The following project portfolio lists current and completed funding opportunities and how to apply to each specific opportunity. Please read the Mental Health Research Programme’s How to Apply section first, and note the closing dates below.
Current and closed funding opportunities:
FiMT/EOI/MH1701 –The mental health needs of serving and ex-Service personnel:
A review of the latest evidence and key stakeholder perspectives
- Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) was established at the start of 2012 with a £35 million endowment from the Big Lottery Fund. FiMT’s vision is that all ex-Service personnel and their families lead successful and fulfilled civilian lives. The mission of FiMT is to enable ex-Service personnel and their families to make a successful and sustainable transition into civilian life, and the Trust’s strategy is to provide an evidence base that will influence and underpin policy making and service delivery. By funding high quality, credible research where there is an identified gap in relevant understanding, and by then exploiting the findings, FiMT effects positive change.
- In 2012, FiMT commissioned a review, in partnership with The Mental Health Foundation, of existing evidence and the perspectives of key stakeholders concerning the mental health of serving and ex-Service personnel (http://www.fim-trust.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/20130729-FiMT-MHF-Final.pdf). The review was published in 2013 and, alongside discussions with key stakeholders in the field, from academia and the NHS to the MOD and military charities, it underpinned the strategy behind FiMT’s Mental Health Research Programme (MHRP). The MHRP launched officially in October 2015 with an annual disbursement of £1 million for up to 5 years. Having just passed its 2-year review point, FiMT is keen to move the programme from a primarily reactive application stance to one of proactive commissioning.
- To help shape the commissioning programme, FiMT wishes to start by commissioning a fresh review of the latest evidence concerning the mental health of UK service and ex-Serving personnel and their families, including the perspectives of key stakeholders, within the context of the MOD’s ‘Defence People Mental health and Wellbeing Strategy 2017-2022’ (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/defence-people-mental-health-and-wellbeing-strategy); the results from Phase 3 of King’s College London’s ‘Health and Wellbeing of UK Armed Forces Personnel: A Cohort Study’ research (https://www.kcl.ac.uk/kcmhr/research/kcmhr/healthstudy.aspx); NHS England’s ‘Five Year Forward View for Mental Health’ (https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Mental-Health-Taskforce-FYFV-final.pdf), and other equivalent NHS documents within each of the devolved nations, where they exist. These stated documents, however, should not be considered an exhaustive list.
- For more information about FiMT, please visit our website at www.fim-trust.org; for information on the Mental Health Research Programme specifically, please visit http://www.fim-trust.org/mental-health/research-programme/
- Improving our understanding of veterans’ mental health, service provision, policy, and effective treatments has been a priority of the Forces in Mind Trust since the Trust’s inception. For the small minority of veterans who suffer mental health related issues, it can have a major impact on their quality of life and that of their families, affecting the ease and success of their transition from military to civilian life. It is therefore important that the Trust retains a keen awareness of the latest knowledge, gaps in knowledge, and areas of concern within the field of the mental and related health needs of veterans (and their families). The MRHP currently has six research priorities, which can be viewed at http://www.fim-trust.org/mental-health/research-programme/. To inform the Programme’s commissioning interest going forward and to ensure the ongoing relevance of the Programme’s research priorities, a full and refreshed systematic literature review, with key stakeholder consultation, is now required.
- FiMT wishes to commission a documented, systematic review of relevant high-quality literature (henceforth ‘systematic review’) on the current scientific environment and changes and gaps in evidence concerning the field of serving and ex-Serving personnel’s (and their families’) mental health. The review is to include the perspectives of key stakeholders; the successful bidder is expected to suggest which stakeholders they would wish to include, and which aspects of the review they would wish to discuss with whom. This request for expressions of interest (RFEOI) invites recipients to declare an interest in conducting the systematic review. Please see below examples of areas for inclusion in the search:
- Identifying where there is, and is not, a difference between veterans and non-veterans concerning their mental and related health issues
- Highlighting ongoing and new issues or concerns affecting (or likely to affect) the veteran mental health field
- Veteran-specific and mainstream services and interventions that currently exist (or are missing, ineffective or need evaluating) to meet those mental and related health issues identified at the previous two points
- Interventions or methods for reaching veterans who take longer to seek help (or withdraw prematurely from) treatment
Mental health related issues may include, for example:
- Common mental health problems (eg depression and anxiety)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (eg mild to moderate and complex)
- Alcohol, addictive behaviours and other substance misuse
- Suicide and self-harm
- Mental health of, impact of, and support for families of service personnel on deployment, or veterans in transition (eg where veteran is suffering mental health issues)
- This type of information, or that deemed relevant by the successful bidder, is expected to provide the foundation for further work that will help FiMT’s MHRP answer how the mental health and related needs of UK serving and ex-Serving personnel and their families can be best supported through policy and service provision.
