Who are Research Champions?
Research Champions are patients, carers, members of the public, people who have taken part in a research study before, as well as those who haven’t. Something that they all have in common is that they are passionate about getting more people involved in research so that we can develop better care and treatment for everyone.
Research Champions volunteer their time to help spread the word about health and care research to patients and the public, and especially those groups who are currently less likely to take part in research. They also help research and healthcare staff understand more about the experiences of those who take part in research.
Here are some of the activities Research Champions can be involved with:
- Speaking at local events e.g. International Clinical Trials Day (ICTD), staff training and early career researcher meetings
- Interviewed on TV, radio and by a science magazine to help raise public awareness of research
- Supporting the design, planning and delivery of Participant in Research Experience Survey
- Supporting the development of online Equality and Diversity in research learning resources
- Working with a nearby school to develop a poster about the benefits of research for the local hospital to use
What can Research Champions do?
What you contribute as a Research Champion can be shaped around your interests, skills and time. Some commit to regular activities while others may volunteer as opportunities arise.
These are some of the main roles that Research Champions do:
- Raising awareness of health and care research and encouraging people to take part, including family, friends and others they know
- Speak to patient and community groups about health and care research
- Help people find out about research studies they can take part in through Be Part of Research and Join Dementia Research websites
- Take part in local actions to mark International Clinical Trials Day and health awareness days
Hear from a Research Champion
Rizwan Rehman shares why he chose to sign up to help champion research and his role in the COVID-19 Young Ambassadors programme.
Be Part of Research
The Be Part of Research website provides an online service to help members of the public understand what research is and what it might mean to take part, as well as showing what research is currently happening across the UK.
Be Part of Research aims to help people make informed choices about taking part in health and care research and make sure everyone has the chance to get involved, if they want to.
The website enables you to:
- Search for current research studies taking place near you.
- Filter results easily by age or health condition.
Once you have found a study, you can see all the details including who to contact and ask to take part.
Whether you have been diagnosed with a condition or not, everyone can take part in research.
Join Dementia Research
The Join Dementia Research website provides a service which allows people to register their interest in taking part in dementia research and be matched to suitable studies.
The service is aimed at people with dementia and their carers, but anyone with and without dementia over the age of 18 can sign up, through an online form, over the phone or by post. People can also register on behalf of someone else.
Once registered people can decide whether they would like to take part in any studies they match to without obligation.
How can I become a Research Champion?
If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a Research Champion, or if your organisation would like to support a Research Champion then please get in touch with your local Research Champion lead.
Follow us on Twitter at @NIHRtakepart to find out how patients, carers and the public can get involved in research and use #researchchampions to learn about research champion activities.