Previous funding opportunities

Find out more about our previous funding opportunities

Projects funded in Autumn 2019 call

We were impressed by the volume and quality of research proposals, and we received far more high quality applications than we were able to support.

We are now in a position to announce the outcome of the first allocation of Network+ funds from Closing the Gap. The aim of out first round of funding (awarded autumn 2019) was to stimulate research into the inequalities that people with severe mental ill health experience and to build a cross-disciplinary research capacity in the field of health inequalities for people with severe mental ill health.  We sought to generate some new knowledge and activity in this area.

We received 22 applications (£329,228) for £100,000 of available funds. We are excited to announce the six projects that received funding, covering a range of our networks themes, from institutions around the UK.

People with severe mental illness (SMI), including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, have poor physical health and reduced life expectancy. Existing research has focused on factors that increase the likelihood of being admitted to hospital for psychiatric illness. We aim to examine patterns and predictors of non-psychiatric hospital admissions for people with SMI using the vast range of data provided by UK Biobank. We will explore various biological, social and environmental factors related to hospitalisations for physical illness using innovative methods and informed by lived experience, which will help to target policy and improve the health of people with SMI.

Investigators: Claire Niedzwiedz, Daniel Smith (University of Glasgow), Rowena Jacobs, Maria Jose Aragon, Stephanie Prady (University of York), Josefien Breedvelt (Mental Health Foundation, University of Amsterdam)

Initial research indicates that people with psychosis/bipolar disorder are more likely to have decayed, missing or filled teeth, and experience severe gum disease. This can greatly impact on their lives. However, the quality of existing research is generally very poor. We want to perform the strongest research to date exploring this issue. We intend to analyse existing data from two large surveys in the UK and US. We will explore whether and why people with psychosis/bipolar disorder have worse oral health. We will also examine the factors affecting whether people receive dental care.

Investigator: Jing Kang, Jianhua Wu, Vishal Aggarwal (University of Leeds), Jasper Palmier-Claus (Lancaster University), Tim Doran (University of York), David Shiers (Retired GP/Carer), John* (Lived experience representative)


Health of women around the time of conception is a key determinant of pregnancy outcome and next generation health and offers a unique opportunity to intervene. Little is known about preconception health in women with mental disorders and which factors contribute to the increased risk of adverse outcomes, which disproportionally affect women of Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. We aim to investigate if preconception health indicators and level of multi-morbidity differ for women with severe mental illness (SMI) compared with those with a history of depression and those with no previous mental health history and explore ethnicity disparities in these indicators, using linked primary care and secondary care data from a deprived ethnically diverse inner London borough.

 Investigators: Louise Howard, Raquel Catalao, Michelle Pentecost, Sarah Dorrington, Mark Ashworth (King’s College London) Robert Stewart (NIHR Maudsley)

This research will address two questions to assess the feasibility of a larger scale intervention project:

(1) How do people with serious and enduring mental illness (SMI) perceive, use and benefit from green and blue space?

(2) Does the interaction with green and blue spaces differ between SMI and the general population?

Using an exploratory sequential mixed methods design, peer researchers will conduct qualitative interviews with mental health service users; these data will be used to design a quantitative survey to explore the relevant themes with a sub-sample of the CTG Health and Wellbeing Cohort and a general population sample.

Investigators: Claire McCartan, Gavin Davidson (Queen’s University Belfast), Lee Knifton, Chris White (Mental Health Foundation), Paul Webb (Praxis Care), Liam Bradley, Katherine Greer (Peer Researchers)

People with severe mental illness (SMI) have poorer physical health and lower life expectancy than the general population. Diabetes contributes significantly to this health inequality. The quality of diabetes care for the general population in England has improved in the last fifteen years following the introduction of several national incentive schemes. However, there remain variations in the quality of care by patient demographics, socioeconomic status and co-morbidities such as SMI.

This study will analyse an electronic healthcare dataset in England to estimate: 1) inequality in diabetes care associated with SMI; and 2) the differential impact of care on health outcomes.

Investigators: Lu Han, Najma Siddiqi, Rowena Jacobs,  Tim Doran, Catherine Hewiit, Stephanie Prady (University of York), Diamonds Voice Patient and Public Involvement Group

We are setting up the CtG Youth Study, which uses a questionnaire about physical health and wellbeing in younger people with serious mental ill health. We will have a group of young people who have used mental health services to advise us (CtG Youth Study Research Advisors).

We want to find out if digital technologies (e.g. group chats, podcasts, visual storytelling) can help young people with mental ill health get involved with research as advisors. We will have two interactive workshops with young people to find out how to best use digital technologies to work effectively with our advisory group. 

Investigators: Ruth Wadman, Lina Gega (University of York)