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Wellcome solicits proposals to continue work of 2023 Digital Sensing Workshop hosted by UCLA Depression Grand Challenge

 Wellcome, a global charitable organization that funds discovery research, issued a request for proposals to extend the work of the digital sensing workshop, hosted at UCLA and co-sponsored by Wellcome and the National Institute of Mental Health in March 2023.

The aim of the workshop, which convened more than 30 mental health and technology experts from around the globe, and the follow-on RFP, is to realize the potential of digital sensors in mental health. Sensors can be used to measure and monitor mood, activity levels and sleep patterns, all which provide researchers, and ultimately clinicians, with objective real-time data on mental health conditions and symptoms.

Wellcome has committed $252.6 million to mental health science over five years.

The RFP seeks to “provide a complete view of the technical challenges and potential solutions for sensor use in mental health research all over the world,” building on the reports and recommendations generated by the UCLA-hosted workshop and published in May 2023.

The scoping research to be funded by this mechanism will inform future investment from Wellcome in digital sensing research, in furtherance of its foundational strategy to address mental health as one of the greatest health challenges facing humanity.

Proposals are due to Wellcome by Jan. 26, 2024.

Read the Wellcome request for proposals.

The Digital Sensing Workshop, sponsored by Wellcome, NIMH and the UCLA Depression Grand Challenge, was held at UCLA on Feb. 28–March 2, 2023. There were five reports generated from the workshop. Workshop organizers included Nelson Freimer from UCLA, Simona Carini from UCSF, Matthew Hotopf from King’s College, David Mohr from Northwestern University and Tanzeem Choudhury from Cornell Tech. Workshop participants represented 29 different universities, businesses and organizations. Review the complete list of participantslearn more at the Depression Grand Challenge newsroom, or read the reports.

Wellcome is the world’s first large-scale, independent research funder to prioritize mental health science at scale, with 200 million pounds ($252.6 million) dedicated to mental health science over five years, according to Miranda Wolpert, director of mental health at Wellcome. Mental health is one of three urgent global health challenges, that Wellcome wants to address in the next 30 years. Visit the Wellcome website.