The John, Margaret, Alfred and Stewart Sim Fellowship provides funding for any graduates in Medicine and Science to research the causes or treatment of depression.

Applicants may request funding for up to three years, with a total cost of up to £115,000, including on-costs and essential research expenses. FEC will not be funded. The College also welcomes applications linking long-term/chronic conditions with depression.


The College is keen that this fund fosters mental health research and the academic careers of early or intermediate researchers. There is no geographical or organisational restriction on the use of funding.

Application and Selection Process

Applications are not currently being accepted. Any updates on when the next application round will open will be posted on this page. 

Current recipients:

2019-  Dr Filippo Queirazza, University of Glasgow – fMRI signatures of depression and response to antidepressants in first episode psychosis

2019-  Dr Laura Lyall, University of Glasgow – Understanding how sleep and circadian rhythm disruption influence depression and comorbidity between depression and cardiometabolic disease

November 2023 update: As part of this fellowship, I have recently published a paper in the Journal of Affective Disorders showing that detailed sleep and circadian data can discriminate with reasonable accuracy individuals suffering from depression vs. controls, and particularly individuals with atypical vs. typical depressive symptoms, in the UK Biobank cohort. We were also able to show that the most important predictors were: difficulty getting up, insomnia, snoring, and duration of daytime inactivity. Results suggest these measures may be useful in identifying patients at risk of worse depression outcomes.

In the next paper (in preparation), I have looked at the combined association of sleep disruption and depression on measures of brain structure in UK Biobank. In over 28,000 participants, we have found widespread associations of depression as well as insomnia, difficulty getting up, objectively-measured short sleep duration and sustained daytime inactivity with reduced subcortical and cortical volume, surface area and thickness, and with worse white matter integrity. In some regions, such as the parietal lobe and right nucleus accumbens, poor sleep showed a larger association with smaller volume in those who also suffered from depression.

In the next studies, I will examine the combined influence of depression and sleep/circadian disruption on cardiometabolic diseases including hypertension and diabetes. I will also examine the extent to which combining sleep/circadian, neuroimaging, genetic, and sociodemographic data can predict those at higher risk of depression, using machine learning models.

2017-20 Dr Calum Moulton, King's College London - Cognitive and somatic subtypes of depression in type 2 diabetes: comparing their correlates, associated complications and targets for treatment

2017-20 Mr Joey Ward, University of Glasgow - Towards precision medicine for depressive disorders

2018-  Dr Sameer Jauhar, King's College LondonA PET study of psychotic depression, and comparison to other psychotic illnesses

2018-20 Dr Ally Rooney, University of EdinburghComparing the behavioural, functional, cellular, and molecular consequences of single, versus repeated, electroconvulsive shocks

Previous recipients:

2015-18   Dr Heather Whalley, University of Edinburgh - Neurobiology of Depression: Stratified by Genetic Loading for Schizophrenia

2005-2009 Dr Ben Pickard – Investigating the NPAS3 gene, a candidate for genetic susceptibility to depression

1999-2003 Dr Gerome Breen – Pharmacogenics of Lithium Response in Affective Disorders

1999-2002 Dr David Brown –  Elucidation of the molecular effect of serotonin (5HT) upon hippocampal neurones and its relevance to depressive illness

Further Information

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