As 124 funding applications demonstrate it has been a hugely busy year for research in the department. The presentations at Wednesday Research Meetings have been interesting and useful in honing funding applications to enhance the chances of success and I would encourage applicants at all levels to engage with these. If you are thinking about any future research funding proposals, please be in touch with Val West and the grants team as early as possible!
The publication of the REF 2021 in May indicated Oxford had the highest volume of world-leading research – and I would like to pay tribute to all our researchers, and other staff, whose sustained efforts and excellence over the past seven years made it possible.
We have another major bit of good news, with the NIHR awarding the Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) funding for another five years. Led by Prof John Geddes, the £35.4m partnership with Oxford Health NHS Trust, will support more ground-breaking innovation in brain health, which will help revolutionise the care and treatment of people with mental and cognitive disorders.
Elsewhere, Wellcome Discovery Awards went to Belinda Lennox (Function & Cognition in Early Psychosis) and Daniel Freeman (“Balm of hurt minds”: improving sleep and cognition in psychosis). An NIHR Programme Grant for Applied Research was awarded to Kam Bhui and Rebecca Sheriff for work on optimising cultural experiences for mental health in marginalised young people online.
Andrea Cipriani has been commissioned by the Wellcome to carry out a programme of living evidence syntheses for mental health research and is also leading the Oxford Health Clinical Research Facility.
Johnson and Johnson are supporting Paul Harrison, Belinda Lennox and Sarosh Irani with their research on antibody discovery in psychosis, with Belinda also awarded an NIHR Programme Grant for Applied Research for EXTEND – personalised care for early psychosis.
We also have a number of other exciting grant applications in the pipeline which we hope to share good news about with you in the new year.