£1m Call for Research into Eating Disorders and Self Harm in Children

The Medical Research Foundation (MRF) has issued a call for proposals for a new £1m fund – Eating Disorders and Self-Harm: Funding Opportunity for Mid-Career Researchers – to support new high-quality, internationally competitive research to investigate the aetiology and underlying mechanisms of eating disorders and/or self-harm in children, adolescents, and young adults up to the age of 25.

The Call follows on from previous MRF calls in 2016 and 2018 focusing on eating disorders and self-harm, which were identified by the MRF as areas of interest requiring particular research investment due to their increasing prevalence and current limited understanding of their causes. The investment also aligns with the Foundation’s strategy to support research into adolescent mental health and the underlying mechanisms that contribute to it.

Funding will be in the form of a three-year research fellowship, which is also aimed at supporting the transition to independence of early- to mid-career researchers who have potential to be research leaders of the future. The maximum funding award is £300,000 over three years to support research staff and other direct research costs.

All areas of discovery research relevant to self-harm and/or eating disorders will be considered. Proposed research may be broad in scope or focus on a particular aspect, for example including data science or social science as well as biological mechanisms of the disorders.

Investigations of non-biological mechanisms where the focus is on interactions between genetics, biological mechanisms and environmental or social factors will also be considered, as will research projects including interventions if they are exploring underlying mechanisms. The exploitation of samples and data associated with existing cohorts and clinical population groups, and a strong clinical research base is particularly encouraged.

Application is open to researchers based at higher education institutions, Research Council research institutes, hospitals and other independent research organisations in the UK.

Support is aimed at early-to-mid-career researchers who are developing research independence and it is expected that applicants will be seeking their first substantial grant income as a Principal Investigator. Applicants must hold a PhD, DPhil or MD and be able to demonstrate productivity across past appointments, an upward career trajectory and clear plans to establish their own research niche.

Guidelines and application forms are available from the MRF website.

Completed applications must be submitted to the MRF by the deadline of 5 November 2020 (12:00).

Successful applications will be announced in March 2021.

More information about this research funding opportunity and the application process is available on the RESEARCHconnect funding information platform. RESEARCHconnect provides up-to-the minute content, insight and analysis on research funding news and policy. To find out more about how RESEARCHconnect can keep you in the know, and subscription fees, contact us today.