Mental Health Research for Innovation Centre (M-RIC)

The University of Liverpool and Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust have teamed up to create the Mental Health Research for Innovation Centre (M-RIC). Our ground-breaking research facility based in Liverpool will impact directly on NHS mental health services.

Our aim is simple, to improve mental healthcare for all patients and service users. We will do this by making Liverpool a world leader in learning better mental healthcare systematically from research embedded in care.

How is M-RIC funded?

The Centre will be funded by the award of £10.5 million of government funding from the Office for Life Sciences and the National Institute for Health and Care Research as part of the Government’s Mental Health Mission. The mission aims to accelerate mental health research through a UK network of leading investigators called the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Mental Health Translational Research Collaboration which includes M-RIC in Liverpool.

What will M-RIC do?

We will bring together academic researchers, healthcare providers and industry to develop and evaluate new treatments and deliver innovative services. This will include trialling new drugs and new uses of existing drugs. It will also involve researching digital therapies such as apps and artificial intelligence for delivering virtual talking therapies and new ways to support mental wellbeing.

We aim to improve mental healthcare by shortening the time it takes to translate research into real benefits for our local communities.

Why Liverpool?

Liverpool has one of the UK’s highest levels of social and economic disadvantage and poor mental health. Mental health service users in Liverpool live on average 20 years less than those in the rest of the UK. Despite this, there has been little mental health research in areas like Liverpool, which need it most.

M-RIC will tackle this inequality head on. The award of £10.5m provides a landmark opportunity for Liverpool City region enabling residents to access mental health research and innovative, high-quality care.

Leading the UK in mental health innovation

One in four people will be affected by a mental illness at some point in their life, yet up to recently, UK public funding for mental health research has been just one twenty-fifth of that spent on cancer for each person affected.

M-RIC has been funded to bridge this gap. Our unique partnership will use the expertise of University of Liverpool and Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust staff together with the valuable insights of NHS patients who will be able to access, co-create and benefit from mental health research through M-RIC. We will also be supported by the third sector, industry partners, civic leaders, local government and other public services in order to help more people gain access to better mental healthcare and support.

Our new approach will offer a blueprint for developing a network of similar centres throughout the UK.

How can I find out more?

We will be launching more information about our research on our new website soon but in the meantime if you want to learn more about M-RIC’s programme of work you can email

Hear from Prof Iain Buchan, Co-Director of M-RIC

Hear from Prof Nusrat Husain, Co-Director of M-RIC

Hear from Prof Joe Rafferty, Chief Executive of Mersey Care

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