Funding, PhD, Post-doctoral, Pre-doctoral

NIHR Three Research Schools’ Mental Health – Investigator led call

NIHR Three Research Schools’ Mental Health – Investigator led call
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NIHR’s Three Schools Mental Health programme has just announced that it has launched its second phase of funding calls with an additional £4.98m available, so we thought we would do a little overview about each offering to help you understand more as they are really great opportunities.

The first of the three open calls is the Investigator Led Call which is aimed at early career researchers to apply for funding to lead a research project, possibly their first independent project as lead investigator. Researchers at any career stage from underrepresented professions are also encouraged, including from AHPs, nurses, social workers and methodological specialists.

Projects can apply for a maximum of £200k and need to be completed by March 2026.

Phase 2 of the Three Schools funding is focused on some areas highlighted during a gap analysis of research funded during phase one. They have therefore identified some target areas they are prioritising.

These are:

  • Suicide prevention in high-risk groups (including those working in the agricultural sector and young men)
  • Mental health in pregnancy
  • Prison mental health
  • Mental health in different religious groups
  • Mental health in military veterans.

Applications will be accepted outside these areas however.



There are a couple intricacies with the funding which are worth pointing out:

Firstly, as the call states :

  • “A condition of the funding through this programme is there needs to be collaboration
    between at least two NIHR Research Schools, one who must be project lead. Collaborators
    from outside the Three Schools are permitted.”

This means that you and another applicant must be based at any of the universities that are members of one of the three schools.

For SPCR it is: Bristol University, Exeter University, Keele University, Manchester University, Nottingham University, University of Oxford, Queen Mary University of London, Southampton University and University College London

For SPHR it is:  Bristol University, University of Cambridge, Fuse, University of Exeter, Imperial College London, LiLaC, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, PHRESH – Public Health RESearch for Health Consortium, and University of Sheffield

For SSCR it is: University of Birmingham, University of Bristol, University of Kent, Kings College London, London School of Economics and Political Science, University of Manchester, and University of York.


Secondly, this call does not require the applicants to hold a PhD – it is open to anyone who wishes to run a research project within the scope of the call.


The deadline for this call is 15:00 28 March 2024 and application forms can be found here, and should be submitted to Claire Ashmore at the following address:


An overview of the other two funding calls is here:

Masters fellowships – for front line workers wanting to get into research by undertaking a masters

Postdoctoral launching research fellowship – for early career postdoc researchers who need time to establish their career and develop research collaborations


More information about the NIHR Three Schools Mental Health programme can be found here – they will have many more announcements in the future so they are well worth keeping an eye on.

As ever you can also keep up to date on funding announcements and other things of interest to mental health researchers over on our Twitter/X feed @MHRIncubator

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