The MRC Neurosciences and Mental Health Board funds research in neurosciences, mental health and disorders of the human nervous system. We aim to transform our understanding of the physiology and behaviour of the human nervous system throughout the life course in health and in illness, as well as how to treat and prevent disorders of the brain.
The research we support includes the interactions between the nervous system and other parts of the body, the brain, mental health and physical health. We are also interested in how episodes throughout life impact on lifelong mental and neurological health.
Research we fund includes, but is not limited to, the following areas:
- clinical neurology and neuroinflammation
- mental health
- addictions and substance misuse
- behavioural and learning disorders including autism
- cognitive and behavioural neuroscience and cognitive systems
- sensory neuroscience including vision and hearing
- neurobiology and neurophysiology
- underpinning support, such as neuroimaging technology, brain banking and neuroinformatics
Find out more about the science areas MRC supports and our current board opportunity areas.
We encourage you to contact us first to discuss your application, especially if you believe your research may cross MRC research board or research council interests. If your application fits another research board remit better we may decide to transfer it there to be assessed.
MRC neuroscience and mental health research grants:
- are suitable for focused short or long-term research projects
- can support method development or development and continuation of research facilities
- may involve more than one research group or institution.
We will fund projects lasting up to five years, although projects typically last three to four years. If your project will last more than three years, you must justify the reason for this. For example, if you need time for data collection or follow-up.
If your project will last less than two years, it must be for proof of principle or pilot work only. We expect proof of principle proposals to support high-risk or high-reward research by critically testing a key hypothesis or demonstrating feasibility of an approach that could lead to fundamentally new avenues of research.
Contact one of our programme managers for advice if you would like to apply for a short or long-duration project.
You can request funding for costs such as:
- a contribution to the salary of the principal investigator and co-investigators
- support for other posts such as research and technical
- research consumables
- travel costs
- data preservation, data sharing and dissemination costs
- estates or indirect costs.
We will not fund:
- research involving randomised trials of clinical treatments
- funding to use as a ‘bridge’ between grants
- costs for PhD studentships
- publication costs.