Institute of Population Health Sciences (IPHS)

Dr Mariana Pinto Da Costa


Consultant Psychiatrist and Doctoral Research Fellow



Dr Mariana Pinto da Costa is a Consultant Psychiatrist at East London NHS Foundation Trust, a Doctoral Research Fellow at the Unit for Social and Community Psychiatry (WHO Collaborating Centre for Mental Health Services Development and NIHR Global Health Group) at Queen Mary University of London, and a Lecturer at the Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar Institute at the University of Porto in Portugal.

She is enthusiastic in making the most of technology to connect people. In her current research, she has been exploring social relationships between people with psychosis and volunteers in 3 European countries and through different formats (face-to-face or digitally). In consultation with people with mental illness and community volunteers, she developed an intervention ‘Phone Pal’ to remotely connect patients and volunteers over a smart-phone, tested in a feasibility trial. For this work, she was nominated by Columbia University featuring in the Top 100 Innovative Women Leaders in Global Mental Health, and was distinguished with a Fellowship by the World Association of Social Psychiatry.

During her medical studies in the University of Porto she studied abroad for two years (in Italy and Poland), and won a prize from the European Commission “Erasmus Student 2 million - Erasmus, Success Stories”. She kept passionate about mobility and collaborated with the European Commission writing the Erasmus+ Generation Declaration, which she presented at the European Parliament about the future of this program.

She is past president of the European Federation of Psychiatric trainees (EFPT) and has been the Principal Investigator and study manager of the EFPT Brain Drain Study, researching mobility experiences of psychiatric trainees in 33 European countries.

She also has clinical and research experience in Africa, where she was screening alcohol, smoking and other substances involvement in primary and mental health care users in Luanda, while studying for the International Master on Mental Health Policy and Services at the New University of Lisbon supported by the WHO.

She has several leadership roles, being the Chair of the Early Career Psychiatrists Section at the World Psychiatric Association, Chair of the Early Career Psychiatrists Committee at the European Psychiatric Association, and the Vice-President of the Portuguese Association of Researchers and Students in the United Kingdom (PARSUK).


At Queen Mary University of London:

  • MBBS medical undergraduate teaching (Problem Based Learning)
  • OSCE examiner


At East London NHS Foundation Trust

  • Journal Club Coordinator
  • Supervision of foundation/core/higher trainees and medical students


At the University of Porto:

  • Lead of the Forensic Psychiatry Module at the Legal Medicine Masters at the Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar Institute at the University of Porto in Portugal
  • Supervision of undergraduate and postgraduate students (MSc)


Research Interests:

2019 – 2020 Principal Investigator, East London NHS Foundation Trust, EFFIP (E-support for Families and Friends of Individuals affected by Psychosis): A randomised controlled trial of a co-produced online intervention for carers (CI: Dr Jacqueline Sin)

2018 - 2020 Chief Investigator, Phone Pal study, funded by the East London NHS Foundation Trust, supported by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration for Leadership in Applies Research and Care (CLAHRC) North Thames

2015 - 2018 Researcher, Volunteering in Mental Health Care for People with Psychosis, NIHR PGfAR (RP-PG-0611-20002) (CI: Professor Stefan Priebe)

2015 - 2016 Chief Investigator, Sexual Health European survey (in the Postgraduate Training in Psychiatry, Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Urology and Endocrinology)

2013 - 2014 Chief Investigator, EFPT Brain Drain study (migratory tendency of psychiatric trainees in 33 European countries)

2013 - 2014 Chief Investigator, ASSIST (Alcohol, smoking and substance involvement screening test) study in primary and mental health care users in Luanda, World Health Organization (WHO), Angola


Research Groups:

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ORCID 0000-0002-5966-5723