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Mental health researchers urged to make tracks for new Traveling Fellowship Fund

Mental health researchers urged to make tracks for new Traveling Fellowship Fund

27th February 2024

Mental health researchers across Scotland are being supported in their professional development with a dedicated Traveling Fellowship Fund designed to help maximise learning opportunities

The fund – offered by NHS Research Scotland (NRS) Mental Health Network – is open to mental health researchers of all disciplines and will assist with their attendance at important UK and international conferences.

Mental Health is considered one of the major public health challenges in Scotland. Around one in four people are estimated to be affected by mental ill-health in any one year so research is vital.

Dr Donald MacIntyre, NHS consultant general psychiatrist and Research Lead of NRS Mental Health said: “Mental health research is undoubtedly a priority area for Scotland and provision of this fund is recognition of that.

“It represents commitment to supporting Scotland’s next generation of researchers in widening understanding, broadening education, and ultimately the search for solutions that can lead to better patient outcomes.

“The fund underlines our need for collaboration at an important time, and the desire to bring key national and international learnings back, not only to the Network, but Scotland as a whole in order to increase the quality of mental health research.”

He added: “We encourage interest from diverse applicants, especially from underrepresented groups or those working with underrepresented groups.

“The fundamental attribute we look for, however, is passion and commitment to conducting vital clinical research.”

The NHS Research Scotland Mental Health Network supports an active mental health research community across Scotland, leading studies in this growing field across areas such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism, depression, addictions, and psychosis, while identifying emerging research opportunities.

Network Manager Catherine Deith said: “We believe that this is a valuable opportunity for researchers to open up vital new avenues of education that can accelerate their development, and it’s important that our workforce is aware of it.

“Conferences are a great way to explore new modes of thinking, to understand where others are having success, while sharing learnings – be they from other parts of the UK or key global gatherings – and our Travelling Fellowship Fund can help to make attendance a more attractive, viable prospect.

“We are conscious of difficult financial conditions being widely experienced, and so this small fund could help to overcome that, allowing professional development ambitions to continue for those with an interest in vital research.”

Awards of £250 for UK conferences and £500 for international conferences are available with the Network expecting to fund eight UK Fellowships and four international Fellowships a year.  

Applications are invited from:

  • Members of the Network Teams channel (you may join and immediately apply)
  • Members who are engaged in or can demonstrate commitment to conducting clinical research
  • Members who do not have major (e.g. fellowship) external research funding

Fellowship applicants should be able to state clearly how it will support their career development, and those who are successful will be expected to briefly report back issues of interest to the Network.

To apply please complete the application form and return by email to

Outcomes will be communicated directly with the applicant. Successful applications will be publicised by the Network on the Teams channel, social media, and the NRS Website. Please also note that:

  • The Network can book and pay for travel arrangements
  • It can also pay conference registration fees in advance or in retrospect
    • Successful applicants’ reports on their experiences will be publicised 

The Mental Health Network operates across Scotland. It aims to create and maintain the best environment for mental health research by increasing research activity across Scotland, diversifying the portfolio of research studies and increasing the participation of patients and clinicians in research.

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