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Current research opportunities

This is a list of opportunities for getting involved in research, which is updated regularly. The opportunities are sorted into involvement and participation. Due to the current situation, most or all of the opportunities listed here are related to Covid-19 as this is what most new research studies are focusing on. Although it is always McPin’s preference to prioritise the promotion of involvement over participation opportunities, currently most Covid-19 studies are participation opportunities. We hope that this will change.

If you have an opportunity that you think is relevant to the work done by McPin, please fill out this form about the opportunity and send it to Roya Kamvar (royakamvar@mcpin.org)


Involvement opportunities

There are currently no live involvement opportunities – please check back and follow us on Twitter @mcpinfoundation for the latest updates.



Participation opportunities

Are you a parent/carer of a young person who was admitted to hospital under the Mental Health Act while they were under 18?

A project investigating involuntary psychiatric hospitalisation of people under 18: why it happens, what it’s like, and how it could be avoided aims to understand more about the hospitalisation of young people under the Mental Health Act. The study team would like to talk to parents/carers of people who have been recently hospitalised under the Mental Health Act while they were under 18 years old.This will be through interviews and will discussion about the circumstances which led up to the involuntary admission, and what could have made the experience better.

Interviews will be conducted by Imogen Abrahams, a psychology graduate currently doing a Masters (MSc) in mental health. She is supervised by an experienced clinical team, including two consultant psychiatrists and a clinical psychologist.

Person specification:

  • Parent/carer of a young person who has been admitted to a mental health hospital under the Mental Health Act.
  • The young person should have been under the age of 18 at the time of admission.

Commitment: an interview of about one to one and a half hours

Location: Interviews will take place online, via Microsoft Teams, or on the telephone.

Payment: As a thank you for taking part in an interview,  £20 voucher or E-voucher.

Deadline: 28th June

If you have any questions and/or you would like more information about the study, please contact: Imogen Abrahams (Clinical Mental Health MSc Student), uctviab@ucl.ac.uk or call 07766106239


The Alan Turing Institute wants your help shaping ethical methods for digital mental health services

What’s the Project?

The Alan Turing Institute are conducting UKRI funded project on the concept of ‘ethical assurance’ in digital mental healthcare. The project aims to develop ethical models for developing and delivering technologies that rely on data such as mood and health trackers, automated therapy through online chatbots, and apps which track and limit screen time.

The study team are looking to hold two focus groups to hear from people with lived experience of using digital mental healthcare technologies to share their experiences and thoughts on the ethics (such as moral implications, acceptable outcomes) of how these services are created and used.

 We have a limited number of slots for these focus groups, so are only looking for around three or four people. This means we may not be able to accept everyone who expresses an interest.

You will be asked to join one 4-hour workshop, with breaks, with 9 other people. One of the workshops is online, the other is in-person.
 
Person specification:

  • People with experience of using a digital mental health services (both informal self-help/wellness applications and more formal service-based applications).
  • OR People with experience of caring or parenting someone who uses or has used digital mental health services (both informal self-help/wellness applications and more formal service-based applications).
  • Mental health problems and experiences affect everyone, but involvement in research does not always reflect this. Therefore, we actively seeking applications from Black, Asian and Minority ethnic groups. We are low on male-identifying participants, so welcome applications from this group too.
  • For the in-person workshop only, we are limiting our reach to people within reasonable distance to London (due to travel budget for the project).
  • People who are available on either the 30th June for an in-person meeting in London, or 6th July for an online meeting.

Payment:

  • £150 for your participation
  • (For the in person meeting, all reasonable travel expenses will be covered and lunch will be provided on the day).

Contact and how to express your interest:
If you are interested in this opportunity, please email Dan Robotham (danrobotham@mcpin.org) with brief answers to the following questions:

  1. What is your name?
  2. Why are you interested in this specific opportunity?
  3. Sometimes after talking about topics like mental health, people feel they need a little extra support or someone to chat to. What support do you currently have in place (e.g. supportive friends, family, health professionals or mental health charities)? Is there anything that [insert name of organisation here] could do to support you or make your involvement experience better?

Deadline:12:00pm Friday 24th June 2022


**Content warning: Suicide** Take part in a survey to help inform guidelines around suitable imagery to use when communicating about suicide

Imagery can be very powerful for communicating ideas and information about suicide, but it can also be potentially triggering for those individuals affected. An online survey has been developed in which participants will view a variety of images and be asked questions about how the images make them feel. The survey includes 9 images and illustrations and participants are asked 4 questions for each image.

The aim of the research is to explore what people who have been affected by suicide think about images used when communicating about suicide. The information collected in this study hopes to inform guidelines by providing valuable insight into what images are most acceptable to use in future communications.

Person specification:

  • If anyone close to you has attempted or died by suicide
  • People aged 18 or over
  • The team would also like to hear from you if you have experienced thoughts about suicide or attempted suicide.
  • Individuals who have been affected by suicide due to their profession (e.g. researcher or clinician) are not eligible to take part.

