Neurosciences & mental health

We fund innovative research that tells us how the brain controls our behaviour, how the nervous system functions throughout life in health and disease and how it responds to injury. We also support the development of tools and techniques that help others carry out research on the nervous system. We are particularly interested in multidisciplinary research that will increase our understanding of the brain in health and disease.

The Neurosciences and Mental Health Board is responsible for our programmes and funding in neurosciences and mental health.

All applications for funding for new or existing population cohort studies are required to submit an outline for assessment by the Cohort Strategic Review Group (CSRG). Applications for funding for clinical (ie. patient specific or disease focussed) cohorts need not follow this process.

Remit and scope

Broadly, our portfolio is broken down as follows:

  • Neurodegeneration
  • Neurovascular Ageing
  • Clinical neurology and neuroinflammation
  • Mental health
  • Addictions and Substance Misuse
  • Behavioural and learning disorders
  • Cognitive and behavioural neuroscience and cognitive systems
  • Sensory neuroscience, vision and hearing
  • Neurobiology and neurophysiology
  • Underpinning support such as neuroimaging technology, brain banking and neuroinformatics
  • CFS/ME (through population & systems medicine)


UK Dementia Research Institute

MRC and its founder charity partners the Alzheimer's Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK are to establish a national UK Dementia Research Institute (DRI) in fulfilment of the ambition identified in Prime Minister's 2020 Challenge on Dementia. The DRI will lead the UK’s dementia research efforts aimed at transforming the treatment and care that people with dementia receive as well as lead the way in identifying risk reduction strategies for future generations.

Strategic relationships

In order to carry out the work that we do, we seek opportunities to work with a number of key external stakeholders to deliver our strategy.