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Patients, carers and the public

Patients, service users, carers, communities and the public are essential to our work. You are our greatest strength and we could not do our work without your help. Involving you in our work is one of NIHR’s key aims.

There are many ways you can join in this effort, which you can find in these pages.

Take part in a study

Learn more about what’s involved in being part of a study, and how you can find the right study for you.

Find out other ways you can help with research

Your experience can shape research. Join a committee or become a research champion.

Find out how our research has helped patients

See how research has made a difference to patient care.

Our response to COVID-19

More than one million people have taken part in COVID-19 research across the UK. Taking part in COVID-19 research is vital to finding and testing effective treatments, diagnostics and vaccines, making these accessible to NHS patients as quickly as possible. There are a number of ways you can help:

  • if you have COVID-19 now, you can self enrol in the Principle study.
  • if you don’t currently have COVID-19, you can sign up to the NHS COVID-19 Vaccine Research Registry to let researchers know you are happy to be contacted about taking part in COVID-19 vaccine studies. Researchers are always learning more about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines and need the help of volunteers to find results.

We’re also working on restarting research across all research phases, treatment types and conditions, which was paused due to the pandemic. Our current priority is your safety when attending appointments and taking part in research. Read more about how we are keeping you safe in your research appointments.

NIHR regularly updates its resources for patients and the public and the Be Part of Research website, with new information. Here you will find frequently asked questions and links around COVID-19 research, including vaccine studies.

Every day thousands of patients, carers and the public go the extra mile to help NIHR make research happen. From taking part in clinical trials to working in partnership with researchers, clinicians and health professionals to improve the quality of our research, how it is designed, delivered and then used to change treatment and care.

Their contribution to our work since we started has been huge and we value it greatly. For it means we can do the best research which is most relevant to the health and social care needs of our diverse nation.

There are many ways you can join in this effort as you will find in these pages. Learn more about research.

Patient stories

Hear how taking part in health research can result in earlier treatment and can change peoples lives for the better.


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