Case Study

MQ Transforming Mental Health

MQ want to create a world where mental illnesses are understood, effectively treated and one day made preventable.

MQ: Transforming Mental Health is the first major charity funding much-needed scientific research into mental illness. With 1 in 4 people affected by mental illness each year their mission is clear – to create a world where mental illnesses are understood, effectively treated, and ultimately prevented. Based in London, they now have a team of 18 staff, a community of supporters and an international network of talented researchers, all working together to make ground-breaking impacts in the world of mental illness.

Since implementing Flexi-Grant® in 2015, MQ have successfully awarded over 30 research projects and pledged more than £6m in funding.

Here are their five favourite Flexi-Grant® features…

Customisable Workflow

Email Tool

Query & Export Tool

Ideas Portal


Streamlined and Customisable

“I don’t think that just because the process of funding medical research is complex, we shouldn’t try and simplify it where we can, which is why Flexi-Grant® has been a really great tool for streamlining everything. From the first stage of building the application form through Flexi-Grant®, you are able to make things as simple as possible. Even the little features, like the way you can create logic questions and use radio lists shortens the time it takes our candidates to fill out applications”.

Dominika Panzer, Grants Manager.

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Streamlined Process

The first challenge for Flexi-Grant® was to make MQ’s grant application process as easy and streamlined as possible. Applying for funding in the medical research sector is a time-consuming process for everyone involved. Flexi-Grant® was tasked with transforming the complex (but necessarily detailed) application process into something much simpler to manage online. Thankfully, MQ recognised the need to simplify their processes and began by carefully thinking through all the information the reviewers, committee members and Board of Trustees needed to see from an applicant’s form in order to make their decisions. Only when this was fully understood could Flexi-Grant® be used to create a clearer application process.

Rigorous Review Process

With their application forms streamlined, it was time to solve challenge two: MQ’s rigorous and multiple review rounds. With multiple stakeholders to manage, and a 10-month turnaround from start to finish, it was a lengthy and complex process for the MQ team.

MQ’s review process involved applications being triaged and sent to a Committee to review, then onto external peer reviewers, then back to the Committee and finally to MQ’s Board of Trustees to make the final decision. To make this process as easy as possible, review forms are created in Flexi-Grant® and committee members, reviewers and Board members can access all the information they need through their own dedicated Reviewer Portal. Flexi-Grant® has allowed MQ to empower their applicants and reviewers.

“Our process is now as simple as it can be, we have eliminated the need for excessive paperwork and lots of different types of technology. Now applicants and reviewers can come on and just do the job that we want them to do”.

Dominika Panzer | Grants Manager | MQ Transforming Mental Health

Committee Members

Review Round 1

External Reviewers

Review Round 2

Committee Members

Review Round 3

Board of Trustees

Review Round 4

Making life as easy as possible for their reviewers, committee members and Board of Trustees was of vital importance to MQ; an awareness that as they were volunteering their time it was a necessity to make the whole process as simple as possible.

“We have some of the best people in the medical research industry in our committee so we strive to make sure technology is not a barrier to getting work done – our Committee members have never found Flexi-Grant® difficult!”

Dominika Panzer, Grants Manager. MQ Transforming Mental Health.

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Managing Data Protection

One challenge that has presented itself since MQ went live with Flexi-Grant® in 2015 is the increased requirement for data protection and security. New Data Protection laws in 2017 have meant that the opt-in process for all communications has to be more transparent, diligent and secure. The new Act requires personal data to be “fairly and in a transparent manner used in relation to individuals”. What does this mean? When anyone registers on any system, they must be given clear guidelines as to what it is they are registering for and what information they will receive thereafter. Flexi-Grant® was able to handle this due to its opt-in options that are present for all new users to the system when they register.


“One of the areas where Flexi-Grant® has really helped us is how we manage our contacts and our database. There have been a lot of new data protection laws brought in and now if you want to email a supporter you have to be able to show that they have chosen to hear from you. The Query and Export tool enables me to get instant visualisation of each level of opt-in our contacts have chosen and when.”

Dominika Panzer | Grants Manager | MQ Transforming Mental Health

Reporting Power

MQ also commended the Query and Export tool for its power to provide them with any piece of data from their system. They find it very straightforward to run annual end of award reports through Flexi-Grant®. All administrative members are able to navigate their way to the tool, extract whatever information they need, run a report, save it and reuse it again and again.

No. of Grant Schemes
No. of Applications a Year
No. of People in Grants Team

For MQ, the results from implementing Flexi-Grant® have been outstanding. To date, they have been able to empower applicants, committee members, administrators, external reviewers and their Board of Trustees to use the system for each of the jobs they are in charge of completing. This alone has meant that all information from different stakeholders has been managed on the one system making end of year reporting a seamless effort.

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