- FiMT is seeking to commission this systematic review in the first half of 2018, for it to be completed and published within 6-8 months of commencement.
Approximate value of the award
- The award is expected to be in the region of £50,000 to £100,000 subject to agreed scope and subject to negotiation.
- This project requires a thorough, well-structured, robust and comprehensive systematic review covering all relevant peer-reviewed publications (high quality reviews and primary studies), as well as good quality grey literature (unpublished and/or non-peer reviewed) on the mental health needs of serving and ex-Serving personnel and their families, including conducting interviews with key stakeholders, since 2012. A comparison to the FiMT commissioned Mental Health review published in 2013 (as mentioned at point 2 above) should be made to determine the continued relevancy of findings and recommendations made within that report, noting where progress has been made to date. The review should also include ongoing and ‘under consideration’ research in these areas, as far as is practicable, and should provide an indication of the size and relevance of ‘grey’ literature. It will be important for the successful bidder to maintain close dialogue with FiMT as the extent of these areas becomes known (eg PhDs and conference papers may yield a large amount of literature, but be disproportionality poor value).
- To ensure relevance, papers must have been published in the English language between August 2012 and the latest date of the period in which this review is conducted (earlier papers may be included if particularly informative and still relevant). The review should focus on studies from the UK, but where UK research is relatively limited, studies from other countries can be included, particularly if featuring as useful comparators, bearing in mind the institutional and contextual differences (eg USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and some other NATO countries’ literature, as may be identified by the successful bidder). Gaps in evidence should be highlighted, along with recommendations for areas of focus in future research relating to these subject areas. These gaps should be categorized as being due to absence of research, inadequate quality research, or other factors.
- FiMT is interested to hear proposals from the bidder of an assessment framework that might provide an ‘Impact Factor’ for any research the systematic review identifies; however, the scope and hence cost of such a framework might exceed its value to this work’s end purpose. FiMT’s position on the relative value of longitudinal studies, randomized control trials and independent evaluations is that these are likely to provide the highest practical quality in this field, but other methodologies should be included within the systematic review.
- In commissioning this research, the title to all intellectual property rights created or developed during the course of this research (“Foreground Intellectual Property”) will pass to FiMT. FiMT will grant the researcher a royalty-free license (and sub-license if required) to use and exploit the Foreground Intellectual Property.
Communication of findings
- FiMT expects that any findings from this project will be made available in the public domain. This will include posting the final report on FiMT’s website and on the Veterans and Families Research Hub as a minimum, but might also include other written outputs such as fact sheets, evidence summaries or online blogs specifically targeted to a relevant, non-academic policy maker or service delivery audience. This could also include oral presentations at conferences and meetings with relevant stakeholders. FiMT would expect consideration to be given to how findings might be published in quality peer-reviewed open access journals.
Lead organisation and named participants
- The credibility, experience, and expertise of the lead organization and associated partners are critical to the success of this project, both in terms of access to subjects and the final output. FiMT can fund work from registered charities and registered companies which are based in the United Kingdom.
- All Expressions of Interest (EOIs) will be assessed by the deadline stated below. Any EOIs received after this deadline will not be considered. A detailed Invitation to Tender (ITT) will be sent to all those organisations invited to tender for this research/project.
- FiMT expects all research to be carried out in an ethical manner and bidders will need to explain how this will be ensured.
- FiMT will use the following selection criteria to determine which organizations will be invited to tender:
- The quality of the EOI. Robust and thorough research is the primary selection criteria
- The clarity of the EOI in setting out how the systematic review (including stakeholder interviews) will be carried out
- The credibility, experience and expertise of the organization(s) seeking to deliver this project, both in terms of delivery and in the exploitation of the subsequent findings
- Ethical credentials
- Value for money
Feedback on unsuccessful EOIs will be at FiMT discretion.
