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You might have some more questions about The Ideas Fund. Your local Development Coordinators will be able to talk to you about the Fund and your idea, but we've put together some of the most common questions here.

Get in touch if you don't see what you're looking for or would find a conversation helpful.

What do we mean by mental wellbeing?

Experts define mental wellbeing in different ways, but we understand it as meaning:

"You care about yourself and for yourself. You look after your physical and emotional health - by eating well, sleeping well, exercising, connecting with others and enjoying yourself. You can cope with the stresses of life and can work productively - whether that's in a job, in education or through chores and hobbies."

Why have you chosen just four locations?

The Ideas Fund is committed to connecting communities with researchers as well as diversifying the voices within health research. During the development of the Fund, it became clear that a targeted, place-based approach would be the most efficient way of achieving this goal. We're focusing on just four areas so we can test and learn from our new approach to funding.

How long should projects last?

There is no minimum or maximum length that a project needs to run for. However, depending on the proposal, we anticipate that early stage ideas will run for around 6-9 months and developed ideas will last 12-18 months.

What can I spend the grant on?

The grant is intended to cover the following:

  • Salaries or fees for people who are essential to the proposal such as project lead, researchers, artists or consultants that aren't already covered by another grant
  • Participant costs if relevant
  • Materials and consumables
  • Equipment that is essential to the project
  • Production costs, including marketing
  • Travel and subsistence relevant to the proposal
  • Room hire
  • Catering
  • Accessibility costs (e.g. BSL translation, child-care)
  • Evaluation and dissemination of the work
  • Overheads - these can only account for a maximum of 20% of your grant

Is there anything I can't use the grant for?

You cannot use the grant to cover things such as:

- Costs incurred before your proposed activity starts

- Activities/partnerships outside the UK

- Activities mainly or solely within schools or formal education settings

- Emergency, top-up or maintenance funding

- Continued delivery of existing activities (instead it is intended that funding is used in a structured way to test ideas, solve problems, forge partnerships etc.)

- Loans, investments, or capital costs

- Delivery of frontline services, such as healthcare services or interventions (including arts therapy)

What is research?

Research is the careful, detailed and rigorous exploration or investigation of an idea or problem to create new knowledge or ways of doing things.

What is a research professional?

A research professional could be someone currently working in a university, the NHS or for a health charity or social enterprise, or they could be an independent expert. They will have a record of carrying out and publishing research.

I'm a community leader and want to apply - but I don't know any research professionals...

We are keen to create and nurture relationships between communities and researchers. As part of our funding application process, our Development Coordinators can introduce you to researchers you can collaborate with.

There isn't a research professional with the right expertise in our area. Can we work with someone from a bit further away?

We are keen to help establish and support sustainable, long-term relationships between community groups and researchers and this will be easier if researchers are local to the communities they are working with. However, this may not always be possible so research partners can come from further afield.

I'm a researcher and have good links with a community group, but not all of them are participants in my research. Can I apply?

Yes, but you will have to clearly show how your project is led by the community. The Ideas Fund is focused on engaging people with research. It won't fund projects where people are involved as research participants.

I'm a researcher and have lots of research participants. Can they be my community group?

Yes, but you will have to clearly show how your project is led by the community, and how it focuses on engaging the group with research. The grant you are applying for should not be essential to any of your current research.

Who are the Development Coordinators?

While we were designing the Fund, people told us they wanted to be supported through the process of applying for a grant. We're working with locally-based partners in each of the four target areas to make sure everyone is able to ask questions, and get advice and help from people who know their local area really well. These locally based partners are our Development Coordinators, and they can offer tailored support to people who want to apply. You can find their contact details here.

Can you tell me more about the pre-application workshops?

The workshops will give you more information about the Fund and the kinds of projects which could be possible so we really recommend you join them. Each national workshop is followed by a regional one, so you can reflect on what you've heard, meet with others and talk more about your ideas. The national workshops build on each other, but you can watch them back if you miss one. You don't need to have a clear idea of your project to join - and we'll also be providing some resources to help you keep thinking after the sessions.

Got a question?

Get in touch to ask us about the fund or discuss your idea.

Contact us