Call for Expressions of Interest to attend

Date: 22 November 2019, 10:00 – 16:00
Venue: To be confirmed (London or Birmingham)


75% of mental health problems emerge before age 18, and 1 in 8 children and adolescents have a mental disorder, with overall rates continuing to rise. An integrated multi-disciplinary approach is needed to better understand the developing adolescent mind, accelerate innovation in policy and practice, and generate evidence-based solutions for changing models of mental health provision and the education environment for adolescents.

Since its establishment in April 2018, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has sought to promote ground-breaking national programmes in multidisciplinary research. This workshop will launch a major new cross-council partnership in Adolescence, Mental Health and the Developing Mind which will support multidisciplinary research and innovation in an area of strategic importance aligned with UK government policy research priorities. The programme will be jointly delivered by the Medical Research Council, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council. 

Activity supported through this programme will help to provide a better understanding of how genetic, physiological, psychological, social and cultural factors across the lifecourse shape the adolescent mind; of how they interact to influence, both positively and negatively, lifelong mental health, educational attainment, identity, social relationships and behaviour; and of the key concepts and values involved in these explanations, such as mental health/illness and autonomy. Research will address complex, multifactorial problems that cut across a number of policy domains, requiring engagement of wide-ranging stakeholders and active coordination. This integrated approach is intended to generate better interventions to promote good mental health; accelerate translation of research into policy and practice in education, healthcare and other public services; promote young people’s life chances; and strengthen young people’s involvement in research and innovation.

To launch the programme we will be holding a facilitated workshop to engage the breadth of relevant research communities and stakeholders, communicate our ambitions and forge new multidisciplinary networks. Alongside this we have launched a £1.6M call for Engagement Awards, to support the formation of new collaborations, pilot funding for novel multidisciplinary research or methods development, and kick start knowledge exchange between researchers, stakeholders, policy makers, young people and those with lived experience of mental health problems. Both activities are intended to underpin the development of larger scale research projects and collaborations in this important area, as well as build capacity and networks that will add value to future investments through this programme.

The workshops will consist of a mixture of presentations from UKRI, keynote talks, stakeholder engagement and knowledge exchange, opportunities to meet other researchers and facilitated discussions of key challenges and opportunities for research. We intend to:

  • Communicate the scope and ambitions of this initiative
  • Foster cross-disciplinary networking and knowledge sharing
  • Facilitate interactions with key stakeholders, including policy makers, health, social care and education sectors, young people, carers and those with lived experience of mental health problems
  • Explore research and methodology challenges, including opportunities for innovation and novel approaches.

Applying to attend

If you wish to attend a workshop, please complete a short expression of interest by 16:00 on 31st Oct 2019, with confirmation sent to you by 8th November 2019.

Places are limited to approximately 100 attendees.

The number of attendees from a given institution may have to be restricted in the event of multiple applications from that institution. In the event that the workshop is oversubscribed, an internal cross-Council panel will select attendees in order to ensure a balance of research interests and organisations. If selection is necessary beyond this point, answers to questions regarding applicant motivation for attendance and plans for wider dissemination of information learned will be taken into account.


For general enquiries, please contact MRC Adolescent Mental Health

For specific queries the relevant contacts are: