Researchers offered consultations with a new Race and Ethnicity Advisory group

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) is inviting researchers to work with a new Race and Ethnicity Advisory group, to consult individuals from a wide range of under-represented ethnic communities on how best to conduct mental health research.   

New Race and Ethnicity Advisory group,The Race and Ethnicity Advisory (READ) group is part of the organisation’s commitment to keeping principles of Diversity, Inclusion and Equality at the heart of its activities. The group offers researchers an opportunity to consult with individuals from under-represented ethnicities who are passionate about mental health research and race equality, to help make improvements in conducting their research. 

The group was developed following a series of Race Equality working groups that were run last year to find out how approaches to conducting research could be improved. One of the ideas suggested by these working groups was a Race and Ethnicity Advisory Group, to provide advice on research studies and support our researchers with guidance and insight. 

Alysean Banks, READ Group participant said:  

I joined the READ Group because it creates an effective method of addressing the absence of minority ethnic voices in key research. It also provides an opportunity to contribute and combine my knowledge and lived experiences as a Black person with a diverse group of individuals who share a common goal.  

How can the READ Group support researchers 

The group can offer cultural and ethnic insights into all aspects of research. Examples of what the group could help with include, but are not limited to: 

  • Early-stage research – developing funding applications which consider the voices of under-represented ethnicities. 
  • Material preparation – reviewing participant-facing documents, questionnaires, fliers, websites, etc. and reviewing them for inclusivity, relevance and appropriateness. 
  • Research proposals - Assessing whether a research proposal may or may not be attractive to different ethnic groups, and why. 
  • Recruitment - Supporting recruitment strategies to reach out to minoritised communities. Promotion - Advising on the dissemination and sharing of findings with the wider community. 
  • Analysis - Providing context to unexpected findings, or accounting for ethnic differences in outcomes. 

What level of involvement can the READ Group offer? 

The READ group is available to assist on different levels of involvement, from providing feedback over email to working in-person with the research team over a sustained period of time. This could include providing feedback on a poster or blog, meeting with group members to discuss a project or process, or advising on an ongoing basis.  

To find out more about the READ group and how this input could support your research, visit the NIHR Maudsley BRC website