Participant information


We would like to invite you to take part in a research study. Before you decide if you would like to take part, it is important for you to understand why the research is being done and what it would involve for you. Please take time to read the following information carefully and discuss it with others if you wish. We will be happy to answer any questions you have, so please ask us if there is anything that is not clear or if you would like more information. Thank you for reading this.

What is the purpose of the study?

In recent years, there has been increasing awareness of mental health problems amongst university students. This has been linked in part to widening participation in universities, and to a challenging economic climate. Academics are likely to have the most direct contact with students, as part of their teaching and supervisory roles. However, there is little research into academics’ perspectives of mental health problems amongst their students. This study therefore aims to explore academics’ experiences and perceived role in working with students with mental health problems. We hope that understanding these issues will be a first step in providing the necessary resources for academics to work effectively with students with mental health problems.

Why have I been chosen?

We would like to gain the views of academic staff at universities in the UK who have teaching/supervision responsibilities within their institution. If this matches your role, then we would like to invite you to take part in our survey.

Do I have to take part?

Your participation is entirely voluntary. If you decide to take part, you are free to withdraw at any time before you have submitted your survey. By pressing ‘Submit’, your answers will be submitted anonymously and confidentiality to the study, and you will no longer be able to withdraw from the study.

What will happen to me if I take part and what do I have to do?

The survey will take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete.

What are the possible disadvantages and risks of taking part?

The research team have identified no risks in participating in this study. However, if any safeguarding issues are raised during the course of the study (regarding children or vulnerable adults), the researcher is required to disclose these to the relevant safeguarding officer at the University of the West of England.

What are the possible benefits of taking part?

We are unable to offer payment for taking part in this study, but we will provide participants with a report presenting the study findings, which we hope will be of value to you and your institution. You will be able to enter your details to receive a copy of this report after you have submitted the survey. These details will not be linked to the submitted survey responses.

What if something goes wrong?

If you have a concern about any aspect of this project, please speak to the relevant researcher (Sara Spear, email: who will do her best to answer your query. The researcher should acknowledge your concern within 5 working days and give you an indication of how she intends to deal with it.

Will my taking part in this study be kept confidential?

The survey will be anonymised, and data collected will be treated as confidential and securely stored. Data will only be accessed by the research team.

What will happen to the results of the research study?

The results of the research will be disseminated through channels such as conference papers and presentations, journal articles, reports, workshop presentations, and digital media (such as research blogs). Nothing will be reported that could identify individuals or particular institutions. Data will be retained for five years, to allow for the dissemination and publication of the research, then disposed of securely.

Who is organising the research?

This study is being carried out by researchers at the University of the West of England.

Contact for further Information

We hope that you are now able to consider whether you would like to take part in the study. If you have any questions or concerns about any part of this study, please don’t hesitate to contact us:

Dr Sara Spear and Dr Yvette Morey (Faculty of Business & Law, University of the West of England) Telephone: 0117 3287658, email: