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Mind Matters opens applications for £20,000 mental health research grant

20 January 2023

The RCVS Mind Matters Initiative (MMI) is inviting veterinary mental health researchers to apply for the 2023 Sarah Brown Mental Health Research Grant.

The £20,000 grant, which was set up in memory of vet, RCVS Council member and mental health campaigner Sarah Brown, has been awarded every year since 2019 and has so far provided funding for 5 innovative research projects, each of which focus on different areas of mental health within the veterinary professions. Past project topics have included 

As well as receiving funding for their research, previous winners have had opportunities to present their findings at conferences, including the MMI Symposium, and received support from the MMI and the RCVS to help promote their study and recruit volunteers.

Applications on an any topic relevant to veterinary mental health are welcome. However, in line with the original aim of the Sarah Brown grants and the strategic aims of MMI, particular interest will be shown to projects surrounding the following themes and topics:

  • veterinary suicide
  • those with a strong focus on mental health, rather than wellbeing/wellness
  • veterinary nurses, veterinary nursing students, and non-veterinary member of the practice team (e.g. receptionists)
  • understanding experiences of minoritised groups within the veterinary team
  • projects led by those who typically receive fewer opportunities in academia (e.g. student, minoritised groups, those with lived experience of mental health problems)

Lisa Quigley, Mind Matters Initiative Manager, said: “Over the past four years, we have been fortunate to support some truly fantastic research projects within the veterinary mental health sphere. Sarah was a strong mental health and wellbeing advocate with a particular passion for ensuring that those working in the veterinary professions were confident, happy, resilient and well supported. We are grateful to Sarah’s family for giving us their blessing and support to help continue her legacy through the Sarah Brown Mental Health Research Grant.

“The grant is open to anyone with a relevant research idea, whether that be a highly experienced researcher, or someone just starting out in their career. All applications are anonymised and will be judged based on their quality, originality and relevance to the profession.

“Mental health research is of vital importance, both in theory and practice, and forms a vital part of our work at MMI. Our past projects have already proven to have real tangible benefits to veterinary teams and we look forward to seeing how our research projects will continue to drive positive change in the future.”

Anyone wishing to apply for the Sarah Brown Mental Health Research Grant can find more information on the Mind Matters website, where an application form is also available to download. Applications should be sent to Lisa Quigley on [email protected] by 5pm on Wednesday 31 May 2023.

The award will be formally presented at the 2023 Mind Matters Mental Health Research Symposium taking place in November 2023, where the winner will also be invited to present their work.

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