How to join in

Join a study

There are many different types of research studies that you can take part in. You can ask your GP or hospital consultant about any clinical trials or other well designed studies that you may be suitable for.

A research study might take place in a hospital, at your GP practice, in the community or in your home. You might be asked to be part of a large national study which involves tests and samples or to complete a questionnaire or talk to researchers.

People in Research is a collaboration between NIHR INVOLVE and the UK Clinical Research Collaboration, and helps research organisations and researchers find members of the public to get actively involved in their work by enabling them to advertise their opportunities.

You can sign up to receive emails when new opportunities are added and you can choose which types of opportunity, by subject, location, whether suitable for a beginner or can be done from home. Visit peopleinresearch.org to find opportunities and help shape a research project.

Find out about clinical trials on the UK Clinical Trials Gateway (UKCTG)

As well as helping researchers find suitable people for their trials, the UK Clinical Trials Gateway (UKCTG) provides relevant information about how clinical trials work, and why you might join one, to help you decide whether you want to take part. Visit UKCTG for help and resources.

Sign up to the NIHR BioResource

The NIHR BioResource is a panel of thousands of volunteers, both with and without health problems, who are willing to be approached to participate in research studies investigating the links between genes, the environment, health and disease.

We want to understand more about the links between genes and disease and we need your help to do this. To find out more and to sign up, please visit the NIHR BioResource website.

Sign up to Join Dementia Research 

Join Dementia Research is a UK-wide service that makes it easy for anyone, with or without memory problems, to take part in dementia research and help accelerate progress in this vital area.

You can:

  • register your interest in taking part in research
  • find suitable studies in your area
  • let researchers know that you might be interested in taking part in their research
  • apply to become a Join Dementia Research Lay Champion

Suggest a research topic

Your ideas could help us to improve the health of the nation through research. Whether you are a patient, carer, service user or any other member of the public, we want you to let us know what ideas you would like us to consider for research. You can suggest a research question by filling in our online form.

Review a research application

Researchers applying for NIHR funding have to tell us what research they want to conduct and how they want to do it. Members of the public, clinicians, researchers, health economists and other professionals read and comment on this.

Sharing your knowledge and experience of living with a health condition, or using health and social care services, or as a carer of a service user can help us to improve the quality of the research that we fund and make it more relevant to the needs of patients and carers.

As a public reviewer, you’ll use your experience of health and social care services as a patient or carer of a service to bring a unique perspective to assessing research funding applications.

We are always interested to hear from members of the public who would like to become reviewers. To find out more or to register your interest, please contact us.

Join an advisory committee

We involve members of the public in the work of decision-making committees.

This is how a former public member described their role:

"My role on the committee was to provide a patient and public perspective when evaluating research proposals for funding. PPI members have valuable experiences and perspectives that complement those of healthcare professionals, hence ensuring delivery of public benefit. I was treated as an equal and integral part of the committee and my contributions were respected." Former public member

Please check our Opportunities page for current vacancies. Alternatively, you can visit the People in Research website for other involvement opportunities.

Become a patient research ambassador

We would like to involve both patients and NHS researchers to recognise the importance of research in delivering health care. As a Patient Research Ambassador you can help to ensure that people using local NHS care have the best opportunities and choices about taking part in research studies.

Find out more.

Join our Public Involvement Virtual Network

The NETSCC PPI team have established a diverse team of people with a variety of backgrounds and experiences who are available to give our staff a quick response and input into one-off pieces of work.

They are called the Public Involvement Virtual Network (PIVIN).

Work already completed by PIVIN members include:

  • Commenting on NIHR public reviewer guidance.
  • Contributing to the re-development and evaluation of the NIHR website.
  • Commenting on various procedures, policies and guidance.
  • Taking part in the co-production of some interactive learning materials.
  • Writing a (one-off) blog for the website about a public contributor’s own experience of being involved.
  • Contributing to a helpful list of Top Tips for reviewers and discussing the format.

Gemma House,  NETSCC PHR funding senior research manager, has previously approached the group for their feedback on her work:

‘Two members of the PIVIN group commentated on the revised Application and Funding external reviewer draft emails templates. Their comments were very useful and helped sculpt the emails into a more acceptable and friendly format.’ 

PIVIN group member Dave Green said:

‘The work so far has been very interesting. I’ve made a number of contributions to the Top Tips for reviewers and I've  proof read an NIHR leaflet on how the public can make research suggestions. My interests are in all aspects of PPI with a special interest in how PPI is incorporated into research teams.’ 

Public PIVIN members will serve for a limited tenure. We will advertise here and in our NIHR Patients and the Public Newsletter for further members as vacancies become available.

Ways to get involved with the Research Cycle 

You can get involved in a whole range of research activities, including helping to develop research questions, applying for funding and ethical approval, sitting on advisory groups, carrying out the research and disseminating the research findings. Find out more.

Support and resources 

See our support and resources for getting started.