For researchers

We know that recruiting quality participants for mental health research is hard. We're here to make it easier.

How it works

Create an account

We'll need a few details about you and your institution, including a clear photo of you that you'll upload.

Create your account

Submit a study

You can set eligibility criteria to find the right people for your study.

Access to your applicants any time

All your applicant information in one place

FAQs for mental health researchers

Participate is an accessible online tool to connect mental health researchers with those who are interested in taking part.

The platform aims to bridge the gap between researchers and participants and increase awareness of opportunities to take part in studies and clinical trials. This will enable researchers to speed up the recruitment of participants to their studies and connect the public with the latest thinking in understanding, treating and preventing mental ill-health.

This service is available to researchers or organisations investigating mental health issues. Your work will need to have ethics approval and be in line with MQ’s vision and values - you can read more in our terms and conditions. It also needs to meet the following eligibility criteria:

  1. Be relevant to a mental health issue(s);
  2. Have documented ethical approval from a UK Health Research Authority registered committee or a university ethics committee;
  3. Be run by a UK based academic institution, NHS trust or have other Clinical Trial Authorisation (CTA) from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). - see FAQ below for details;
  4. Be conducted by a researcher who is at post-doctoral level or above, or be conducted as part of a project with a named Principal Investigator;
  5. Be fully transparent about its funding source;
  6. Provide a registry number (clinical and drug trials only);
  7. Be reviewed by the MQ CEO (clinical and drug trials only);
  8. If participants are compensated for their time this must be done equally for all participants regardless of where they were recruited from.

A study is not eligible if it:

  • Does not disclose its funding source;
  • Does not have ethical approval from an HRA-registered committee or university ethics committee;
  • Is being run by a private individual;
  • Is being run by an undergraduate or postgraduate student.

All study submissions to the Participate website will be required to supply the following information:

  • A short lay title for the study to be shown on the website;
  • The study type (in person/ online/survey/interview);
  • Conditions under study;
  • Participant eligibility requirements (including minimum and maximum age);
  • Participant time requirement;
  • Recruitment target and end date;
  • Any financial incentives/expenses/travel costs;
  • Evidence of ethical approval;
  • Funding source and study sponsor.

You can download a full list of eligibility criteria here. Please also read our researcher terms and conditions above.

Participate is a UK-focused study recruitment platform, which means we market the site to prospective participants primarily through UK channels. While some international studies may be accepted onto the site, this is for the purposes of recruiting UK participants.

The minimum age for participation in studies featured on the site is 16.

Once you've created your account and added your study, a member of the MQ Research Team will check your study to make sure it's eligible, with reference to the CEO and Research Committee as necessary. We may ask you to supply further information relevant to the eligibility criteria before publishing your study. If you have any questions or want to check the progress of your study, you can email [email protected].

We are a charity that wants to create a world where mental illnesses are understood, effectively treated and one day made preventable. With the help of our supporters and a global network of leading scientists, we can make this a reality. Together, we are championing and funding research into mental health that will change millions of lives. Find out more about us here.

We created Participate to help achieve these goals. We publicise it to potential applicants in a number of ways, including linking from our main website, running online ads on Google and social media, and publicising the platform via our partners.

At the moment we're unable to change your account details (including your email address) once your account has been created, so please use an email address you will have continuous access to throughout your study. If you're having issues with this, please email [email protected].

  • I took part as I think it's important that people with experience of mental illness have a voice. That they can influence treatments.

    christine.jpg Christine
  • I was worried taking part was going to be time consuming and complicated but it was really straightforward.

    hope.jpg Hope
  • I want to help discover new therapies, new treatments, maybe even in the future, help find a cure.

    jodie.jpg Jodie

Trusted by researchers at...

Start recruiting participants now

Add your research study