Why taking part matters

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 taking part in health and care research matters.

Improve the health and care provided by the NHS

Around a million people take part in vital health and care research in the UK every year. Their contributions help others live healthier and better lives, both now and in the future.

This research helps to improve the care provided by the NHS. It’s the driving force behind new advances in medicine, helping find new cures and better treatments for all. But it’s the people who take part in health research who make these vital discoveries possible. You can read inspiring stories about research participants on this page.

A treatment could be a medicine, a vaccine, surgery, radiotherapy, or physical and psychological therapies. Research is also key to finding new and better ways of diagnosing diseases. 

Find out more about health and care research

The following video explains why we need more people to take part. Read the video transcript for 'Why be part of health and care research'.

What’s in it for you as a participant?

There are a variety of different reasons why you may want to take part in research, such as:

  • making a difference by helping to improve treatments and quality of life, now and for future generations
  • supporting health research for a particular condition or disease that you care about
  • access to new treatments
  • taking an active role in your own health and care

Your experience matters

Through our research experience survey for participants, we aim to put the experience of the people who take part at the heart of all studies. The survey provides an opportunity for participants to share their experience of taking part in research.

This year the report found that:

  • 95% of participants either agreed or strongly agreed that research staff treated them with courtesy and respect
  • 91% of patients who took part in research would consider taking part in research again
  • 91% of patients felt valued by researchers for taking part

It was easy to take part, well organised and I got to have tests and imaging analysis that I wouldn't get other than as a research participant.”

- Research participant, 2022-23 NIHR Participant in Research Experience Survey

How research tackled COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic highlights exactly why getting involved in research matters.

Research enabled the rapid development and roll-out of life saving COVID-19 vaccines – helping us to return to normal life. The impact that research has had on the COVID-19 pandemic is yet another example of why taking part matters. 

Find out more about our COVID-19 research.

How health and care research is benefitting lives

In the video below three people who took part in research share the impact it had on their lives. Read the video transcript for 'Be Part of Research and help to shape the future'

What you can expect

Find out more about the process most studies take, and what you can expect before, during and after you take part. 

Inspired to take part in research?

Why not search for a study, learn why we need everyone to take part or register to be matched to suitable studies. 

Find a study today.