The Ideas Fund has opened its next round of grant funding to support up to seven new partnerships. The Fund will focus on ideas related to mental wellbeing, with £1.2 million funding to support community initiatives in four geographical areas of the UK: North West Northern Ireland, the Scottish Highlands and Islands, Oldham and Hull.

Visit The Ideas Fund website

What is The Ideas Fund? 

The Ideas Fund is a grants scheme, run by the British Science Association (BSA) and funded by Wellcome that enables the UK public to develop and try out ideas that address problems related to mental wellbeing through collaborating with professional researchers.     

These projects are place-based, aiming to improve the mental wellbeing of local people, and in particular those in rural regions, from minoritised ethnic groups or socioeconomically disadvantaged communities. The programme pairs community groups, who come up with the ideas, with research professionals, so they can collaborate in realising their innovative vision. 

Why is it different? 

  • Community-led: community-researcher partnerships can often be led by the research or researcher agenda. The BSA’s community engagement work has seen great success when communities themselves drive the agenda. We wanted to take this community-led approach and trial it on a bigger scale.
  • Support for applicants from the start: Development Coordinators were available to lend a hand to community groups and individuals wishing to apply for the grants. This way, the communities could develop their ideas in ways that would increase the likelihood of being successful. 
  • Region-specific: concentrating our efforts in specific areas allowed for maximum resources (in the way of our Development Coordinators) to be available to community groups and researchers, adding another layer of support and helping create the best journey for the participants. 

How’s it been going? 

You can read more about the successful projects on The Ideas Fund website: 

The Social Change Agency and The Liminal Space are also getting involved from an evaluation point of view and are helping us gather insights and document learning from the projects. This will inform the future of the way the Fund works as well as enabling us to share our learnings with other interested funders and institutions in the most effective way.  

New funding! Tune into our webinar… 

The Ideas Fund has opened its next round of grant funding to support up to seven new partnerships in each of the four areas. 

A series of webinars will be held to give more information about the Fund and the process:  

  • Introduction to The Ideas Fund and support with the expression of interest process. Wednesday 4 May from 2.30 pm - 3.30 pm. Register on Zoom 
  • Introduction to The Ideas Fund and support with the expression of interest process (repeat of the above) Thursday 12 May 10.30 am - 11.30 am. Register on Zoom 
  • Researcher  Q&A Webinar: Wednesday 18 May from 3.00 pm.Register on Zoom 

Based on feedback received from organisations who applied in 2021 (the pilot year), the BSA have revised the application process, reducing the time needed for applicants to spend on their submission. By providing more in-depth support to shortlisted proposals, the BSA hope to help applicants with innovative ideas to realise their visions to support their communities. 

To find out more about The Ideas Fund, visit