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Dr Nicola Morant
6th Floor
Maple House
149 Tottenham Court Road
Dr Nicola Morant profile picture
  • Associate Professor
  • Epidemiology & Applied Clinical Research
  • Division of Psychiatry
  • Faculty of Brain Sciences

I joined UCL in 2015, having worked as a freelance research consultant, and held posts previously as an Affiliated Lecturer at University of Cambridge, and Senior Lecturer in Social Psychology at Anglia Ruskin University. I have also worked for The Open University and in NHS and university-based research posts. I completed an MSc and PhD in social psychology at London School of Economics, and continue to use the broad social science perspective this training gave me in my current work. 

Research Themes
Research Summary

I am an Associate Professor in the Division of Psychiatry, and a specialist in qualitative research methods in mental health.  In my capacity as a qualitative methodologist, I work across numerous research projects, leading qualitative work that aims broadly to explore and understand the experiences and perspectives of stakeholders (particularly service users) in mental health, and to bring these insights into treatment and service development.  

My specific research interests centre around i) collaborative forms of medication management in mental health; ii) acute care for mental health crises. In the field of psychiatric medication management, I have led work on service users’ views and experiences of taking medication, and of related discussions and decisions with prescribers; developed a conceptualisation of shared decision making (SDM) in mental healthcare contexts; and developed and evaluated interventions to enhance SDM. I currently lead qualitative work within the ‘RADAR’ study (PI: Joanna Moncrieff, UCL) on antipsychotic reduction and discontinuation. In the field of acute care, I have led qualitative work in a number of related UCL projects (eg the ‘CORE’ and ‘Alternatives’ studies, PI: Sonia Johnson; 'AD-CARE', PI: David Osborn), exploring mental health crisis care provided in psychiatric hospital units, crisis houses, crisis resolution and home treatment teams, and acute day units. This has contributed to understanding the critical ingredients of good crisis care, and to service improvement initiatives in this area. I have also contributed qualitative research in other areas of mental health including: perinatal mental health; suicide bereavement; loneliness; vocational rehabilitation; CBT-based interventions (for bipolar disorder, and for depression/anxiety and PTSD in young people); early detection of psychosis; and 'personality disorders'. 

I believe that good research is a collaborative endeavour in which team working and multiple perspectives enrich understanding and enhance the quality of findings and outputs. As a qualitative researcher, much of my work interfaces with PPI (Public and Patient Involvement) activities. In particular, I am strongly committed to the development of service user voice and participation in research. I often work closely with ‘lived experience’ and stakeholder groups, and with researchers at the McPin Foundation. I regularly run research methods training workshops for ‘peer researchers’ (people who identify as mental health service users), and supervise peer researchers up to PhD level and beyond. 

Teaching Summary

I am a senior member of the core team running the highlypopular and successful MSc programmes in Clinical Mental Health Research /Mental Health Sciences Research in the Division of Psychiatry. As part of this role I teachqualitative research methods, supervise MSc dissertations and co-lead anoptional module Masters level module ‘Mental Health in Social and GlobalContext’ that is run jointly with the Institute of Global Health. 

I am Co-Director of the cross-disciplinary UCL Qualitative Health Research Network (QHRN) that supports the use and development of qualitative research across health-related fields via seminars, workshops and conferences. I lead the Training strand of QHRN that provides a regular programme of specialist qualitative research methods workshops open to UCL and non-UCL researchers. I provide teaching and practical workshops for staff, postgraduates and lived experience researchers in the UCL Division of Psychiatry to support qualitative research and use of software to analyse qualitative data.  

Current PhD students:

  • Ruby Jarvis: 'Medication management in Early Intervention for Psychosis services: Exploring shared decision-making processes'. Funding: ESRC / UBEL
  • Emma McKenzie: 'Open Dialogue: An Examination of whether a social network approach improves mental health access and experiences for BME individuals with severe mental illness.' (second supervisor, with Prof Steve Pilling)

PhD Thesis Committee member: 

  • Natasha Lyons: Exploring relapse and recovery following discharge from Early Intervention in Psychosis Services. Funding: ESRC / UBEL.
  • Sara Ikhtabi: Exploring Loneliness among people with Complex Emotional Needs (CEN) using mixed methods. Funding: ESRC / UBEL. 

I have supervised / co-supervised 6 PhDs to successful completion: 

  • Hannah Scott: People bereaved by suicide and support from their family and friends: Understanding social network interactions and their impact. UCL, completed July 2021. Funding: ESRC/UBEL.
  • Rory Sheehan: Optimising psychotropic medication for people with intellectual disability. UCL, completed Jan 2020. Funding: NIHR Doctoral Research Fellowship. 
  • Billie Lever-Taylor: But what about us? Partner and family experiences of perinatal mental health care. UCL, completed Dec 2019. 
  • Emma Kaminskiy: A grounded construction of shared decision-making for psychiatric medication management: Findings from a community mental health team.  Anglia Ruskin University, completed June 2014. 
  • Joanna Fox: The relevance of recovery for carers of people who have schizophrenia. Anglia Ruskin University, completed Nov 2013. 
  • Heather Castillo: The process of recovery for people diagnosed with 'personality disorder': A case study of The Haven.  Anglia Ruskin University, completed 2010. 

01-OCT-2018 Associate Professor Division of Psychiatry UCL, United Kingdom
01-SEP-2015 – 30-SEP-2018 Lecturer Division of Psychiatry UCL, United Kingdom
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