Brain Sciences


Prof Eamon McCrory to lead UKRI’s Adolescence, Mental Health and the Developing Mind programme

30 March 2020

Professor McCrory has been named Director of the new multidisciplinary initiative in Adolescence, Mental Health and the Developing Mind

Professor Eamon McCrory

The £35M cross-council partnership in Adolescence, Mental Health and the Developing Mind is funded through UKRI’s Strategic Priorities Fund and will support multidisciplinary research into how mental health problems emerge, what makes people more susceptible or resilient than others and how we can intervene early, in schools, at a community level or through the use of technologies, to promote positive mental health and wellbeing. The programme is being jointly delivered by the Medical Research Council, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council. 

Prof McCrory was selected after a competitive search led by the MRC. Young people with lived experience of mental health problems met with the final candidates and contributed their views to the decision-making process.

Prof McCrory is Co-Director of the Developmental Risk and Resilience Unit at UCL Division of Psychology and Language Sciences (PALS). He is internationally recognised for his research using brain imaging and psychological approaches to investigate the impact of child maltreatment on emotional development and mental health.

Prof McCrory is also a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Director of Postgraduate Studies at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, Visiting Professor at the Child Study Centre, Yale, and Co-Director of the UK Trauma Council. He will conduct the role as a part-time secondment from UCL.

Commenting on his appointment, Prof McCrory said “I’m genuinely excited at the prospect of leading the delivery of this ground-breaking UKRI programme. For the field of child and adolescent mental health it presents a very real opportunity to rethink how we work and what we can deliver. This will require fresh thinking, greater inter-disciplinary collaboration and new kinds of partnerships between researchers, clinicians, community services and young people.

“Significant progress can only be made if we first establish a more granular understanding of the complex developmental interplay of biological, psychological, social and cultural factors that characterise this formative period.”

Prof Peter Fonagy, Director of UCL PALS, said: "We were thrilled to hear about Eamon’s success. UKRI have chosen one of the best mental health scientists of his generation to undertake this important task which requires even handedness along with clarity of thought and uncommonly broad vision, attributes which Eamon has manifested in abundance in his work for Faculty and the Division.”