Call open for research into eating disorders and self-harm


The Medical Research Foundation (MRF) and Medical Research Council (MRC) will make available up to £2 million for new high-quality, internationally competitive research partnerships to investigate the underlying bio-psycho-social mechanistic and environmental drivers i.e. the aetiology and underpinning mechanisms of self-harm or of eating disorders in children, adolescents and young adults (up to 25 years). A key aim of this call is to encourage researchers already working in associated areas or on other relevant clinical research to re-prioritise these topics and enable the exploitation of existing resources and cohorts to develop hypotheses exploring the underlying biology and psychology of either of these diverse mental health conditions. Associated areas would include other mental health, medical or addictive conditions, for example ADHD, depression or obesity, or important traits which can underpin these conditions including anxiety, impulsivity and compulsivity. However, the primary driver of submitted applications must be to better understand eating disorders or self-harm.

The objective of this call is to provide funding to initiate new scientific partnerships across disciplines and new research activities, focused on basic science. The award could be used in a variety of ways to develop new research e.g. developing new platforms or achieving scientific strength through links between and within universities in the UK; progressing a new area and delivering new scientific insights which may lead on to larger future proposals. The awards are intended to be flexible – giving scope to support the early career development of new PIs, and/or to support linked work, or the new analysis of existing population datasets. The intention of the call is to develop a pipeline of research in order to better understand the underlying mechanisms and heterogeneity of these mental health conditions. The resulting insights into causal or mechanistic understanding should aim to inform future prevention and treatment studies in the longer-term. A competitive second phase of funding may be made available to provide further funding for one or a number of proposals funded under the first phase.

For further information regarding this call visit the MRF website.

Medical Research Foundation