Mental Health Award: Finding the right treatment, for the right people, at the right time for anxiety and depression

This call aims to support validation of biological, psychological, social or digital markers to enable stratification in anxiety and/or depression as early as possible. Stratification will allow targeted treatment and ensure that the right people get the right treatment at the right time. 

Scheme at a glance 

Lead applicant career stage:
Administering organisation location:
Funding amount:

Up to £5 million

Funding duration:

Up to 5 years


Disabled applicants

If you are disabled or have a long-term health condition, we can support you with the application process.

About this call 

As part of our new strategic focus, Wellcome aims to drive a transformative change in the ability to intervene as early as possible in the course of anxiety and depression, broadly defined, in ways prioritised by the people who experience them. This work involves advancing scientific understanding of how brain, body and environment interact in the course and resolution of these conditions; finding new and improved ways to predict, identify, and stratify groups of people so that we can provide more timely and personalised interventions; and finding new and improved ways of intervening.

We recognise that to make progress we need to bring together an equitable, ethical, diverse and global research community to focus on the value of stratification for mental health. Through this call, we aim to foster the field of stratification in mental health research by encouraging applications from multi-disciplinary teams from diverse settings, both geographical and in terms of level of resource. We are also looking to encourage equitable collaborations between low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and high-income countries (HICs) so that findings may be applicable globally.

Current mental health diagnostic categories are imperfect, and rely on subjective measures, resulting in significant heterogeneity of people within each diagnostic category, which in turn impacts development and provision of effective interventions. Stratified medicine aims to identify sub-groups of individuals within a heterogenous disease population based upon unique characteristics of each sub-group (strata) such as underlying mechanisms, risk factors, course of disease or treatment responses.

A number of different methods can be utilised to measure the unique characteristics of the sub-groups including, but not limited to:

  • genetics
  • biochemical
  • imaging
  • clinical scores
  • socio-demographic characteristics
  • behavioural or psychological assessments

Use of stratification approaches have the potential to identify the sub-groups of individuals that will benefit most from a targeted pharmacological or non-pharmacological treatment. Furthermore, stratification of people with mental health conditions will enable early intervention with the potential to alter trajectories of these conditions and have maximum impact on people’s lives.

In this call, we aim to advance stratification in anxiety and/or depression, through funding further validation of promising biological, psychological, social and digital markers, whether alone or in combination with observable or behavioural characteristics, with a goal to enable early identification of sub-groups and targeted treatment.

Throughout the duration of the funding, Wellcome will encourage collaboration between funded groups through engagement activities (for example webinars and workshops), to support external validation efforts, in order to foster the field of stratification in mental health research and support the building of a community of stakeholders from various settings.

Eligibility and suitability 


We have been running webinars to discuss the call and allow participants to ask the Wellcome Mental Health team questions. A recording of our 6 April webinar in partnership with the World Health Organization is available, where you can watch:

What we offer 

How to apply 

Key dates 

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

  1. 2 May 2023, 15:00 BST

    Informational webinar

  2. 7 June 2023

    Preliminary application deadline

  3. July 2023


  4. 7 September 2023

    Full application deadline

  5. November 2023


Contact us 

Useful documents