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NIHR CRN, McPin and MQ: Mental Health Research Service User and Carer Involvement in Mental Health Research Awards 2022


For more information or if you have any questions about the award, please email:

Supporting Information

Application Form Document

Applicant Guidance Document

Patients, service users and carers are essential to our work - without their involvement, clinical research could not happen. Not only do we need patients and the public to participate in research studies, we need them to help shape our studies by sharing their personal experiences and insights.

NIHR Clinical Research Network has teamed up with two prominent mental health charities to sponsor an award which celebrates research studies with excellent service user and carer involvement. The awards will recognise the achievements of study teams who actively seek to involve carers and service users at each stage of the research process - and of service users and carers who are making a difference to mental health research.

The CRN Mental health specialty, the McPin Foundation, and MQ: Mental Health Research are accepting applications from Chief Investigators of mental health research studies which have clear service user and carer involvement activities throughout all or part of the research process.


  • Applications can be made by a member of the study team, or an involved carer/service user with the support from the Chief Investigator.
  • The study must have been adopted on to the NIHR CRN Portfolio AND have been open to recruitment at any time between 1 January 2020 and 11 February 2022.
  • The study must be receiving support from the NIHR CRN Mental Health specialty.
  • Previous award applicants may re-apply.


On the application form, applicants are required to demonstrate how service users and/or carers were involved in NIHR CRN Portfolio study with particular weight being attached to:

  • How they demonstrated involvement of service users and/or carers at each stage of the research process.
  • How they demonstrate co-production approaches to service user and/or carer involvement.
  • How the involvement of service users and/or carers contributed to the successful delivery of the study.

Applications should include examples of service user and/or carer involvement within a single study (single site or multi-site). Applicants may make more than one application as long as the applications are for different studies. Please do not make multiple applications for each study workstream, phase or work package. We are happy to accept applications for UK studies of all sizes, open or closed, as long as they meet the above eligibility criteria.


Two awards will be available each receiving a £200 Voucher and a Service User and Carer Involvement Plaque. 

Application process and judging of applications

  • Applicants should read the supporting guidance notes forming part of the application form and ensure they address all points for each application they make.
  • Applications should be made using the application form. Any additional information submitted will NOT be considered by the panel.
  • Applicants must include the studies CPMS ID.
  • Applicants should note the word limit for each section of the application form.
  • Completed application forms must be received by 23:59 on 11 February 2022. Receipt of applications will be acknowledged.
  • Applications will be assessed by a panel made up of The McPin Foundation, MQ: Mental Health Research, NIHR Clinical Research Network and service user representatives.
  • All applicants will be notified within two months of the closing date. We expect a high number of applications and are unable to provide feedback to unsuccessful applicants.

Award Presentations

The awards will be presented at the Service User and Carer Involvement in Mental Health Research Awards ceremony, which will take place either as a face to face event in London or as a virtual event, dependent on COVID-19 restrictions that may be in force in May 2022. Award winners will be asked to give a short presentation of their prize-winning research and must be available to attend this event. It is expected that representatives from the study which should include service users/carers need to be available.