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Award for mental health research using patient public involvement launched today

A national award recognising mental health scientists who involve public, patient and carers in their research has been launched today.

We've teamed up with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network (CRN) and the McPin Foundation to run this year’s award, in its second year.

Researchers who integrate service users, carers and the public into every step of the research process (from initial design and participation, to the evaluation of outcomes) are encouraged to apply. There will also be an award recognising patients and public who dedicate their time and energy to improving mental health by taking part in studies and offering invaluable feedback.

This year’s award is now open for applications from Chief Investigators of mental health research studies. To be eligible for the award, studies must have been open for recruitment between April 2016 and February 2018 - and have recruited patients from sites based in England. Studies must also have been adopted on to the NIHR CRN Portfolio of Studies and received support from the CRN Mental health speciality. The deadline for nomination is 30 March 2018. 

Dr Sophie Dix, Director of Research at MQ, said: “If we want mental health research to deliver real improvements that matter to everyone affected, then the views of service users and carers must be an integral part. We’re delighted to support this important award, which showcases first-class examples of how this can be achieved”

Professor Kathryn Abel, National Specialty Lead for CRN Mental health, said:  Following on from the success of last year’s PPIE awards, I am delighted to announce a new collaboration between the CRN Mental health specialty and the mental health charities, McPin and MQ. This partnership award scheme will continue to promote the importance of meaningful service user and carer involvement in mental health research where it has always led other fields in acknowledging and celebrating the contributions of service users and carers to research.

“Given the high priority that mental health research has been afforded by the new Mental Health Research Framework, this exciting award is timely and a welcome encouragement to those achieving excellence by partnering with the people who understand best where research is needed most.”

For more information about the NIHR CRN, the McPin Foundation & MQ Service User and Carer Involvement Awards 2018 – or if you are a chief investigator or a mental health research study and would like to apply, visit:

Last updated: 20 February 2018

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