Information to be included in the EOI and deadline for submission
- FiMT expects the EOI to be a maximum of 6 pages and to contain the following information:
- EOI reference number and title
- Name and details of lead organization, including: postal, email and website addresses, type of organization (public, private, voluntary and community sector or other) with any registration numbers, telephone numbers, and details for the person who will be main point of contact
- Name and contact details of any other organization involved
- An outline of how the research would be carried out
- Examples of other work you have already carried out on this subject or in this area and your expertise on this subject
- An indication of cost, a broad allocation of costs, and what proportion would be requested from FiMT
EOIs must be submitted via firstname.lastname@example.org by noon on Friday, 12th January 2018.
If you have any questions or wish to discuss any aspect of this research/project prior to submission, please contact Kirsteen Waller (Research and Support Manager) at email@example.com
Ray Lock CBE
Forces in Mind Trust
Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) in collaboration with Centre for Mental Health and King’s Centre for Military Health Research, a part of King’s College London, is issuing a highlight notice under FiMT’s Mental Health Research Programme (MHRP) as part of an initiative to encourage high quality research in the field of veterans’ mental health. The aim of this highlight notice is to encourage applications that propose innovative ways to identify, evaluate and/or propose new methods of improving employment/under-employment in former UK Armed Forces personnel with mental ill-health.
Employment is vital to health and should be recognised as a health outcome. The employment rates for adults with mental health problems contrasts with the general population: with 43% of all people with mental health problems in employment, compared to 74% of the general population and 65% of people with other health conditions (Department of Health, 2016). The employment rate of people with severe and enduring mental health problems is just 7.3% (HSCIC, 2013). Whilst the majority of ex-Service personnel do well after transitioning from military to civilian life, for some, the return to civilian life can be difficult (Centre for Mental Health, 2016; Pinder et. al, 2011). Findings from the literature support this assessment, with UK veteran unemployment rates varying from 6% to 19.5%, depending on the cohort of personnel reviewed (Pinder et. al, 2011; HM Government, 2007; Iverson et. al., 2005; Hotopf et al., 2003). When the relationship between unemployment and mental ill-health is considered in the general population, there appears to be a causal link both ways (Centre for Mental Health, 2013). People with mental health problems are much less likely to be in paid employment (Rinaldi et al., 2011) and people who have been unemployed for at least six months are more likely to develop depression or other mental health conditions (Diette et al., 2012).
Ex-Service personnel suffering from mental ill-health are likely to be the most susceptible ex-Service group to a range of hardships, including unemployment (Iversen et al. 2005). A review of 166 Armed Forces personnel presenting to a single general hospital following an incident of self-harm identified employment problems as a trigger in 43.9% of cases (Hawton et al., 2009). A FiMT-commissioned review of serving and ex-Service personnel’s mental health complements these findings, identifying those who leave military service due to mental ill-health as being at an increased risk of social exclusion (e.g. unemployment and homelessness) and continuing poor health (Samele et al., 2013). A recent Centre for Mental Health report reviewing the evidence on how to support Armed Forces veterans with mental health conditions into paid employment, and evaluating The Poppy Factory’s employability service, identified a range of factors that affect how ex-Service personnel suffering mental ill-health find and retain employment (Centre for Mental Health, 2016).
Building on the FiMT-commissioned review from 2013, and Centre for Mental Health and Royal British Legion reviews from 2016, the MHRP would like to encourage applications that propose innovative ways to address one or more of the following:
- The prevalence of diagnosed mental health problems in UK serving personnel and how they might best be prepared for and supported into post-Service employment
- Identification and evaluation of existing methods of support that help ex-Service personnel suffering a range of mental health problems (from common mental health disorders to PTSD) to find and retain appropriate employment
- Methods and techniques to enhance the resilience of Service leavers with mental ill-health to help them secure and sustain appropriate employment post-Service
- Potential change mechanisms to help improve UK ex-Service personnel’s awareness of and engagement in pathways to employment for those suffering mental ill-health
- The need for and feasibility of specialised support for veterans with mental ill-health specifically related to seeking and retaining employment
- Determine whether veterans would benefit from more integrated support models which combine mental health services with mainstream employment support
- Identify the support needs and employment outcomes of Early Service Leavers, Reservists, female and/or other minority ex-Service personnel groups suffering mental ill-health
- Identify the extent to which veterans and their families with mental ill-health are underemployed and whether or not such underemployment aids or exacerbates their mental ill-health (e.g. through under use of and potential subsequent loss of skills, knowledge and confidence)
- Identify long-term analysis of unemployment rates for ex-Service personnel with mental ill-health, specifically beyond 6 months of leaving service
- Methods of evaluating the long-term effects of the Career Transition Partnership (CTP) on ex-Service personnel with mental ill-health, specifically relating to the ability of this group to remain in employment after the end of the two-year CTP Programme (HM Government, 2015)
- Individual Placement Support (IPS) has increasing become recognised as one of the most effective approaches to employment support (Department of Health, 2016). A literature review aimed at identifying effective interventions for maximising work outcomes for the veteran population with mental illness identified 32 relevant studies, 10 of which focused on veterans. Authors agreed with numerous other systematic reviews that IPS is the most effective intervention to support people with serious mental health conditions to return to competitive employment (Van Til et al., 2013). The MHRP would be interested in evaluating the suitability of IPS for UK veterans, identifying whether the outcomes for veterans differ from those of the general population, and whether a tailored veteran specific IPS method would be more effective
The Mental Health Research Programme welcomes research proposals that address any one or more of the above aspects concerning the employment of ex-Service personnel experiencing mental ill-health.
