The Study of Cognition, Adolescents and Mobile Phones (SCAMP) has been following up several thousand London teenagers since 2014. Together, the commitment of SCAMP participants and scientists has resulted in publication of important study findings such as: using screen-based media at night (especially in the dark) is associated with getting too little sleep and having poor sleep quality; using social network sites for more than 5 hours per day is associated with emotional and behavioural problems; using mobile phones or video gaming for more than 3 hours per day is associated with obesity; and having more access to natural green space (particularly woodland) is associated with better thinking and memory skills, and better mental health. 

SCAMP is continuing to investigate why mental illness commonly emerges during adolescence. We (the SCAMP research team) are trying to find out whether factors such as use of mobile phones/social media, how the brain processes information (cognition), physical activity, and sleep, have an impact on mental health. We are excited to take the study into a new phase, as young people move into further/higher education or get their first job. Eventually, we hope our research will advance the scientific community’s understanding of mental health pathways during adolescence and help inform mental health policy. 

Taking part in this research involves hosting SCAMP researchers to carry out data collection with Year 12 pupils at your school/college. Participating pupils will take part in the following activities (all facilitated by SCAMP researchers): 

  • Learning about the study and mental health research through a fun, interactive introduction to SCAMP session 
  • Participating in data collection by: 
    • Completing a 40-60min web-based survey, consisting of cognitive assessments and questionnaires, under exam conditions and on school laptops or computers  
    • Providing samples (urine and saliva) and measurements (height, waist and weight) 

Individual participation in data collection is completely optional for pupils, however we ask that participating schools and colleges host these sessions in such a way that all Year 12s have the opportunity to participate. Alternative activities can be provided for pupils who do not wish to take part in the data collection. 

If you are interested in taking part but have concerns or questions about resourcing or delivering any aspect of the activities above at your school or college, please get in touch, as we may be able to offer some flexibility or additional support. 

We will work with school/college staff or Research Challenge (see tab below) participants to determine the best way to deliver these sessions within your specific setting. 

The SCAMP Research Challenge is our newly developed programme which aims to help inspire the next generation of researchers and ensure young people’s perspectives are embedded at every stage of our research. Participating schools can nominate a small group of interested sixth form students to work directly with researchers at Imperial College London, who will support them to plan and deliver a SCAMP data collection at their school. Benefits of joining the programme include: 

  • A certificate of completion from Imperial College London
  • Eligibility to join our team of paid research ambassadors 
  • Gaining hands-on research experience 
  • Working with Imperial researchers 
  • Fantastic experience for personal statements 

This opportunity is open to students of any subject, but might particularly suit students of Science, Psychology, Computer Science or Media, or those interested in future careers in research, healthcare or mental health. 

Taking part in SCAMP is a once in a lifetime opportunity to contribute to cutting edge research that will benefit all young people. All pupils who complete at least the online survey will receive an Amazon voucher 

Participating pupils will also become eligible to join a novel online mental health community via our ground-breaking research app and will gain ongoing access to exclusive participant opportunities, including:  

  • Work experience at Imperial College London 
  • Paid work as a research ambassador or youth advisor 
  • Taking part in future research and earning rewards 
  • Accessing tailor-made mental health resources 

As a thank you for supporting our landmark mental health research, our team at Imperial College London are happy to contribute to your careers programme. In particular, we may be able to help with activities in aid of Gatsby Benchmarks 4, 5, 6 and 7. We can also provide mental health training for teaching/pastoral staff. 

We will collect data on the pupil’s cognitive functioning (e.g. memory, attention,  intelligence), mental health symptoms (e.g. depression and anxiety), use of mobile phones and wireless technologies, and lifestyle. We will also collect urine and saliva samples to analyse biomarkers and genetic information related to mental illness. Imperial College will ensure the research complies fully with the GDPR Regulations (EU DPA 2018). All individually identifiable data will be dealt with in the strictest confidence. Data will be stored long-term on a secure computer network at Imperial College London. Study results will be published following independent scientific peer review but no data individually identifying pupils or their schools will ever be published. 

Study findings will be published in peer reviewed scientific journals. Key findings will also be shared with staff and pupils via newsletters and the study website. 

  1. Email to arrange a meeting with a member of the SCAMP team to answer any questions about taking part and discuss how SCAMP sessions can best be delivered in your setting.
  1. Agree schedule for SCAMP activities and provide written permission by the Head teacher through an Agreement to Participate form.
  1. SCAMP activities take place between June 2022 – July 2023. 

The best way to contact us is by emailing: We can then arrange a follow-up call with a member of the research team if needed.