The MRC’s 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 then we may decide to transfer it there to be assessed.
We expect you will want to combine your research project with other activities. For example:
- time spent on other research grants or clinical duties
- administration duties
- other time spent in faculty.
You may spend up to 50% of your contracted working time on this project and we will cap our contribution to your salary at this level.
If you want to spend more time than this on your project, you must provide a strong scientific rationale and your host institution will need to underwrite the extra time.
The salary requested should be in line with the research organisation’s usual new investigator levels.
New investigator research grants usually last three years and are not renewable. It may be possible to apply for a longer period but you will need to justify why this is necessary. Projects help applicants in the transition to independence so will not usually be for shorter periods.
Co-investigators can be involved, but must bring expertise to the project which is outside the applicant’s field. Your current supervisor or lab head should not be a co-investigator.
You can request funding for costs such as:
- a salary contribution, capped at 50% of your total working time
- the salary for any hours that your co-investigators will spend working on the project
- support for extra research or technical posts
- consumables and equipment
- travel costs
- data preservation, data sharing and dissemination costs
- estates or indirect costs.
There is no set limit to the funding available, but your application must be for an amount that:
- is appropriate to the project
- you can justify in delivering the objectives of the proposed research.
Your application must show 100% of the full economic cost. We will fund up to 80% of the full economic cost of your research to your institution. Find out more about full economic costing.
We will not fund:
- research involving trials of clinical treatments
- costs for PhD studentships
- publication costs.