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Mental Health Research Group Award


20 September 2023


16 January 2024


  • For help with your application contact
  • For more information about the funding Programme, visit the PGfAR Page
  • Got a research idea and not sure how to turn it into a funding application? The free NIHR Research Support Service (RSS) supports researchers in England to apply for funding, and to develop and deliver clinical and applied health, social care and public health research post award. Find out how the RSS can help you.

Supporting Information

The NIHR is looking to establish Mental Health Research Groups (NIHR MHRGs) in geographical areas with high mental health (MH) burden, limited local research capacity and low recruitment into MH research studies (“target areas”). These will be partnerships between higher education institutions (HEIs) based in England within target areas that have limited applied mental health research capacity, and partner HEIs based in England with more experience and expertise in mental health research, who have a shared interest and vision. The HEI with no/relatively limited capacity will act as lead applicant. The role of the ‘established’ partner will be to provide mentoring, sharing of resources, innovation, training, knowledge exchange and applied mental health research expertise, to support the shared ambition to bolster the applied mental health capacity and capability of the lead HEI.

NIHR MHRGs will deliver an ambitious five year applied mental health research programme, with the overarching aims of:

  • building capability and capacity in the target geographical areas;
  • developing a portfolio of substantive, at scale applied health research with an emphasis on specific needs of local areas, engaging with the local health, public health and social care systems and local communities with lived experience of mental health conditions and of using mental health services and support.

The establishment of the MHRGs marks the NIHR’s ongoing commitment to address the disparity in mental health research, aiming to develop and deliver a balanced portfolio of at-scale, high-impact applied mental health research, relevant to the mental health needs of the target areas and their local communities.

Further details can be found by reading the competition brief or visiting the call landing page.

The submission deadline for applications is 13:00 on 16 January 2023.

Please note that interviews will be held in London on the 4th and 5th March 2024.

If you require any further information, please check our Frequently Asked Questions or contact the team via