About the award

The University of Glasgow is one of nine UK institutions chosen to lead in the area of mental health data science.

Researchers at the Institute of Health and Wellbeing have been awarded £1m to enhance mental health data cohorts through linkage to health, education and administrative datasets.

The UK-wide grants total £10m and are awarded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) to help researchers harness the power of data science for mental health research.

Funding for the grants was secured by the MRC as part of the government’s National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF).

Scotland is world-leading in the use of routine health data and record linkage for research, and researchers here are ideally suited to transform mental health research using health informatics and data science.

The University of Glasgow will deliver an ambitious data pathfinder project as a first step towards a UK-wide Mental Health Platform. The university has an established international record of interdisciplinary health informatics research in mental health, a well-tested infrastructure for this work, and collaborations with partners in the NHS, the third sector and in local and national government.

Led by Professor Daniel Smith, Professor of Psychiatry at the Institute of Health and Wellbeing, the University of Glasgow’s project has a strong clinical and translational focus. It will investigate the overlap between mental and physical health problems and will develop a programme of schools-based mental health research in Scotland.

Working with Colleague’s at the University, Professor Smith’s goal is to demonstrate the utility and versatility of routine data by developing both disease and population cohorts.

The awards are intended to help jump start the sector in preparation for a future Mental Health Research Platform, similar in style to the Dementias Platform UK.