Mental Health Award: Accelerating scalable digital mental health interventions

This call will fund research to evaluate and further develop scalable digital interventions to advance early intervention in depression, anxiety and psychosis. Teams must include the research expertise required to drive the proposed research, an organisation which can take the intervention to scale (whether a company or not-for-profit) and lived experience experts.


Administering organisation location:
Anywhere in the world (apart from mainland China)
Funding amount:

£3 to 7 million per project

Funding duration:

Up to 5 years


Upcoming application stage

Calculating next key date…
Application process timeline

Who can apply 

To apply for this award, teams must include researchers, an organisation (whether a company or not-for-profit) which can take the intervention to scale, and lived experience experts.

We are open to different collaboration models. For example:

  • The intervention may have been developed in a variety of settings, such as a:
    • higher education institution
    • research institute
    • non-academic healthcare organisation
    • non-governmental research organisation
    • not-for-profit
    • company.
  • The collaboration between organisations and researchers may be new or existing. 

We expect:

  • Researchers to serve as the analytical leads to design and deliver robust evaluations of the interventions. Researchers may be embedded in a company or a separate entity such as a higher education institution, research institute, non-academic healthcare organisation, not-for-profit or non-governmental research organisation based anywhere in the world (apart from mainland China).
  • The organisation (not-for-profit or company) to serve (at least initially) as the implementation lead.  

Is your organisation right for this call? 

Your administering organisation can be a:

  • higher education institution

  • research institute

  • non-academic healthcare organisation

  • non-governmental research organisation

  • not-for-profit

  • company

Organisations must be legally incorporated with sufficient working capital to manage existing projects. If you have not previously received funding from Wellcome, we will conduct a financial assessment. When we fund companies, we usually fund through a programme-related investment. In this case funding may need to occur through a convertible loan, or revenue-sharing agreement to help meet our charitable objectives.

Is your research right for this call? 

The proposed intervention:

  • should target symptom(s) and/or functional impairments related to anxiety, depression or psychosis to advance early intervention

  • can include (but is not limited to) software, artificial intelligence, web-based programmes, mobile applications, chatbots, extended reality, wearable devices or video games

  • can be standalone or adjunct to other treatments and can be designed for delivery in a range of settings such as healthcare, workplaces, schools, homes or other environments 

Proposals should also demonstrate the potential for the developed intervention to be delivered at scale, considering factors such as acceptability, affordability, feasibility and sustainability.  

We expect that projects will have both a minimum viable product and feasibility data. Proposals should plan for evaluations of the intervention, employing appropriate comparators. 

A range of designs are eligible such as (but not limited to):

  • clinical trials
  • case-control studies
  • quasi-experimental designs
  • real-world evidence generation studies
  • hybrid effectiveness-implementation studies 

Involvement of people with lived experience 

Lived experience experts should be engaged in multiple aspects and stages of the research. They should be involved as colleagues who use their personal knowledge and expertise to inform the strategic direction, governance, design and delivery of the research. 

Upcoming events 

Discussion and networking events on digital mental health (July to October 2024)

  • We will be hosting a series of thought-provoking events and discussions on digital mental health in partnership with Zinc. Attendees will gain insights from industry and research leaders and connect with fellow researchers, companies and not-for-profits working in this dynamic field. These will be hybrid events. Attendees will have the option of joining in-person at Wellcome’s offices or joining online through a live-stream.

Matchmaking events for companies and researchers (September 2024)

  • To discover potential collaborators for this funding call, you can take part in free matchmaking sessions hosted by Neuromatch. These sessions will connect researchers and organisations (companies and not-for-profits). You will have the opportunity to engage in conversations with your matches one-on-one. Registration for matchmaking opens in the week commencing 29 July and closes 12 September 2024.

Funding webinar (10 September 2024)

  • Wellcome’s Mental Health team will explain the rationale, objectives and eligibility for this funding call. Attendees will also have the opportunity to ask questions about the award and applying. Registration opens in the week commencing 29 July 2024.

Key dates 

You must submit your application by 17:00 GMT on the deadline day. We don’t accept late applications.

Application process timeline

  1. Thursday 18 July, 17:00 - 19:30 BST, 2024

    Discussion and networking event on digital mental health

    Partnering for Progress: Building Industry-Academic Partnerships in Digital Mental Health

    Register for the networking event
  2. Week commencing 29 July 2024

    Full details of the award are published and the call opens to applications

  3. 10 September 2024

    Funding webinar

  4. 12 September 2024

    Registration deadline for matchmaking and matches shared

  5. 2 December 2024

    Full application deadline

  6. February 2025


  7. April 2025


  8. April 2025

    Funding decision