The Spectrum Centre conducts translational research into the understanding and psychological treatment of bipolar disorder and other related conditions.

We obtain significant grant funding from the ESRC, NIHR, MRC, and Lancaster University enabling us to work collaboratively with third sector organisations and service users, both regionally and nationally.


Studies currrently recruiting

"The REACT toolkit contains lots of information to help relatives/close friends, ideas of strategies to manage common problems, and stories from other relatives/close friends about their experiences"

Here at the Spectrum Centre we are running a nationwide study to see whether an online intervention entitled Relatives Education and Coping Toolkit (REACT) is helpful for relatives or close friends of people with bipolar disorder or psychosis. The REACT intervention is supported online by peer supporters drawing on their own experiences, rather than health professionals.

Lizzi Collinge and Sue Flowers, REACT Supporters

More information

"This study explorers users' experiences with technology-based mental health treatments"

Technology is increasingly being used to support the delivery of treatments for mental health problems. We are interested in speaking to people that have used a technology-based treatment for their mental health in the past six months. This means a mental health treatment that has been provided via a computer, the internet, or perhaps a mobile phone. This research aims to find out more about people's experiences of using this type of treatment.

To do this, we would like to interview people about their experiences of using technology-based treatment. We are offering a £10 voucher for taking part, as a way of thanking participants for their time. Involvement in this study is entirely voluntary, and participants can withdraw at any time.

This project is part of a PhD project by researchers at the Spectrum Centre for Mental Health Research, at Lancaster University. The Chief Investigator of the project is Laura Hillier, a PhD student. The project is being supervised by Professor Fiona Lobban and Professor Steven Jones.

If you are interested in this study, please contact us using the details below. We can discuss the study and whether you are eligible to take part in more detail. Alternatively, if you know someone that might be interested, please pass this information on to them. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

Chief Investigator:
Laura Hillier
01524 595161/07548 801695


What people say about the Spectrum Centre

"Their high quality research is vitally important for our understanding of bipolar"

The Spectrum Centre has developed to become one of the leading research teams in the UK focusing on mental health and in particular bipolar. Their high quality research is vitally important for our understanding of bipolar and I have no doubt that it will ultimately lead to new treatments. We are delighted to work with Professor Steve Jones and his team.

Suzanne Hudson, Chief Executive, Bipolar UK

"Leaders in highlighting the limitations of a traditional medical model approach to bipolar"

The Spectrum Centre is one of the few clinical/research groups exploring the impact of psychological models and concepts on outcomes for people with bipolar disorder. The group are internationally renowned for innovate and rigorous work, as well as the ability to maintain productive collaborations with other research and health organisations. They have been leaders in highlighting the limitations of a traditional medical model approach to bipolar disorder. This work has contributed significantly to a changing zeitgeist in science and practice around bipolar disorder. Patients have benefited from a more person-centred approach to the management of their disorder, and research has benefited from a richer view of measurement that goes beyond symptom outcomes. The sometimes provocative agenda of the Spectrum group has had significant impact because it is underpinned by sound methods, and appropriate self-scepticism. From a distance, my sense is that Professor Jones has been a particularly generative leader of Spectrum. He models the highest standards of clinical science, and has engendered productivity and passion throughout the organisation.

Prof Greg Murray (Swinburne, Australia)

"Strongly influenced by the service user voice; embrace new technologies; and impressively disseminated"

The North West Hub of the Mental Health Research Network is enormously proud of the work of the young, dynamic and innovative team at the Spectrum Centre. Their arrival five years ago, and rapid growth ever since, has been accompanied by an explosion of relevant, well designed translational research; research that is already helping us to know more about bipolar disorder and to improve the lives of those that are affected by it. It may be of interest that in the year before the Spectrum Centre opened only three people were recruited to NIHR bipolar disorder studies in the north west - since then the NIHR portfolio reports 2,564 recruits and the majority of these are through the Spectrum Centre! We don’t only appreciate the numbers of recruits though - the Spectrum Centre’s work is strongly influenced by the service user voice; embraces new technologies; and is impressively disseminated. We congratulate Steve Jones, his team and all who have been involved in the Spectrum Centre’s success over the last five years and hope that there will be many more good years to come’

Moira Winters, Mental Health Research Network, Hub Manager

"Rapidly established a position of national prominence in research on psychosocial aspects of bipolar"

Spectrum has rapidly established a position of national prominence in research on psychosocial aspects of bipolar disorder. This is reflected by the centre obtaining and leading the PARADES Programme Grant from NIHR, the invitation of Professor Jones and Dr Lobban to the NICE Clinical Guideline Development Group stakeholder meeting and the appointment of Professor Jones to the NICE Clinical Guideline Development Group. The NICE Guideline has international importance and the work underpinning the Guideline is being co-produced with experts in the Netherlands. Spectrum has also established other international collaborations such as Professor Sheri Johnson at Berkeley, US and Dr Erin Machala in Vancouver. My own institution, the University of Nottingham, plans to continue its collaboration with Spectrum and continues to discuss possible collaborations in research of national and international importance such as CLAHRC.

Prof Richard Morriss (Nottingham UK and NICE Chairperson)

"In the process of conducting this work, they have helped train a new generation of leading scientists"

Spectrum rapidly developed as a leading worldwide center for the study of bipolar disorder. They established two particular strengths: a) conducting psychological treatment outcome studies and b) integrating consumer perspectives into their work. The convergence of these two themes sets the stage for the development of highly innovative work on sophisticated, empirically-based web-based interventions for persons with bipolar disorder and their family members. In the process of conducting this work, they have helped train a new generation of leading scientists. The research accomplished, the research begun, and the human investments are certain to influence the field for decades to come.

Prof Sheri Johnson (Berkeley, USA)


Understanding Bipolar Disorder

Understanding Bipolar Disorder Report

Why some people experience extreme mood states and what can help

This is a report commissioned by the British Psychological Society's Division of Clinical Psychology to provide a psychological perspective on the experience and treatment of Bipolar Disorder, written by a large group of academics, researchers, professionals and service users lead by Professor Steven Jones, Dr Fiona Lobban and Anne Cooke.

Click here to download this report free of charge (PDF)

Spectrum Connect Newsletter
The Spectrum Connect Newsletter goes out to all members of Spectrum Connect to help us keep you up to date on our work. You can also read them online by clicking the links below.
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Get involved
We actively encourage input from people who have experienced bipolar mood fluctuations, their relatives, friends, partners, carers and also individuals who are interested in mental health research but have not experienced mental illness. This input is vital for improving our understanding about the experience and management of Bipolar Disorder. To find out more visit our getting involved pages.
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