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Oxford is one of nine universities to receive a multimillion pound grant from the MRC to harness the power of data science for mental health research.

Nine leading UK universities from across the UK have won grants from the MRC, totalling £10 million for furthering understanding and treatment of mental health disorders. Funding for the grants was secured by the Medical Research Council as part of the government’s National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF).

The research community holds and generates huge swathes of biological, clinical, social and environmental data.  The challenge is how best to select and analyse the data to help unlock the secret to better diagnosis, treatment and ultimately prevention of mental health conditions. These nine innovative studies all look to tackle this question head on, helping build the systems, infrastructure and insight that will help researchers make the best use of Big Data.

The awards are intended to help jump start the sector in preparation for a future Mental Health Research Platform, similar in style to the Dementias Platform UK which is hosted here at the University of Oxford's Department of Psychiatry.



Pathfinder Summary

University of Bristol


John Macleod

Cohorts as Platforms for Mental Health research (CaP:MH): Integrating the ALSPAC and Born in Bradford population cohorts.



University of Cambridge


Rudolf Cardinal


Developing new tools for electronic health record data linkage, structured neuropsychiatric phenotyping, outcome prediction, and democratisation of mental health research. MICA, industrial collaboration with Microsoft Research

Cardiff University


Jeremy Hall

Integrating genetic, clinical and phenotypic data to advance stratification, prediction and treatment in mental health.



University of Edinburgh


Andrew McIntosh


Leveraging routinely collected and linked research data to study the causes and consequences of common mental disorders

University of Glasgow


Daniel Smith


Enhancing mental health cohorts through linkage to health, education and administrative datasets.

King’s College London


Robert Stewart


Developing algorithms to extract mental health data from electronic health records; and establishing the feasibility of working with schools and education data for mental health research.

University of Oxford


Simon Lovestone

Developing an informatics supported platform for experimental medicine - MICA, industrial collaboration with Janssen and SomaLogic


Swansea University Medical School


Ann John


MytHICAL- Mental Health Informatics in Children, Adolescents and young adults. How do my feelings become numbers?

University College London


David Osborn


Advancing methodology and linkages in electronic health records for mental health research



Please follow the link below to read the news on the NIHR BRC website.