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Supporting Information - 21/04 Children and young people's mental health



The supporting information provides guidance for applicants who are considering submitting applications with a focus on CYP with mental health conditions that currently have or previously had a social worker.

Supporting collaborative applications

Both NIHR and What Works for Children's Social Care (WWCSC) are committed to research which is co-produced with sector experts, health and social care professionals, and service users. However, we understand that in-depth implementation knowledge and research expertise often don’t exist in the same organisation. We are therefore looking to encourage sector professionals (including, but not limited to, children’s social care professionals in local authorities, CAMHS, other multi-agency partners or third sector providers) and researchers to collaborate and submit joint research proposals. We expect that in many cases, these joint proposals would look to evaluate services, interventions or programmes that are either new or already exist and are ready to be scaled up.

In order to apply for this funding, applicants need to submit an outline of their plans for the research. This means applicants need to know both what they are interested in researching (this could be a programme, intervention or approach), as well as how they would go about conducting the research, by the time they apply.

Pairing sector professionals with researchers to lead on designing and undertaking evaluations, is a key component of what we do at WWCSC. For this joint funding opportunity, WWCSC is therefore pleased to be offering additional support to help potential applicants identify and form suitable research partnerships, which we hope will lead to the submission of collaborative joint research proposals. More information on how WWCSC is supporting sector professionals with this is provided below.

Proposal summary

In order to help us to assist those applicants seeking research partners, we first ask that applicants submit short summaries of their proposed research idea to WWCSC via email by 5pm Friday 26 February 2021. Please note, only those wishing to receive additional support from WWCSC in identifying and selecting research partner(s) should submit a summary. This is not a requirement, and applicants are welcome to apply directly to Stage 1.

Short summaries should be no longer than two A4 pages and include: 

  • Key areas of issue including identified evidence gaps, aims and objectives of the research, as well as any potential research questions
  • A clear description of the programme, intervention or approach to be researched including information on the core components or activities and the target population
  • Key organisations and/or individuals involved
  • Estimated total budget (for WWCSC/NIHR use only)
  • Any proposed research or evaluation methodology (optional)

We understand that the information provided in these summaries are initial ideas only, which we would expect to be further refined with research partner(s) and are therefore subject to change for the Stage 1 application submission.


In early March, WWCSC will arrange short consultation meetings with applicants who have submitted summaries. The purpose of these will be to:

  • Discuss the research idea; as well as any additional information that we think might be useful for interested research partner(s)
  • Discuss the appropriateness of any research or evaluation methodology proposed in the summary and/or, to provide advice on which methodologies might be appropriate.
  • Prepare key points for the virtual workshops.


To help facilitate partnerships, we will arrange virtual workshop(s) in late March/early April, where potential applicants will have an opportunity to discuss their proposed research idea summary with researchers and expert evaluators, who will also be invited to ask clarification questions.

WWCSC already works with a number of research organisations which form its Panel of Evaluators - all of which will be invited to attend the session(s) - but the opportunity would also be advertised more widely and any suitable research organisations welcome to attend.

After the session(s), we would look to circulate contact information to all attendees, so that suitable partners can begin conversations about developing joint applications.

Please note that, whilst WWCSC won’t be able to advise on the details of your joint proposals prior to submission, we recognise that it might be challenging to determine which research organisation or proposed research methodology is most appropriate. We would therefore be happy to provide advice to help applicants make this decision.

Proposed timelines



Children and young people’s mental health funding opportunity launched

18 January 2021

Introduction to the funding opportunity and FAQ webinar. Details can be found here.

4 February 2021 (12-1pm)

Deadline to submit initial proposal summary to WWCSC by emailing

26 February 2021

WWCSC research consultation

Early March 2021

Virtual workshop(s)

Late March/Early April 2021

Stage 1 application deadline

3 June 2021