefore, we recognise that you won’t be able to address the full scale of the issue and the significant gap in the research that exists. We are keen to see how your proposed project will be an important stepping-stone. How will your project accelerate further research that has the potential to make a difference?

We would like applicants to focus on the priorities that young people and other stakeholders have identified. You can hear more in our March 2021 funding call information session presentation and in the recordings from our priority setting workshop in January 2021.

Is there a preference between funding one project or two?

We don’t have a specific preference but we are looking for where our investment is likely to have the biggest impact in terms of sparking other research. If applicants feel that they need a bigger project and budget to make a bigger difference, we would encourage them to do so.  It is important that applicants highlight the impact that their project will have as this is one of our key assessment criteria.

Would you be mainly interested in funding primary research given the large gaps in secondary research in this important area?

We are open again as the key question for us is  how this is going to make a difference and that there is a clear pathway for that to happen. Beyond that we are not specifying whether the research is primary or secondary. There are large gaps across the board but the big question is how these projects have the potential to change practice.

Are there preferences in terms of method, e.g. for qualitative methods?

Within our scoring criteria, we don’t distinguish in terms of  the type of method. It’s more about what’s appropriate for the aims of the study. It is important, as highlighted by the work of our advisors, that the voices of young people, children and families are listened to and heeded. This does not mean that qualitative methods are required, just that we want to make sure that you’re listening no matter what methods are being used. The key question is whether the methods used are appropriate to the specific research question.

You mention that Administrative costs (including estates and indirect costs) must not constitute more than 20% of the total application cost. Is that of the total 100% Full Economic Costs (FEC) or the 80% FEC?

So the lead applicant Higher Education Institution’s administrative costs/ overheads should be no more than 20% of the total payment that they receive from us.  So for example, one of our successful applicants in the first funding call received £6,461 towards their overheads of a total grant of £32,306 they received.  In their application form they also noted that the 100% of the FEC for these overheads was £8076.

What about covering the overheads of charity partners we are working with?

Charities can have their overheads covered, but businesses and public sector bodies may not claim overheads or other indirect costs.  Also any charity costs can be paid at 100%FEC so they would be listed as the same value in the 100% FEC and the 80% FEC columns of the budget. As noted in the funding brief, the total proportion of the budget going out to non-academic partners can’t be over 30% of the total funds you receive.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

What will be the contractual obligations for my organisation?

The standard terms and conditions that awardees will be asked to agree to is available here. We ask that each lead applicant has an early discussion with the relevant contracts/research services lead in their institution to confirm that they can agree to these standard terms & conditions.

If successful, awardees will receive a simple offer of award letter asking them to confirm that they agree to the published terms and conditions. Key features of the terms and conditions will include:

  • Details of reporting requirements

  • Payment of the grant will be based on actual spend in arrears

We can’t decide whether to apply for the total amount available of £70k or £35k… can we tell you what we could do with either amount of funding?

Yes, if you’d like you can describe in your application what you could do with £70k of funding or with £35k. 

Can we have more time than 12 months to complete our project?

The Emerging Minds Network is funded by UK Research & Innovation until autumn 2022 so we will need funded research projects to be completed by September 2022.

Who can apply?

The lead applicant for all proposals needs to be employed by a higher education institution in the UK (in keeping with research council guidelines). This person can be an early career researcher (see below for our broad definition of this term).

As for co-applicants, we are keen to involve those from other sectors and disciplines and welcome applications from a variety of backgrounds. We ask for all co-applicants to share a brief CV (up to 2 pages) and this offers an opportunity to outline all the relevant experience that the team brings.

Can researchers who are not UK based apply?

  1. The lead applicant must be UK based

  2. The grant project awarded must ultimately benefit the UK

  3. Non-UK co-investigators can be included although normal guidelines would apply regarding international costs which can be found here.

Is the funding call open outside of England?

Yes, it is a UK-wide funding call.

If the maximum grant to be awarded is for £70,000, is this at 80% FEC or 100%?

The largest grant that we can transfer to you is £70,000. In that situation, you would need to outline the full economic costing of the project as £87,500. Please find financial guidelines for your application in our downloadable briefing

How should references be included on the application form?

References need to be built into the word count of your application so we would recommend that applicants prioritise what will be most appropriate to make their case. We would be happy for applicants to give the references in abbreviated form.

Can our proposal costings include the costs for a postgraduate student/early career researcher to conduct part of the project?

There is no reason why these costs could not be included. In fact, under our ‘collaboration and involvement’ criteria, we will be considering how ‘early career researchers’, including students etc. are involved in lead roles for the project.

How does the Emerging Minds Network define an ‘early career researcher’?

We use the term ‘early career researcher’ in the broadest possible sense. We are interested in supporting those who are developing research that can make a difference to children and young people’s mental health whatever their experience, career path, chosen sector and discipline.

However, for the purposes of those eligible to lead or co-lead applications for this funding call the project lead or co-lead will be a researcher based in a UK HEI from any discipline who is within 8 years of submitting a PhD thesis (or equivalent taking into account part-time working, career breaks for any reason). In some disciplines researchers do not necessarily require PhDs, these applicants will be eligible unless they already have a track record of leading major research grants.

Will applications be considered with a PhD student as the lead applicant?

Unfortunately, our guidance from UKRI means that PhD students cannot be the lead applicants in funded projects.

For ease of reference, you can also download or print a copy of this information: