Peer Reviewers Wanted

Service user peer reviewers wanted for The Lancet Psychiatry

Reviewing papers

The peer review process of published papers provides the reassurance of an initial check that a paper’s message and methods are worth their attention. Currently, experts who perform peer review for journals are often researchers and come from academic backgrounds. However, mental health service users also have valuable and unique experience and insight that can help to produce more relevant and useful research that can actively contribute to better and more effective mental health services. At McPin we call this expertise from experience.

That’s why McPin and The Lancet Psychiatry are working together to train people who use mental health services to become service-user reviewers for the journal and applications are now open! We are looking for people who have a strong interest in advancing mental health care through research and are keen to use their personal expertise from experience to contribute to the publishing process.


Who are we looking for?

We are looking for ten people with personal experience of Bipolar, Depression, Schizophrenia or Psychosis. They must also:

  • Like to apply their experiences of using mental health services to shape the feedback they provide to researchers;
  • have an interest in mental health research but are not currently working in academia or mental health research and do not have research qualifications;
  • have a strong interest in mental health research, including the use of randomised controlled trials and systematic reviews to develop an evidence base to drive changes in practice.

Why become a peer reviewer for The Lancet Psychiatry?

Most importantly you will have the opportunity to see and comment on new findings and influence what is published and what is not. You will also be the first of ten people from the UK to take part in this new partnership and will be able to influence how to extend its membership worldwide. You will also receive:

  • Support from fellow panel members, staff from The Lancet Psychiatry and McPin;
  • a face-to-face training day focused on how to carry out reviews from the Editors of The Lancet Psychiatry;
  • use of Publons, an online peer-review training course as part of the training programme;
  • after completion of the training programme, payment from The Lancet Psychiatry of £75.00 per completed review;
  • all reasonable travel expenses for the face-to-face training session to be reimbursed.

How do I apply?

To apply please download and read the information sheet and application form and return to Tillie Crier:

Applications open on Thursday 13 October and close on Friday 19 October 2018.

Information sheet (pdf): Download here

Application form (Word doc): Download here


Find out more.

See if you can find the answer to your question in the information sheet above or our FAQs below. If you have further questions please contact us. 




Why is the training only open to people without academic qualifications?

This is a training opportunity for people who do not currently work in mental health, psychology or psychiatry academia or research or have academic qualifications relating to mental health, psychology or psychiatry.

People who are not working in the field of mental health, psychology or psychiatry and do not academic qualifications relating to these fields would not otherwise have the opportunity or academic expertise to become peer reviewers for a journal.

The Lancet Psychiatry and McPin have stipulated these criteria as we are only recruiting 10 people as this is a pilot programme. We hope that the programme will be extended to cater for different levels of academic experience in the future.


Is there a way to contribute to peer reviewing if I already have academic qualifications and lived experience of mental health problems?

If you have academic experience you may be eligible to become a peer reviewer through traditional academic means. The Lancet Psychiatry also does already send papers for review to people with personal experience of mental health problems who are also researchers. If you are interested in reviewing for them, please send an email to


Are people who have non-mental health academic qualifications eligible?

Yes, this is a training opportunity for people who would not normally be eligible to review specifically mental health papers through traditional academic means. Please see the exclusion criteria below:

  1. If you have academic qualifications – bachelors, masters or doctorate/PhD level in the field of mental health, psychology or psychiatry, you won’t be able to apply, this is part of our definition of a service-user ‘lay’ researcher for this pilot training programme.
  2. If you are working towards a doctorate or similar academic level, in mental health, psychology or psychiatry, you also won’t be able to apply,
  3. If you hold a bachelors, masters, doctorate level qualification outside of mental health, psychology or psychiatry, you are welcome to apply for the service-user ‘lay’ peer-review training programme.

Why are you asking for these particular diagnoses?

We are encouraging people who have received these specific diagnoses to apply because they are the most common topics discussed in articles submitted to The Lancet Psychiatry. As this is a pilot programme with a small remit, the scope has remained narrow for resource purposes. We hope that the scope will be extended after the pilot programme.


How will people be supported in using their own lived experience of mental health problems?

Trainees will be supported by staff from  The Lancet Psychiatry and the McPin Foundation. Many staff at McPin are peer researchers who have experience in applying their own personal experiences of mental health problems to mental health research, including reviewing papers.


Do you have to be eligible to work in the UK to apply?

Yes, you must have the right to work in the UK, this is a UK legal requirement


Can I apply if I have other mental health diagnoses? (in addition to the ones being asked for.)

Yes. As long as you have one (or more) of the specified diagnoses you can apply even if you have any other mental health diagnoses.

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