Funding Call – Reviewer Advice

Before our first Emerging Minds funding call in February 2020, we brought together a team of young people who are experts by experience, as well as parents and carers of children & young people who have experienced mental health problems.

Our Emerging Minds Reviewers and members of our Advisory Group were joined by members of the Institute for Mental Health’s Youth Advisory Group at several of our proposal development workshops.

We asked our Reviewers to look at the three selection criteria we would be using during our funding calls:

  • Potential for Impact

  • Research excellence, planning and management

  • Collaboration and involvement

They shared their feedback with us around what they would look for in applications, including common pitfalls to avoid and their recommendations for best practice.

Here is a flavour of the top recommendations from our Reviewers and Advisors.

Photo of annotated posters discussing the best kind of projects which reviewers would consider funding
- Ask the populaton you want to support what they want *Do WITH us, not TO us *Ensure recognition - PAYMENT is critical *Make YP feel valued, not tokenistic *ACTIVE! Equal roles - NOT A TICK BOX
  • Who is involved? Have the stakeholders been included?
  • Does the team include non-academic partners?
  • Are the research participants valued as individuals?
  • Is there meaningful involvement at all stages?
  • Has the research been carefully considered in how it can be supportive of young people’s involvement?
  • Is young people’s contribution recognised and incentivised?
Unmet Needs
  • Will the project have findings which are applicable for marginalised groups of young people?
  • Does it address more stigmatised illnesses?
New Ideas
*Clear outcomes *Logistics in place to 'MAKE IT WORK' *WHAT is the intervention? HOW are you going to do it? *Initial organised + realistic *Clear aims linked to impact rather than just proving an idea
*What further development can you make on your project once your project proposal is complete *How will the output be sustained? *LONGEVITY
*A concept that is EASY To grasp *Not just academic jargon *Has to reflect 'real world' (not just a lovely piece of writing) *Tailored sharing of outcomes
*Focus on needs-based rather than diagnotistic care *Consider balance of clinical/ holistic *Creating a safe environment that doesn't feel clinical *Maximise impact of existing assets in community *Focused on treatment alternatives
*NOT JUST THE RESEARCH FOR THE SAKE OF RESEARCH *I'd like to see projects that either validate or contradict policy or practice *Needs potential to have a PRACTICAL impact (we want to see how) *Tangible actions rather than policy that never leaves paper
*Link to promotion/ prevention/ early intervention brief *Focussed on prevention *Mental health management or prevention
At Scale/ Targetted
*What would make the biggest difference? *Would catering for everyone mean you cater for no one? *What is there for young people already in distress? *At what stage in the process do we most need to act? *To make a big difference it doesn't need to be universal: it may make a big difference to a particular group of people
Importance of Attitudes & Context
*Understanding views of all practitioners that YP experiencing MH problems access (_

For more information on how best to put together a proposal involving interdisciplinary research, why not check out our podcast on engaging with the voluntary and community sector?