Funding Calls

The Emerging Minds Network has been working across sectors and disciplines to tackle 4 Research Challenges. These research challenges were developed in consultation with young people, families, practitioners, and policy makers; in partnership with YoungMinds and the Centre for Mental Health.

Over the last few years we have held four funding calls to help address these research challenges. Applicants had to demonstrate potential for impactcollaboration & involvement, and research excellence in project proposals.

Through all our funding calls we aimed to: 

  • fund projects which were collaborations across disciplines and sectors. We strongly encouraged collaborations with the voluntary and community sector and/ or lived experience led groups; 
  • support projects which offered opportunities for early career researchers;
  • fund research activities with the potential to generate future research opportunities and secure more substantive funding, e.g. targeted research projects and pilot studies, or workshops to develop research collaborations.

Across our four funding calls:

  • 100% of bids had early career researchers within the team
  • 81% had an early career researcher as the lead applicant
  • 87% of bids had multi-disciplinary and cross-sector involvement.

First Funding Call

Our first funding call closed in February 2020. We invited proposals for projects to address three of our research challenges:

  • Embracing Complexity: How can we best meet the needs of children and young people who have intersecting needs and face complex situations?
  • Voices, Power & Attitudes: How can we amplify young people’s voices and change societal attitudes in ways that positively impact mental health?
  • Supporting the Supporters: How can family members, friends and settings, such as schools, be better enabled to promote good mental health and prevent and overcome emerging mental health problems?

Applicants applied for grants of between £2,000 and £40,000, out of a total pot of £200,000From 76 applications, we awarded funding to six successful projects ranging from co-production of interventions in schools, to social media use amongst young people with diabetes. 

Faith laughing whilst presenting

Faith discusses her project around supporting parents who have children with mental health issues. Photo credit: Oxford Atelier

Second Funding Call

Our second funding call closed in June 2021. We focused on our Voices, Power & Attitudes research challenge, having not funded any projects that addressed this challenge through our first funding call. The emphasis was:

  • What is the impact of racism on the mental health of children & young people in the UK?
  • What interventions will be effective in addressing racism in ways that will benefit children and young people’s mental health?

We recruited an intern and two advisors who carried out a rapid scoping review and held priority setting workshops. Funding applicants were expected to reflect the priorities identified by the young people and those who support them at these workshops in their proposals.

From 9 applications, we awarded a total of £70,000 between three successful research teams.

Fiyory, Nikki, & Jawwad discuss their involvement in establishing the priorities for the second funding call. Photo credit: Oxford Atelier

Third Funding Call

Our third funding call closed in December 2021, and focused on our Big Question research challengeWe asked:

  • Why even when we know ‘what works’ isn’t this necessarily implemented in policy and practice?
  • How do we improve evidence-based decision making? E.g. How can we successfully inform commissioning decisions and policy making and how can we ultimately increase implementation of research into practice?

We recruited an intern and two advisors who, together with the BRIDGE Special Interest Research Group, carried out a rapid scoping review, and held priority setting workshops and conducted interviews with key stakeholders.

From 8 applications, we awarded a total of £140,000 between three successful research teams.

Holly Bear talking

Holly discusses her project around optimising the implementation of evidence at our Big Emerging Minds Summit. Photo credit: Oxford Atelier

Fourth Funding Call

We held our final “Research Development” funding call in summer 2022, aimed at those who have been supported by the Network over the last four years. Applicants could apply for up to £3,000 to move their research forward. We had a range of applications from across our funded projectsSpecial Interest Research Groupscross-sector placement participants, and GROW programme early career researchers

We awarded a total of £25,000 between 10 projects. We were thrilled to offer funding to five new projects, all led by members of our first GROW early career researcher development programme. We were also able to offer additional funding to five projects we have been supporting over the last few years.

Hazel & Catt discuss their project around LGBTQ+ youth mental health at our Big Emerging Minds Summit. Photo credit: Oxford Atelier