Location: Online (Survey) 

Payment: No payment is offered for this 

Commitment: The survey should take approximately 15 minutes.

Follow the link here to complete the survey.

Deadline: Wednesday 6th July 2022

Contact: If you have any queries, please email Vicky Crowe at bg21050@bristol.ac.uk


A research opportunity for people who have low mood or anxiety

It’s important in developing psychological treatments to understand why negative or positive thoughts can dominate.  This is what this study seeks to find out.  Researchers at the University of Oxford are recruiting people who have experience of low mood or anxiety.  The low mood / anxiety could be a slight problem, or so difficult that mental health treatment has been necessary.  The research team will make comparisons with other groups, including people who hear voices, to look for potential differences across groups.  This will help them to learn more about why people hear upsetting voices, and improve psychological support for this problem.

Person specification:
There are four criteria you would need to meet in order to take part:
i) To be aged 18 or older
ii) To be able to complete the survey without the use of a translator
iii) To be a resident in either: the UK, USA, Canada or Australia
iv) to have NEVER experienced hearing voices (or other extrasensory communication).

Remuneration:
Every participant will be offered the opportunity to enter a prize draw for the chance to win one of three shopping vouchers after submitting the survey.  The voucher is worth £50 (UK), $60 US dollars, $95 australian dollars or $85 canadian dollars, depending on where you live.  If you would like to be entered into the prize draw, there will be a space to enter your email address.  You also have the opportunity to complete the survey completely anonymously, however if you chose this option, we will be unable to enter you into the prize draw. 

Contribution:
The research involves completing an online survey which takes around 20 minutes.  Questions cover a range of things such as information about you (e.g. your age, gender, whether you have ever received a mental health diagnosis), as well as other things like your ability to focus your attention, and your current experience of low mood and anxiety.

Deadline:

Ongoing

To access the information sheet and the online survey click here: https://psychiatryoxford.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_7Pu4wrPIGf7z2kd


Timely (Anna Freud Research Project)

Up to one in eight children and young people experience mental health problems. Without effective help, these problems go on to have negative consequences throughout the life course. The early identification of children and young people at risk of mental health problems is key to ensure they receive timely support and mitigate long-term negative outcomes. Healthcare services and other organisations (e.g., Local Authorities) hold a great deal of data about children and families. One approach to early identification is bringing together these data to predict who is at risk. However, this approach has a range of ethical, data protection, and practical challenges.

The aim of this project is to understand people’s views about linking data from different services and organisations to identify children and young people at risk of developing mental health problems. In so doing, we want to explore people’s preferences for addressing these ethical, data protection, and practical challenges.

  • Location: Microsoft Teams
  • Task: one supported independent session lasting approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes, and one remote focus group on MS Teams lasting half a day*

*Supported independent session (this is a requirement to participate in the focus group): viewing in your own time video recordings of presentations by researchers on the topic and on ethical, data protection, and practical challenges and options for addressing these (approx. 1 hour 30 minutes).

Focus group: recap on the presentations; Q&A session with the researchers; take part in a discussion addressing ethical, data protection, and practical challenges (1/2 day).

  • Person specification: Aged 18+ with experience (direct or indirect) of mental health difficulties or using mental health services
  • Payment: £15 voucher
  • Deadline: Ongoing

Interested?

Find out more and sign up here.


**Content warning: self-harm** Participation opportunity for Samaritans research

Samaritans are holding virtual research workshops as part of a new project about peer support for self-harm, to learn about what and who might have helped you. The workshops will consist of a mixture of group activities and individual tasks. The findings will provide a better understanding of how peer support can help people who self-harm, and will allow the Samaritans to influence policymakers to better fund appropriate support for self-harm. 

  • Location: Online – link to be provided after screening
  • Person Specification: Aged 16+ years; Living in England; lived experience of non-suicidal self-harm (current, recent or historic)
  • Payment: £25 for attendance of approx. 1.5 hour workshop
  • Task: The workshops will consist of a mixture of group activities/discussion and individual tasks around support for self-harm.
  • Commitment: A one-off workshop, around 1.5 hours long. Dates to be confirmed
  • Deadline to apply: Wednesday 21st July 9am

Interested?

Please fill in this screening questionnaire: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/peer-support-for-self-harm-workshops


(Covid-19 related) Project Title: Attitudes About COVID-19 and Health (ATTACH)

This project is looking at people’s attitudes and behaviours towards the COVID-19 pandemic. The research aims to see the potential impacts on mental health outcomes, particularly for people from Black and Asian populations and those with medical conditions. 

  • Location: Smartphone/Online
  • Person specification: To be a resident of England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland and be over the age of 16. 
  • Remuneration: People who complete monthly surveys and consent to be contacted will be entered to receive a £10 Amazon Gift card
  • Contribution: 1-minute daily poll questions on a smartphone app. 10-minute monthly surveys
  • Deadline: Ongoing

If you would like to take part please go to the trial website: https://bit.ly/attachstudy

You can download the study information sheet here.

