The CRN, McPin and MQ Award for Service User and Carer Involvement in Mental Health Research

Mental health award banner

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 award will recognise the achievements of study teams who actively seek to involve patients and the public 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: Transforming Mental Health 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. 


  • £200 voucher
  • Service user and carer involvement plaque


Applicants are required to demonstrate how service users and/or carers were involved in an NIHR Clinical Research Network Portfolio study, with particular weight being attached to:

  • involvement at each stage of the research process.
  • co-production approaches to service user and/or carer involvement
  • how the involvement contributed to the successful delivery of the study

Download the Award Guidance for full details, including award assessment criteria.

Closing date for applications: Midnight, 30 March 2018. 

Application documents:


  • Applicants must be the Chief Investigator of a research study with a mental health focus
  • The study must have been adopted on to the NIHR CRN Portfolio AND have been open to recruitment between April 2016 and February 2018
  • The study must be receiving support from the CRN Mental health specialty
  • The study must have recruited patients within sites based in England
  • Previous award applicants may re-apply. 

Full details around eligibility can be found in the Award Guidance document.

Further information

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



Professor Kathryn Abel, National Specialty Lead for CRN Mental health shares her thoughts:

"Following on from the success of last year’s PPIE awards, I am delighted to announce a new collaboration between the CRN Mental health Specialty and the mental health charities, McPin and MQ. This partnership award scheme will continue to promote the importance of meaningful service user and carer involvement in mental health research where it has always led other fields in acknowledging and celebrating the contributions of service users and carers to research. Given the high priority that mental health research has been afforded by the new Mental Health Research Framework, this exciting award is timely and a welcome encouragement to those achieving excellence by partnering with the people who understand best where research is needed most."