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Introducing the Advancing Safe Research for Researchers' Mental Health Project


In this week’s blog we are introducing a new focus for the SPRINT Project team, via a project led by Dr Mary Quinton, and including other SPRINT Project team members including Dr Karen Shepherd, Dr Grace Tidmarsh, Dr Sally Reynard and Prof Jennifer Cumming. We are also grateful to be collaborating with Dr Maria Dauvermann and Dr Lowri Griffiths from the University of Birmingham’s School of Psychology and Institute for Mental Health, alongside national mental health charity Mind and the project’s advisory group.

This project, funded by UKRI’s QR enhancing research culture fund, aims to understand how researchers’ mental health can be safeguarded, and what is needed to do this successfully. 


Why is it important for us to carry out this research?  

Check out Karen’s explanation below: 

“Researching sensitive or traumatic topics can be tough, creating lasting emotional challenges for researchers. Whilst there has been an emphasis on safeguarding participants’ well-being, this aspect has often been overlooked with regards to researchers. With the increase in mental health research across many disciplines, there is real danger this may have negative effects and consequences on the mental health of those researchers carrying out the research. These include those in academia, working industry and the third sector, as well as peer researchers with lived experience.” 

What will the research involve? 

Mary, Karen and the team are working with an advisory group and using information gathered in interviews and from published research to create new guidelines. These guidelines will inform a research culture of best practice across disciplines and sectors that focus on reducing the risk of mental illness in researchers and promoting their mental wellbeing. 

We look forward to sharing further information about the project as it progresses… watch this space! 

Image description: Photo of the unofficial Project mascot, Delphi the Dog! 


Photo credit: Dr Karen Shepherd 

Written by Dr Karen Shepherd, Research Fellow in the SPRINT Project. 

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