About taking part in research

Help drive forward our understanding of mental health by getting involved in research today.

You can be part of the movement to transform mental health, whilst potentially gaining access to new treatments and therapies that could improve your own mental health. We're sure you have lots of questions about what taking part in research actually involves, so we've tried to answer the most frequently asked questions below.

Frequently asked questions

What does taking part in research involve?

Mental health is complex and there are all kinds of ways scientists are trying to improve our understanding and find new treatments. So, you could be asked to do lots of different things – for example, taking part in an online survey, being interviewed or doing tests like following objects with your eyes or providing blood samples. You might also have a chance to take part in a trial for a new treatment.

Some ways of participating can be done online, from the comfort of your own home, while tests or trials may require you to travel to where the researcher works. Before you consent to taking part, you’ll be given information about any potential risks you might face, as well as the benefits, so you can decide if it’s right for you to get involved.

Will I get paid for participating in research?

Some researchers will offer incentives or reimbursements for your time or travel costs, but this will vary from project to project. It should be clear if incentives are offered on the study’s page. 

How can I be sure that the data I share on Participate is protected?

We understand that you’re sharing personal information with us – and we take data protection very seriously. When you apply to take part in a study, your details will be held confidentially and temporarily stored on our system. Researchers using the website will then be able to log in to their secure account to access your information. You can find out more about how your data is collected and shared in our participant terms and conditions and our privacy policy.

How does MQ choose which studies to feature on the Participate website?

If a researcher requests to advertise their study on Participate, we’ll first ask them to provide details about the project using an online application form. All projects are then reviewed by staff at MQ to make sure we only feature studies that have proper ethical approval to protect the rights and safety of people involved. You can find more details in our researcher terms and conditions.

I can’t find any studies that match my interests - what should I do?

We’re constantly promoting Participate to leading mental health researchers across the UK, in order to get a broad and relevant range of studies on the website. If there aren’t any opportunities that meet your criteria at the moment, we suggest that you sign up to receive email updates at the bottom of this page, so that we can email you about new opportunities that might be suitable for you.

I applied for a study but haven't heard back yet - what should I do?

Please allow two weeks after registering your interest in a study for the researcher to get back to you. If you still haven’t heard from them after that, you can get in touch with the researcher directly using the details provided in the email you received after you applied to take part.

What if I decide I don’t want to take part?

If, at any point, you decide that you no longer want to take part in a study, you can leave - no questions asked. All you have to do is send the researcher a quick email to let them know.

How can I hear about the results of a study I took part in?

It can often take months before the results of a study are available to the public, as the team have to analyse their findings once they’ve finished collecting data from you and the other participants. If you've taken part in a study and are keen to be kept posted, ask the research team conducting the study how you can stay in the loop.

Take part in studies and help shape future research.

Browse the studies below and get involved today.