Who can take part

Everyone can take part in research. You can get involved if you are affected specifically by the health condition being studied. But you can also take part if you have an unrelated health condition, or even if you don’t have a health condition at all.

Why everyone should participate in health and care research

Every day in the UK, someone receives a diagnosis for a disease or health condition. The treatment, care and support they receive will be shaped by research. That’s why we need everyone to take part.

Find out more about the impact taking part could have

The following video explains why we need people of all ages and backgrounds, from all over the UK to take part in research. Read the video transcript for 'Who can take part in health and care research'.

Your role in a research study

Why we need people who have the condition that’s being studied

Participating in research can help people live healthier and better lives - now and in the future.  But new health and care discoveries could not happen without the involvement of participants who have the condition being studied. 

It is vital that all new treatments are thoroughly tested amongst people affected by that condition. This is so healthcare professionals can be sure that the treatment works well – and provides the best option for patients.

Why we need people who don’t have the condition that’s being studied

Researchers sometimes need people who aren’t affected by the condition being studied, as their health data can be used as a comparison. If this is you, your contribution will help us understand more about what works and what doesn’t for people affected by the condition being studied.

It’s important you check the eligibility requirements for each study, as some may require you to have no health conditions at all.

Explaining the term ‘healthy volunteer’

You may see certain studies refer to people without a diagnosis as ‘healthy volunteers’. 

The term healthy volunteer can mean different things depending on the study in question. For some studies, a healthy volunteer may be someone who has no health conditions at all. While for others, it may be used to describe someone who has a health condition - but one that’s unrelated to the specific study.  

That’s why you must always check the inclusion criteria for each study.

How you can check each study’s eligibility requirements

Taking part in research is something we can all do. However, each study will have its own eligibility requirements. You’ll find these in the ‘who can take part’ section of each study listed on this website. All studies can be found using our search for a study tool.

It’s important you check these requirements before you apply. There may be restrictions depending on your age, medical history or gender.

Interested in finding out more

What to expect on a study

Health and care research comes in various forms, depending on the study’s goals. Get an idea of what you can expect before, during and after taking part in research.

Find a study

Want to help shape the future of health and care? Find out how you can use our website to find a suitable study.

Supporting research without taking part in a study

There are a variety of reasons why you might not want to take part in a health and care research study. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t support health and care research.

Discover other ways you can support research