Mental health

New Collaborations to support Eating Disorders Research

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Enhance our understanding of the biological, psychological and social causes of eating disorders, to help improve treatments and prevention strategies.

This funding call is now closed.

The Medical Research Foundation is delighted to be co-funding New Collaborations Grants to support Eating Disorders Research, in partnership with the Medical Research Council (MRC), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Art and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR).

The aim of this funding opportunity is to initiate novel interdisciplinary collaborations in Eating Disorders Research and increase capacity in the field.

We are inviting applicants from medical, biological and social science disciplines, as well as arts and humanities. Funding collaborations across various groupings of disciplines will allow for the exploitation of existing resources and data sets, and the development of new hypotheses and innovative approaches.

This research will generate multi-faceted understanding, prevention and treatment of eating disorders across demographics. In the long-term, this could reduce the impact on people with eating disorders and their families.

A key objective of this call is to enable interdisciplinary collaboration by mobilising academia, industry, the charity sector, local authorities and service providers from related areas to align their interest to eating disorders research including, but not limited to:

  • mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, as well as overlapping symptoms without clinical diagnosis,
  • neurodevelopmental disorders,
  • addictive disorders,
  • physiological disorders such as diabetes and obesity,
  • socio-cultural risk and protective factors, including body image and social media,
  • health inequalities, including life course approaches which draw on longitudinal data,
  • integration of creative and arts-based therapies into diagnoses and treatment,
  • the role and potential of real and virtual community-based approaches.

The inclusion of people with lived experience (PWLE) of eating disorders is an integral part of research. The Medical Research Foundation, MRC, ESRC, AHRC and NIHR require that proposed collaborations demonstrate a strong commitment to the involvement of PWLE of eating disorders, both in the development and implementation stages of the research.

Applications may focus on a particular area of the wide range of eating disorders, including disordered eating, or, can be broad in scope, however it is expected that all applications will sufficiently acknowledge the complexity and variability of these conditions. While primary research is not the key aim of this call, the use of existing datasets and resources and small-scale pump priming work are permitted. Applications should specifically consider the diverse presentation of eating disorders, and the inclusion of under-represented groups in regard to ethnicity, social class, neurodivergence, gender and sexual orientation.

Please find examples of the ways the award could be used and full details of this funding opportunity on the MRC’s website.

Who can apply

We welcome proposals from a wide range of disciplines from the medical, biological, social and behavioural sciences as well as the arts and humanities. Applications that incorporate disciplines not typically involved in eating disorders research to facilitate collaborative novel thinking are particularly encouraged.

This funding opportunity is open to applicants from eligible UK-based organisations in accordance with standard UKRI practice. Principal (PI) and Co-Investigators (Co-I) must be based at an eligible Research Organisation. Applications involving early and mid-career researchers are encouraged.

Please visit the MRC’s webpage for full eligibility and remit details.

Funding available

The Medical Research Foundation, MRC, ESRC, AHRC and NIHR will make up to £4,250,000 available for collaborations of various sizes for up to three years. We do not expect to fund requests above £1,000,000.

We will fund 74% of full costs (fEC), information about costs we cover is found here and can include costs for PWLE involvement activities.

Awards may also be held on a part-time basis to meet personal commitments. Please get in touch with the Siv Vingill at the MRC if you would like to discuss part-time opportunities further.

Please see the MRC website for more details.


Mandatory intention to submit form to be submitted to by 16:00 6 October 2022.

Closing date for full proposals: 16:00 16 November 2022 via the MRC Je-S application system.

How to Apply

All applications will be submitted via the MRC Joint Electronic Submission system Je-S (please note that the call will be available to select on Je-S from 15th September 2022).

The intention to submit form can be found on the MRC website and has to be submitted by email to

Please visit the MRC’s webpage for further details on how to apply.


Any queries on the funding competition, the application process, or eligibility should be sent to or directly to Siv Vingill at the MRC

Terms and Conditions of Award

Awards funded through this competition will follow standard Medical Research Council terms and conditions. The terms and conditions spell out the responsibilities of the Principal Investigator and the Lead Research Organisation. The Principal Investigator and the Lead Research Organisation are required to indicate their formal acceptance of the proposal, their acceptance of the terms and conditions of an award, and the approval of the salaries and resources sought in the application.

The Medical Research Foundation may add additional conditions to a grant award to reflect the particular circumstances and requirements of the funding, or the nature of a particular award. Acceptance of an award constitutes acceptance of both the core conditions and any additional conditions. The Medical Research Foundation reserves the right to vary these terms and conditions.