Protocol Development Groups

What are Protocol Development Groups (PDGs)?

Protocol Development Groups bring together researchers and clinicians with a shared interest in a specific topic and focus on the production of high quality, fundable research proposals. The network provides methodological and funding support and monitors the progress of the PDGs.

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Why Apply for a PDG?

The SMHRN is funded by the Chief Scientist Office to support high quality clinical research in mental health in Scotland. The SMHRN aims to facilitate the development, set-up and completion of clinical mental health research accross Scotland. One of the Network's aims is to encourage more Scottish led studies.

The SMHRN is currently seeking applications to set up a number of new Protocol Development Groups (PDGs). The aim of these groups is to bring together researchers and clinicians with a shared interest in a specific topic and focus on the production of high quality, fundable research proposals. The key objective of the PDGs is to obtain funding for a large multi-centre study led from Scotland.

The SMHRN would like to encourage applications from any area relevant to mental health.

The Network envisages supporting up to four PDGs. Funds of up to £5,000 are available for each group to support protocol development activities. This financial support can cover up to an 18-month period and it is expected that groups will then continue in their area of interest.

Group Composition

Groups will normally draw members from more than one institution and include members with research experience relevant to the topic under consideration. Membership or involvement of service users is encouraged. Membership would be open to Welsh, Northern Irish and English researchers but the protocols developed should be for Scottish-led studies.

Support Available from the Network

  • Financial support to cover travel and meeting costs, or other protocol development activities
  • Administrative support to set up and service the meetings
  • Methodological support from Network staff by attendance at meetings as well as remote assistance
  • Notification of relevant funding calls and opportunities

Outcomes Expected

PDGs are expected to submit at least one application to a major research funder within 18-months of the PDG award.  The Network will discuss and agree intermediate milestones with each group.

How to Apply

If you are interested in applying for a Protocol Development Group, please complete the application form below and email to SMHRN. Guidance notes are available here. Applications will be peer reviewed. For further information or advice phone 0131 537 6542.

ASM Review

PDGs funded in 2013:

Lead Research Area
Andrew Gumley Glasgow Psychosis Research Network
Calum Munro Schema Therapy for complex Eating Disorders
Austyn Snowden The impact of person centred care on patient reported outcomes and staff engagement
Andrew McIntosh Mood Disorder in Generation Scotland