Diverse group of happy young people

2020 PREMISE Research Seed Funding Awards

5 February 2021
Supporting Early and Mid-Career researchers

Research seed funding grants have been awarded to two University of Sydney researchers to support innovation, collaboration and enhance future funding submissions.


The NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Prevention and Early Intervention in Mental Illness and Substance Use (PREMISE) was funded in 2018 by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council. The objective of PREMISE is to provide synergy of the leading prevention and early intervention research and translation programs in mental health and addiction across five Australian universities:

  • the University of Sydney
  • the University of Melbourne
  • the University of Newcastle
  • Deakin University, and
  • UNSW Sydney

PREMISE provides the opportunity for researchers currently working independently across the areas of addiction, depression, suicide, anxiety, and psychosis to share skills, networks and innovations, synergise data, establish new trials and translate evidence into practice.

About the Seed Funding Awards

In November 2020, PREMISE put a call out for application for two $10,000 seed funding awards to support innovation, collaboration and enhance future funding submissions.

A panel of experts internal and external to the Matilda Centre have convened and agreed on the winners…

Jacob Crouse

Jacob Crouse

Brain and Mind Centre

Jacob Crouse will investigate the dynamic relationships between mood, motor activity patterns, and light exposure in a clinical sample of young people with mood disorders. The proposed activity will provide foundational pilot data that will be presented in upcoming Australian and international grant applications. The PREMISE Seed Funding will allow Jacob’s team to "get a rich understanding of the interplay between circadian rest-activity rhythms, environmental light exposure, and fluctuations in mood state, and ultimately will allow us to get a better grip on what these relationships mean for young people outside of the clinic". Jacob and team are "are excited about the opportunities for studying the circadian system using emerging wearable technologies and are hopeful that these understandings will transform clinical care for a significant number of young people."

Erin Kelly

Erin Kelly

The Matilda Centre

Erin Kelly will seek input from over 100 young people (aged 13-15) to update the current Preventure student manuals to promote relevance to a broader demographic. Preventure is a brief intervention aimed at preventing adolescent substance use, and improving mental health. By developing personality-specific coping skills, the Preventure program has been effective in reducing the uptake and harmful use of alcohol, reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression, and reducing conduct and hyperactivity problems. Adolescents today face many stressors, and it’s vital that the Preventure program remains relevant for them. It’s also critical that adolescents in regional and remote areas are included in program adaptation, yet these adolescents are often overlooked. This project will "ensure Preventure is relevant and engaging for adolescents across Australia, supporting the program's effectiveness in preventing substance use and mental health."

Congratulations to Jacob and Erin! We looking forward to seeing your research develop over the next 12 months.