New £1.2m Ideas Fund round opens in North West Today (Wednesday 27 April), The Ideas Fund has announced it will be opening its next round of grant funding to support up to seven new partnerships in North West Northern Ireland. 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. The Ideas Fund is a grants scheme, run by the British Science Association (BSA) and funded by the Wellcome Trust, that enables the UK public to develop and try out ideas that address problems related to mental wellbeing through collaborating with professional researchers. For this latest round of funding, the BSA have changed the application process based on the feedback and learning they received from organisations who applied in 2021 (the pilot year). This revised application process should reduce the time applicants need 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. The expression of interest for submissions will open from Wednesday 27 April 2022 and the application deadline is midday on Wednesday 8 June 2022 for both community groups and researchers. The BSA are particularly interested in applications from those who are keen to work in partnership to develop the project collaboratively. To support applications a document has been created to provide more detailed information theideasfund.org In 2021, The Ideas Fund awarded 49 grants, totalling £1.8m, to its first projects, connecting communities with researchers to work together on mental wellbeing projects. In North West Northern Ireland, the nine projects that received funding, which totalled £384,156, were: Dennett Valley She Shed Informing Choices NI Sole Purpose Productions The Junction The Yellow Wood Group Youth Action Northern Ireland Parenting NI Far and Wild Engaging with Ageing Webinars A series of webinars will be held to give more information about the Fund and the submission process for organisations that are interested in applying for this next round of funding. Intro to The Ideas Fund and support with the Expression of Interest process Wednesday 4 May 2.30 pm - 3.30 pm on Zoom (National) Register Intro 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 on Zoom (National) Register Researcher Q&A Webinar Wednesday 18 May 3.00 pm on Zoom (National) Register Following this, local sessions will also be led online and in North West Northern Ireland – please email the Development Coordinator for further details: [email protected] Monday 16 May at 10.30 am (Zoom and in person) – venue details to be confirmed Tuesday 24 May at 2.00 pm (Zoom and in person) – venue details to be confirmed Roisin McLaughlin, The Ideas Fund Development Coordinator for North West Northern Ireland, and Manager, North West Community Network said, 'We are delighted to be working with The Ideas Fund on another round of funding. The Ideas Fund is a new and different way to support communities to work with researchers on ideas around mental wellbeing. 'The community and voluntary sector are already doing so much work and providing vital support to address these issues. This second round is a great opportunity for community and researchers in the Derry & Strabane area to come together to develop a partnership, to build new skills and to address mental wellbeing challenges within our area.'