The application process to apply for funding to FiMT under a highlight notice follows a two-stage process. The first stage is a short initial application form. If successful at this stage, a full application is invited. Full details of the application process, the initial application form and assessment criteria guidance are available from FiMT’s website: http://www.fim-trust.org/mental-health/funding/how-to-apply.
Applications received by FiMT that fall under this Highlight Notice will be prioritised for evaluation until the end of October 2017. Please ensure you include the number and title of the highlight notice in the relevant box of the application form (HN 002 Ex-Service personnel, employment and mental health) and ensure you justify in your application how your research fits within the priority area.
If you wish to discuss this notice and/or your MHRP proposal, please contact Harry Palmer, the MHRP Programme Coordinator on 07469151152 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Centre for Mental Health (2009). Doing what works: Individual placement and support in employment. London: Centre for Mental Health – available on the Centre for Mental Health’s website: https://www.centreformentalhealth.org.uk/briefing-37-doing
Centre for Mental Health (2013). Barriers to Employment: What works for people with mental health problems. London: Centre for Mental Health – available on the Centre for Mental Health’s website: https://www.centreformentalhealth.org.uk/briefing-47-employment
Centre for Mental Health (2016). Employment in Mind: The Poppy Factory employability service and veterans with mental health conditions. London: Centre for Mental Health – available on the Centre for Mental Health’s website: https://www.centreformentalhealth.org.uk/employment-in-mind-the-poppy-factory-employability-service-and-veterans-with-mental-health-conditions
Davis, L. L., Leon, A. C., Toscano, R., Drebing, C. E., Ward, L. C., Parker, P. E. (2012) A randomized controlled trial of supported employment among veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder. Psychiatric Services, 63(5), pp. 464-470
Department of Health (2016). The Five Year Forward View for Mental Health, Redditch: Independent Mental Health Taskforce to the NHS in England
Diette, T., Goldsmith, A., Hamilton, D. & Darity, W. (2012) Causality in the relationship between mental health and unemployment in Appelbaum, L. (Ed.) Reconnecting to Work: Policies to mitigate long-term unemployment and its consequences. Michigan, US: WE Upjohn Institute for Employment Research
Hawton, K., Harriss, L., Casey, D., Simkin, S., Harrison, K., Bray, I. and Blatchley, N. (2009) Self-harm in UK armed forces personnel: descriptive and case-control study of general hospital presentations. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 194(3), pp. 266-272
Health and Social Care Information Centre (2013). Routine Quarterly Mental Health Minimum Data set (MHMDS) Reports – Final Q4 2012-2013 – available here
HM Government (2007). Ministry of Defence: Leaving the Services, London: The National Audit Office
HM Government (2015). Ministry of Defence: Career Transition Partnership quarterly statistics: UK Regular Service Personnel Employment Outcomes 2009/10 to 2013/14, Bristol: Defence Statistics
Hotopf, M., David, A.S., Hull, L., Nikalaou, V., Unwin, C. and Wessely, S. (2003) Gulf war illness – better, worse, or just the same? A cohort study, British Medical Journal, 327
Iversen, A., Dyson, C., Smith, N., Greenberg, N., Walwyn, R.,Unwin, C., Hill, L., Hotopf, M., Dandeker, C., Ross, J. and Wessely, S. (2005a) ’Goodbye and good luck’: the mental health needs and treatment experiences of British ex-Service personnel. British Journal of Psychiatry, 186, pp. 480-486
Pinder, R., Murphy, D., Iversen, A., Wessely, S. and Fear, N. (2011) Social exclusion amongst UK ex-Service personnel based on measures of employment. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 68(Suppl_1), pp.A50
Rinaldi, M., Montibeller, T. & Perkins, R. (2011) Increasing the Employment rate for people with longer-term mental health problems. The Psychiatrist, 35, pp. 339-343
Samele, C., (2013) The mental health of serving and ex-Service personnel: A review of the evidence and perspective of key stakeholders. London: Mental Health Foundation – available on the Forces in Mind Trust’s website: http://www.fim-trust.org/reports/
