The NIHR Mental Health Translational Research Collaboration (MH TRC) brings together leading investigators in mental health translational and clinical research from across the UK to accelerate translation of discoveries into clinical practice.
The NIHR MH TRC connects world-leading research expertise and infrastructure funded by the NIHR and located in the major universities and NHS Trusts across the UK. The vision of the MH TRC is to engage in world class translational research in partnership with academics, the life sciences industry, and charities, and to develop the foundations for improved mental health.
“Now presents a unique time to make a real step change in how we work together to make a positive impact on mental health for current and future generations. We hope, by working in partnership with patients, bringing in new talent, and joining up the resources we have already, that we can transform the landscape of mental health research – and by doing so to improve the lives of those affected.”
Professor Matthew Hotopf, Emeritus Chair of the NIHR MH TRC
Work with us
Whatever your background, working with the NIHR MH TRC enables you to engage with mental health experts from across the UK. We help develop ideas from a very early stage through to a mature project suitable for a funding application.
If you are interested in mental health research and have ideas for research collaborations, we can help you to work with theme-focused experts across the UK, to develop and deliver your own research quickly and accelerate translation to the clinic.
We are keen to explore collaborations with experts in the UK, as well as the life sciences industry, charities and other stakeholders, to build a considerable mass of capacity and capabilities across the UK to tackle the biggest challenges in mental health.
The MH TRC offers you the following benefits:
- Flexibility: The possibility to address several focus areas simultaneously, across a spectrum of priorities;
- Agility: We can quickly mobilise the community in response to arising priorities and urgent requests;
- Inclusivity: All researchers are welcome to bring their ideas for discussion;
- Traction: Support for the necessary groundwork needed to transform ideas into research plans;
- High impact: The collaborative programmes developed through our TRC allow our community of experts to tackle research questions that require scale.
For further information about the MH TRC and to find out how to work with us, please contact us.
Our expertise and capabilities
The NIHR MH TRC brings together:
- World-class mental health clinical research facilities across nine of the NIHR’s Biomedical Research Centres and Clinical Research Facilities
- The NIHR Mental Health MedTech Co-operative
- Seven additional centres of excellence across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The main focus areas of our TRC include but are not limited to:
- Mood disorders, particularly treatment-resistant depression: led by Dr Michael Browning
- Early psychosis: led by Dr Paolo Fusar-Poli
- Development of well-defined patient cohorts through the NIHR BioResource: led by Professor Gerome Breen
- Medical Informatics: co-led by Professor Ann John and Professor John Ainsworth
- Children and young people's mental health: led by Professor Helen Minnis
- Training and capacity development: co-led by Dr Kate Saunders and Dr Shruti Garg
Who we are
The NIHR MH TRC is co-led by Chair Professor John Geddes from the NIHR Oxford Health BRC, Chair Emeritus Professor Matthew Hotopf from the NIHR Maudsley BRC, and Deputy Chair Professor Rachel Upthegrove from the University of Birmingham.
The breadth of mental health expertise in the UK
This map shows mental health centres based across the UK (listed below) which are part of the MH TRC.
NIHR Biomedical Research Centres (BRCs), Clinical Research Facilities (CRFs) and academic leads of the MH TRC
- Maudsley BRC and associated CRF at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
Professor Matthew Hotopf (Emeritus Chair of the MH TRC)
- Oxford Health BRC and associated NIHR CRF at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust
Professor John Geddes (Chair of the MH TRC)
- Nottingham BRC and MindTech Co-operative
Professor Chris Hollis
- Bristol BRC
Dr Jonathan Evans
- Cambridge BRC and associated CRF at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Professor Ed Bullmore
- UCLH BRC
Professor Anthony David
- Imperial BRC
Professor Anne Lingford-Hughes
- Exeter CRF
Professor Clive Ballard
- Manchester CRF in association with Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
Professor Bill Deakin
Other centres and clinical academic leads
- Cardiff University, National Centre for Mental Health
Professor James Walters
- NHS Research Scotland Mental Health Network
Professor Andrew Gumley
- Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust
Professor David Baldwin
- Newcastle University
Professor Hamish McAllister-Williams
- University of Birmingham
Professor Rachel Upthegrove (Deputy Chair of the MH TRC)
- Queen's University Belfast
Professor Cherie Armour
- The University of Liverpool
- Professor Iain Buchan
For further information about the NIHR MH TRC and to find out how to work with us, please contact us.
The TRC and its members are actively involved in different projects aiming to improve research into mental health. Some examples include:
Prioritising research in difficult to treat depression
We have been leading on a research prioritisation project in difficult-to-treat depression using an inclusive and innovative approach to channel the views of different stakeholders to identify the most important research questions. By embedding the voices of patients, carers, healthcare professionals and research funders, the team ensured that collaboration was at the heart of shaping future research.
Genetic Links to Anxiety and Depression (GLAD) Study
GLAD is a project set up to support studies exploring risk factors for depression and/or anxiety.
As part of its workstream “Development of well-defined patient cohorts through the NIHR Bioresource”, the MH TRC has been prompting the use of this trial-ready cohort among both companies and mental health researchers. Read this update on recruitment to the GLAD study.
PHOSP-COVID (Post-hospitalisation COVID-19 study)
PHOSP-COVID looks at how different patients recover from COVID-19, and the factors involved in those with poorest outcomes.
The MH TRC manages the Brain Working Group of this study, bringing together a wide range of researchers, clinicians and charities who want to investigate the long term effects of COVID on mental, cognitive and neurological health – and to explore how these effects are related to individual patient characteristics and whole body health.
MH TRC members will study patient reported symptoms, assess cognitive function and use brain imaging techniques including MRI. The objective is to identify factors that relate to longer term problems, identify the mechanisms involved and then to develop interventions and treatments that improve patient outcomes.
The COVID-19 and Mental Health Studies Register
This register, funded and led by the MH TRC, collated information about research projects that aimed to study the mental health aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic. Information about 92 studies was gathered and was immediately made openly available during the first year of the pandemic.
This register helped prevent duplicate efforts, and coordinated and facilitated the development of high-quality collaborative mental health research in the UK within the context of the COVID-19.
The NIHR Incubator for Mental Health Research
This NIHR Incubator offers practical advice, connections, and career development opportunities for aspiring researchers in mental health. Training, capacity development, and mentoring the next generation of future leaders and academics in mental health is a key priority for the MH TRC. Read this blog about how the Incubator aims to support academic researchers in mental health.
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