For further questions or problems accessing the website or app, please contact the research team via email: ich.attachstudy@ucl.ac.uk


(Covid-19 related) Covid-19 Social Study – UK

This is a research project about the psychological and social experiences during the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19), conducted by University College London.

There are two ways to participate in this study: an online survey or an interview.

Interviews:

  • Location: phone or video interview
  • Person specification: there are various people that the study would like to hear from, including people with mental health problems and healthy young people. Please see this website for the full list.
  • Remuneration: £10 gift voucher
  • Contribution: Interview lasting around 45 minutes
  • Deadline: ongoing

Online survey:

  • Location: Online
  • Person specification: 18+ adult
  • Remuneration: none
  • Contribution: Two online surveys of around 15 minutes.
  • Deadline: Ongoing (until social isolation measures end)

(Covid-19 related) Co-SPACE Study – Covid-19: Supporting Parents, Adolescents and Children during Epidemics

This is a survey study about school-aged children (aged 4 – 16) who are living in the UK. The Co-SPACE study will tell us how families are coping during the Covid-19 pandemic, and what parents can do to help support their children’s mental health. The study is conducted by the Department of Experimental Psychology & Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford.

  • Location: Online
  • Person specification: 18+ parent of school-aged children
  • Remuneration: None
  • Contribution: one online surveys of around 15 – 20 minutes.
  • Deadline: Ongoing

(Covid-19 related) Co-SPYCE Study – Covid-19: Supporting Parents and Young Children during Epidemics

This is a survey study about pre-school-aged children (aged 2-4) who are living in the UK. The Co-SPYCE study will tell us how families are coping during the Covid-19 pandemic, and what parents can do to help support their young children’s mental health. The study is conducted by the Department of Experimental Psychology & Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford.

  • Location: Online
  • Person specification: 18+ parent of pre-school-aged children
  • Remuneration: None
  • Contribution: one online surveys of around 15 – 20 minutes.
  • Deadline: Ongoing

(Covid-19 related) Achieving Resilience during Covid-19 (Oxford ARC study)

Survey investigating how adolescents (aged 13 to 18) and their parents/carers are coping with social isolation due to Covid-19. Participants are asked to complete a survey weekly for about three months and then monthly for nine months.

  • Location: Online
  • Person specification: Young people aged 13 – 18, and their parents/carers
  • Remuneration: None
  • Contribution: weekly (for about three months) and then monthly (for nine months) surveys of around 10-15 minutes (first one is 20 minutes long)
  • Deadline: Ongoing

(Covid-19 related) Repeated Assessment of Mental health in Pandemics (RAMP)

This project is looking at the effect of Covid-19 on the mental health and wellbeing of the population. The research aims to monitor the mental health and wellbeing of people in the UK during the pandemic in order to understand the effects so that people can be supported better in the future.

  • Location: Online
  • Person specification: To be a resident of England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland and be over the age of 16.
  • Remuneration: None
  • Contribution: Fortnightly surveys that take around 30 minutes. These will be monthly once the situation is more stable.
  • Deadline: Ongoing

Developing FAMILY-Rapp, a smartphone app that builds family relationships among young people with lived experiences of mental health difficulties

This is a research project looking to improve the design of a smartphone app called FAMILY-Rapp. FAMILY-Rapp uses video game-like features, such as rewards and problem-solving, to encourage young people and their families to build positive relationships. This project is going to look at whether the app can be used in mental health services and works for the people it is designed for, and how the app could be improved. This will hopefully lead to wider use of the app, through mental health services.

The researchers are looking for four young people (aged 18-25) to get involved with an online meeting. In the meeting, the group will decide what questions this project should answer. For instance, your views about the benefits of using a smartphone application for building family relationships will be sought. The discussion will also consider what issues are important when deciding if such a smartphone application is useful.

The researchers would also like to get the views of parents of young people about how this study could be conducted. If you are a parent and might be interested, then please get in touch (info below). If you are a young person, you could ask your parent to take part in this separate discussion about this project. 

Please note: the meeting with parents will be separate to the meeting with young people – the two groups will not meet together. 

  • Location: online
  • Task: attend a meeting to discuss this project. There may also be future opportunities to get involved in this project if it is funded
  • Person specification:
  • Be aged 18-25 with experience of mental health difficulties OR
  • Be a parent of a young person with lived experience of mental health difficulties (parents will be in a separate discussion group to young people)
  • Payment: You will be paid £50 for getting involved in this meeting.
  • Deadline: 13th August

Interested?
If you’re interested in getting involved in this project, please contact Preethi Premkumar – premkump@lsbu.ac.uk with the answers to the following questions:


1. Name
2. Age
3. Why are you interested in getting involved in this opportunity?


You can find opportunities specifically related to young people and more information about projects involving McPin’s Young Person’s Network.

You can also sign up to receive our newsletter to be kept up to date with McPin news, including job opportunities. Subscribe to our Involvement Bulletin to hear about involvement opportunities with the McPin Foundation and other organisations.