Call for research trial participants in £4m multi-partner project to boost student wellbeing

01 February 2024

Type: Text
Category: Research

Falmouth University is testing a new concept in mental health support, in partnership with several universities in the UK in an innovative new research project examining new modes of student mental health support. With a presence across the UK, the Nurture-U research project aims to improve student wellbeing and mental health, thanks to £4m of funding from the UKRI Adolescence, Mental Health and Developing Mind programme.  

University partners including Falmouth University, Newcastle University, Exeter University, Cardiff University, University of Oxford, University of Southampton and King’s College are running several projects to test two new types of support; a self-help app for students who want to reduce worry and build confidence and online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy which compares psychologist supported versus self-guided online therapy for students.  

Falmouth University’s Associate Professor of Arts and Health Anna Mankee-Williams (Falmouth project lead for Nurture-U) says the research could unlock new ways of providing much-needed support to students experiencing mental health concerns and low confidence.   

Anna said: “Analysis by the Policy Institute at King’s College London and the Centre for Transforming Access and Student Outcomes in Higher Education (TASO) shows that one in six students now report mental health challenges. We also know that poor mental health is one of the biggest factors in students wanting to leave University. Along with our University partners, we’re committed to finding new and effective ways of supporting students in a way that suits them and their needs and it’s crucial that university students are involved in this process from start to finish.  

“We will be recruiting for the remainder of 2024 and we’d love to hear from students interested in improving the support services available and benefitting from support both online and via trained professionals. We know time and money can be a barrier, which is why we’re offering shopping vouchers as a thank you to all taking part. We’re excited to see the outcomes of this important research which could unlock new and exciting ways of boosting mental health and well-being for students at such a critical stage in their lives.”  

Together with project partners, Falmouth University is now issuing a call for project participants and volunteers interested in shaping new support services for future student cohorts.

Get involved in the project trials

The Falmouth University team behind the Nurture-U research project is now recruiting for interested parties and volunteers in exchange for up to £30 in shopping vouchers as well as freely available therapeutic support via the self-guided Nurture-U app or an allocated psychologist.  

Project trial details 

Online therapy

  • Students will be randomly allocated to psychologist guided vs self-guided therapy. The therapy takes an hour a week. It takes 6-8 weeks to complete, and the research study in total will take no more than 3 months.  
  • There’s a 45-minute questionnaire at the start, and weekly 2-minute questionnaires, with a short 10-minute questionnaire at the end of the therapy.  
  • Student will receive £10 electronic shopping vouchers for completing all 8 weekly questionnaires, and an additional £10 for completing the 3-month follow-up questionnaire. 

Reducing worry

  • Students will have 50% chance of receiving the app now, or 50% chance of carrying on as normal, with an option of using the app after 12 months. 
  • If they’re allocated to the app, they will be asked to log on and complete the modules at your own pace over 8 weeks. 
  • There will be 15 minutes of questionnaires at the start, weekly 2-minute questionnaires and then 15 questionnaires at 3 months and 12 months after completion. 
  • Students will also receive £10 in shopping vouchers for doing all 8 weekly questionnaires, and also at the 3 month point and 12 month point - £30 in total. 


For more information and to apply to participate in the trials, go to the Nurture-U website or email 

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