The Royal British Legion (2014) A UK Household Survey of the Ex-Service Community. London: The Royal British Legion – available on The Royal British Legion website: http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/media/2275/2014householdsurveyreport.pdf
The Royal British Legion (2016) Deployment to Employment: Exploring the veteran employment gap in the UK. London: The Royal British legion – available on The Royal British Legion website: http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/media/5035/deployment-to-employment.pdf
Van Til, L., Fikretoglu, D., Pranger, T., Patten, S., Wang, J., Wong, M., (2013). Work Reintegration for Veterans with Mental Disorders: A Systematic Literature Review to Inform Research. Physical Therapy, 93(9), pp. 1163-1174
Worked up by:
MHRP PC and RSM
28 Jun 2017
The Mental Health Research Programme is currently welcoming applications on research concerning ex-Service personnel and their families. We are particularly interested in projects which fall within our 6 research priorities:
- Alcohol and Substance Misuse
- Veteran Specific Services
- Improving Help Seeking
- Efficacy of Veterans Charities
- Recovery based models
- Family impacts
How to Apply
If you are interested in applying to FiMT‘s Mental Health Research Programme (MHRP), please ensure you have first read the MHRP ‘How to Apply’ section and relevant guidelines. Then please download and complete the Initial Application form below and email a copy to: email@example.com
001 Ex-Service personnel, alcohol and other substance misuse and addiction
Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) in collaboration with Centre for Mental Health and King’s Centre for Military Health Research is issuing a highlight notice under FiMT’s Mental Health Research Programme as part of an initiative to encourage high quality research in the field of veterans’ mental health. The aim of this highlight notice is to encourage applications that propose innovative ways to understand and address substance misuse and addiction, including alcohol, legal and illegal drug use, and its impact on former UK Armed Forces personnel and their families.
A FiMT-commissioned review of serving and ex-Service personnel’s mental health identified alcohol misuse as a key priority for veterans’ mental health, describing it as a ‘major public health issue’. The review highlighted the need to address:
- causes of alcohol use and misuse
- the effectiveness of alcohol-related interventions
- the relationship of alcohol consumption to other mental health conditions
- issues of long term alcohol misuse and dependency
- the lack of existing evidence on other types of substance misuse and addictive behaviours beyond alcohol including recreational drug use, self-medication, gambling, and misuse of prescription medicines or ‘body enhancement’ substances.
The Mental Health Research Programme welcomes research proposals that address any of these aspects of substance misuse and addiction for UK ex-Service personnel and their families.
This Highlight Notice will run from The application process to apply for funding to FiMT under a highlight notice, follows a two stage procedure. The first stage is a short initial application form. If successful at this stage a full application is invited. Full details of the application process, the initial application form and assessment criteria guidance are available from FiMT’s website: http://www.fim-trust.org/mental-health/funding/how-to-apply
Applications received by FiMT that fall under a highlight notice will be prioritised for funding until the end of September 2016. Please ensure you include the number and title of the highlight notice in the relevant box of the application form (001 Ex-Service personnel, alcohol and other substance misuse and addiction) and ensure you justify in your application how your research fits within the priority area.
If you wish to discuss this notice, and your MHRP proposal informally please contact:
Hilary Cornish, MHRP Programme Coordinator
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 020 7827 8332
 Samele, C. (2013). The Mental Health of Serving and Ex-Service Personnel: A review of the evidence and perspectives of key stakeholders. FiMT: London, and available on the Forces in Mind website: http://www.fim-trust.org/reports/
 FiMT are currently funding a project by Addaction in this area and we are unlikely to fund projects with substantial overlap. Please review the press release at: http://www.fim-trust.org/who-we-have-helped/