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Apply for our Fellows Award

Who can apply?

Early-career researchers

Funding period

3 years

Funding amount


Research area

Any area relevant to mental health

The Award is designed to support early career researchers investigating questions that will ultimately improve the quality of life for people affected by mental illness.

The Fellows programme will provide up to £75,000, per year for three years, or up to £225,000 in total funding. 

The funds may be used for any of the following:

  • As start-up funding for a specific project or bridging funding for a current project;
  • For direct research costs;
  • And/or for salary support for the applicant and/or research assistance staff as appropriate.

Indirect costs, such as non-specific estimated costs, including estates costs, library costs, finance and HR costs, are not eligible for funding.

Please note that the award does not have to support the Applicant’s salary if the Applicant’s salary is funded elsewhere. Instead, an MQ Fellows award could support research costs, and/or salary for a research assistant.

This is a highly competitive Award and as such, we are looking for applicants who have made an outstanding start to their research career as demonstrated by their research results, publications and career track record to date.

In supporting early career investigators, we aim to complement ongoing efforts to nurture the academic research leaders of tomorrow. Awardees will be establishing their independence, and so at a stage where their career is committed to mental health research.

Eligible Applicants can be:

  • based in any country worldwide (except for the MQ & Arthritis Research UK award, which is limited to UK applicants)
  • from any discipline, including basic science, clinical science, social science or medical humanities.

Eligible Applicants must:

  • Be early career researchers establishing their independence
  • With a PhD, DPhil, DClinPsy, MBBS, MD or equivalent
  • By end of 2016, have accumulated 3-7 years (whole-time-equivalent) research experience equivalent in nature to postdoctoral research
  • Be able to show that this award will help establish your independence relative to your current position
  • Applying for an MQ Fellows Award for the first time.  Please note that if you have previously applied to the MQ Fellows Award, you are automatically excluded from further applications
  • Provide their ORCID identifier. The ORCID identifier links all research and publications carried out by the applicant. Full instructions on how to obtain this reference are given on the application form.
  • Be able to demonstrate in their submitted application:
    • That their proposed project addresses a question relevant to mental health, such as the understanding, diagnosis, treatment or prevention of mental illness
    • Consideration of interdisciplinarity.
    • Be eligible to enter the UK for an interview and to participate in annual meetings, if (s)he is not a British national. Applicants are responsible for obtaining their own visa, if required.
    • Complete and submit their application in English.

 Applicants will be considered ineligible if

  • the application form is submitted in an incomplete state
  • in a format other than requested
  • submitted after the stated deadline
  • (s)he has applied to this programme in the past.

Please note that these dates refer to our 2016 Award, and as such may change for future Awards.

You will be asked to provide details of your education and career history as well as your research proposal. You will also need to obtain a reference letter from your Head of Department and certification from the Designated Institutional Authority, for which a form is provided. Please leave ample time for this to be obtained. 

        • 5th May 2016 (17:00 BST) Stage 1: Statement of Intent application deadline

        Statement of Intent application forms are to be submitted via the online system on or before close of business, London time.

        • 15th June 2016 (17:00 BST) Stage 2: Selection

        Applicants will be notified of the committee’s decision no later than 15th June. If you have submitted an application and not received an email from MQ after this date, it is your responsibility to contact MQ.

Successful applicants will be given access to the full proposal form on this date.

The MQ Community

 Awardees will join a community of MQ supporters and friends who are championing research progress across all sectors of mental health research.

The MQ Fellows Award provides a unique opportunity to join MQ in its earliest stages. We aim to build networks and support amongst the research community with enthusiastic and committed investigators in all areas of mental health research. In accepting the MQ Fellows Award, Awardees will embrace opportunities to interact with MQ, our advisers and other stakeholders including at the MQ Annual Science Meeting, to facilitate our aims to build for the future.

Annual report

Each year, MQ Fellows will be expected to submit a research report together with comments from their Mentors. Budget reports are also required annually.


MQ Fellows and their Mentors are expected to meet regularly to discuss the project as appropriate. To foster Fellow/Mentor communications, MQ will provide Mentors with funding of £1,000 to support meetings and travel. Mentors will also be invited to attend and participate in the annual meeting.

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