This year, COMPASS is collaborating with One Mind, a leading mental health non-profit, to sponsor three One Mind Rising Star Awards. The One Mind Rising Star Awards are given each year to promising early-career investigators in neuroscience and psychiatry who are pursuing research with the potential to advance the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses and improve patient outcomes. Learn more about how to apply for the $300,000, three-year award here.
Dr Pushkar Joshi, Chief Scientist and Innovation Director at One Mind, tells us more about the organisation’s mission and the Rising Star Awards.
Tell us more about One Mind
One Mind is a lived experience-led mental health non-profit committed to helping people living with mental illnesses to recover and lead healthy and productive lives. We support programmes that span biomedical research, services, and advocacy in that endeavour. One Mind was created by our founders, Shari and Garen Staglin, when they experienced first-hand the gaps in mental health treatment following their son Brandon’s schizophrenia diagnosis. Brandon today has recovered and leads One Mind as its President.
For many of us on the One Mind team, mental health is personal and we understand the importance of quality mental health care in achieving functional recovery, and also how difficult it is for so many to access it. I serve as the Chief Scientist and Innovation Director where I work at the intersection of brain research, entrepreneurship, and advocacy to accelerate scientific breakthroughs and their implementation to alleviate the suffering of those living with mental illnesses.
What do you hope One Mind can achieve for advancing mental health research?
Our scientific focus is to support biomedical research that benefits the people living with mental health conditions. With advances in genomics, neurotechnology, and Artificial Intelligence, there has never been a more hopeful time for finding much-needed breakthroughs for mental illnesses.
Our vision for One Mind’s research programmes is to unlock the promise and potential of precision psychiatry, especially for the millions of people living with serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder. By combining our strategic investments in biomedical research with our entrepreneurship-focused programmes, we hope to develop and scale access to the cutting-edge discoveries and inventions that through funded research, to benefit these underserved populations. In addition, we are increasingly combining our research efforts with our advocacy work so that we can work with people living with mental health conditions as partners, not just research subjects.
You recently launched the 2022 One Mind Rising Star Awards in partnership with COMPASS. What do you think makes these awards unique?
We are proud that the One Mind Rising Star Awards have historically funded innovative neuropsychiatric research that has been considered “high-risk” by other funding agencies, and may otherwise not have seen the light of the day. By providing $300,000 over three years, we aim to give researchers the space to develop the groundwork for novel diagnostics and treatments for mental illnesses – both pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions.
The award is also designed to identify and nurture the next generation of leaders in neuroscience and psychiatry. For example, the current Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, Dr Joshua Gordon, is the 2010 Rising Star Award winner. As such, this year, we’re also excited to be offering awardees eligibility for the One Mind Rising Star Development Program, which will foster leadership skills and provide them with unique entrepreneurship, media, and networking opportunities.
Do you have any advice for people considering applying for the 2022 One Mind Rising Star Awards?
At One Mind, we are not afraid to sponsor research ideas that might otherwise be considered too risky, or that challenge prevailing dogmas in mental health; in fact, these excite us. Be bold, be ambitious, and connect the dots for the reviewers on how your proposed research will benefit the lived experience community. Additionally, we are committed to funding scientists who are not only on the cutting-edge of science but who are also passionate about making a difference in the broader mental health ecosystem. Finally, we value diversity within our community — including our Rising Stars — and strongly encourage applications from women, persons with disabilities, and underrepresented groups in science. We look forward to reviewing this year’s applications!
The Request for Applications is open until 6 June. The awards have no geographical or citizenship restrictions. Neuroscientists and psychiatrists within ten years of their initial academic appointments are eligible to apply.