These grants would be focussed on a project in which both the School of Psychology and the partner organisation has an interest. There would be a contribution from both organisations but typically most of the funding is provided by funders such as research councils or charities.


Case Study: Infant Brain Health in India: Assessing and Enhancing Working Memory Capacity via a Neurobehavioral Toolkit (OPP1164153), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Professor John P. Spencer (PI), 2016-2019, $1,834,202 total costs.

the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation logo Striking progress has been made in reducing infant mortality in some of the most impoverished regions on Earth; however, moving children from surviving to thriving in such settings remains an immense global challenge. At the core of this challenge is early brain health: during the first year alone, the brain doubles in size with profound changes in how the brain operates. Not surprisingly, significant adversity such as undernutrition can have a major impact on emerging brain networks, yielding deficits that extend into adulthood. This grant is using a novel toolkit in combination with low-cost wearable technology to assess the impact of early adversity in Uttar Pradesh, India on early brain development. We are tracking the influence of five important but modifiable environmental influences: infant nutrition, parent-child language interaction, physical activity, sleep, and environmental stress, and quantifying their effects on brain and working memory development. By the end of this project, we will know how different environmental pressures and adversity in India impacts early brain health, and we will be poised to intervene at scale to enhance infants’ cognitive abilities before deficits can take hold. Our aim is to inoculate the brain during infancy, enhancing brain health and long-term outcomes. General and specifically targeted grants are available and joint applications are more likely to be successful.


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