UKRI Funds OHE Collaboration in Student Mental Health Research Network

Article by: Chris Sampson

UK Research and Innovation has awarded OHE a grant as a partner in a national research network for student mental health, led by King's College London.

Following a competitive process, UK Research and Innovation has announced the launch of eight new Mental Health Networks – supported by £8 million of funding – to bring together researchers, charities, and other organisations to address important mental health research questions. Here at OHE, we're delighted to be a partner in one of the networks.

SMaRteN will focus on student mental health in higher education. The network includes researchers with a range of expertise and key stakeholders from across the sector, with the aim of improving understanding of student mental health. The network is led by Nicola Byrom, at King's College London, with partners from more than a dozen organisations.

In UK universities, mental distress among the student population has been growing. Our network will seek to shift the focus of discussion away from growing demand for counselling and support services, and towards building an understanding of what institutional and social factors contribute to distress among the student population. We will support evidence-based approaches so that the right services are there for students who need them.

The network is funded for four years and OHE will help to lead a variety of work packages. We'll tackle the question of what (if anything) is distinct about student mental health, develop proposals for strategies to promote and enhance student wellbeing, as well as developing new tools to facilitate the evaluation of interventions in this context.

There are a variety of ways to get involved in the network's activities – click here to register your interest. If you're a researcher with an interest in student mental health, or you're a stakeholder working with the higher education sector, you will have the opportunity to join the network. Network members will receive updates about network activities and invitations to network events. We'll be working closely with students throughout the network. If you're a student, you can apply to join our Student-Led Research Team. Over the next four years, SMaRteN will distribute £400,000 in small research funding awards.

Keep an eye on the network's website ( for updates, follow us on Twitter, and keep up with project updates on ResearchGate.

For more information about SMaRteN, contact Chris Sampson.

Posted in General, Other Public Policy, Research | Tagged Grants