Wellcome Trust: Mental Health Award – Applying Neuroscience to Understand Symptoms in Anxiety, Depression and Psychosis

Closing Date: 23/07/2024

Support to improve understanding of the symptoms of anxiety, depression and psychosis through innovative and collaborative projects that combine computational and experimental neuroscience approaches.

Founded in 1936, the Wellcome Trust is an independent foundation that seeks to improve health by supporting researchers, addressing big health challenges, campaigning for better science and encouraging everyone to get involved with science and health research.

The Trust’s Mental Health Award – Applying Neuroscience to Understand Symptoms in Anxiety, Depression and Psychosis call wishes to fund innovative projects that combine computational and experimental neuroscience approaches to improve understanding of symptoms of anxiety, depression and psychosis.

Applicants must address the research priority of understanding the development, maintenance or resolution of one or more symptoms associated with anxiety, depression and/or psychosis. Researchers must take a symptom-based approach rather than looking solely at diagnostic categories and are required to provide:

  • Evidence that the one or more symptoms chosen are a core feature of anxiety, depression and/or psychosis (broadly defined, the one or more symptoms chosen may be transdiagnostic or specific to one mental health problem). 
  • A brief explanation of why the one or more symptoms chosen are important for people with lived experience of anxiety, depression and/or psychosis. This could be evidenced through existing qualitative literature and/or focus groups as part of project development. 

This funding call covers all types of anxiety and depressive disorders (including obsessive compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder), and all forms of psychotic disorders (including schizophrenia, postpartum psychosis and bipolar disorder). The Trust does not specify any particular diagnostic or classification system, but expects applicants to use a framework and measurement approach that fits the aim of their study and to provide a clear rationale for doing so.

The research proposal must feature a computational component. The Trust wishes to fund projects that use computational neuroscience (whether data- or theory-driven computational methods) to understand the mechanisms underpinning symptoms of anxiety, depression and/or psychosis. Projects must also include an experimental component in at least one experimental model (eg cellular or animal model) and/or in human participants. Ideally projects will examine research questions at multiple scales of analysis, with at least two from: molecular; cellular; systems neuroscience; cognitive; behavioural; interpersonal; and socioenvironmental context.

Applicants should devise a collaborative plan of work that includes mental health practitioners as well as neuroscientists. Research proposals must involve lived experience expertise unless there is a strong justification for not doing so.

Research proposals must consider and clearly describe the potential impact of the proposed project and how, if successful, it would contribute to translational work (either directly or over time) supporting real-world application. For example, this could include developing new knowledge that would advance early intervention by identifying potential new opportunities for the prediction, identification and/or intervention in anxiety, depression and/or psychosis. 

Funding body Wellcome Trust
Maximum value £5,000,000
Reference ID S26330
Category Medical Research
Science and Technology
Fund or call Fund