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Depression Detectives was a project that brought together people with lived experience of depression, and researchers who study it, as EQUAL partners. The aim was to get researchers listening to and working with non-scientists and put lived experience at the heart of research.

Depression Detectives participants got to quiz real live scientists, discussed where there were gaps in the research and designed their own research study, which they ran together with researchers. Each volunteer gave as much or as little time as suited them. We had some fun and met some interesting people along the way.

Why did we do this?

User-led citizen science is the best way to create people-centred, sensitive research which addresses the questions that matter to the participants. Those directly affected have insights that may not be obvious to researchers who aren’t part of the community they are studying. And they know what matters to them, and what makes a difference to their lives.

Who is did it?

The project was a public engagement activity as part of an MRC funded research project. It was a collaboration between Edinburgh Neuroscience and public engagement practitioner Sophia Collins and her team. This approach has previously been used in the project Parenting Science Gang.

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