Research involvement opportunities

Help design and influence research using your lived experience. Our range of involvement opportunities are aimed at all ages, unless specifically stated.

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Getting involved in research

When you are a participant in research you are asked to contribute data to a project that has already been planned and developed. This could be filling out a survey, speaking to an interviewer or helping to test the effectiveness of an intervention in an experimental study by filling in standardised assessment instruments or doing psychological tests on a computer. You generally will not have a chance to change the design of the research – everything has been decided already  

Research participation is tightly governed, and you will usually be asked to read an information sheet and sign a consent form before taking part. Most studies will also need approval from a research ethics committee.  You may receive a token thank you payment.   

Research involvement means you will take an active role in designing and influencing a study, hopefully from the start, and are involved in the delivery of the work and dissemination of project findings. You are a partner and will receive payment for the work you complete. This is often called Patient and Public Involvement or PPI. 

People with lived experience bring different knowledge and perspectives compared to practitioners or academics in a research team.

You can help make sure that relevant research questions are asked. You can also spot and challenge any assumptions that the research team might make.

It’s a great opportunity to improve research but your contribution also helps real people. It can also be enjoyable and have benefits such as learning new skills, making new friends, and sharing your interests and skills with others. Getting involved in research can help your career. 

Some people who have worked with us as advisory group members have gone on to secure jobs, or places on university courses.  

At McPin, we recruit people to advisory groups for individual research studies and projects. These tend to be first entry points to involvement work.  

Advisory groups usually meet both online, using Zoom, and in person. Members of  advisory groups often review panel review documents, such as study protocols and participant information sheets, at home via email.   

We also have our own Young People’s Advisory Group and a wider Young People’s Network that advises on children and young people’s mental health research. 

Research involvement can also mean working as a co-applicant on a research bid, and taking on roles as a co-researcher or peer researcher. 

People get involved with research by: 

  • Working with research funders to prioritise research 
  • Offering advice as members of an advisory group (sometimes known as a Lived Experience Advisory Group or ‘LEAP’) 
  • Commenting on and developing research materials such as protocols, information sheets, and advertisements  
  • Helping to analyse research data 
  • Undertaking interviews with research participants in a researcher roles 

Find more information about getting involved with research in our advisory group information sheet.

The National Institute of Health Research’s website also has more information.

Join our team

If you're interested in finding out about roles in the McPin team, visit our vacancies page to find out about our current opportunities.