How to take part

Taking part in a study

You can use Be Part of Research to search for a study that you may want to take part in. There are a number of ways you can do this:

  • Use the search bar at the top of the page to search for a health condition, to view all of the research taking place in that area.
  • Search for a location using a place name or a postcode to see all of the research taking place there.
  • Use both the conditions search and location search together to narrow your search down to your chosen condition in your area.

If you're unsure what to search for, you can visit our A-Z list of conditions, showing you where research is taking place.

You can filter your search results, by age range and distance to help find the right study for you. On the study details page, you'll find more information about what the study involves, who can take part and who is running the study.

To take part, you can contact the study team via the link to their website or contact details on the study page. The study team will be your point of contact from here.

Here are some good questions that you can ask study teams to get you started if you're unsure.

Did you know, you don't need to have a diagnosis to take part in research? Take a look at our information about volunteering without a condition to find out more.

Provide a sample to the BioResource bank

The NIHR BioResource is a large bank of biological, clinical (e.g. medical records) and neuroimaging information (e.g. brain scans) that is used for research into a wide range of conditions.

If you decide to join the NIHR BioResource you will donate a blood or saliva sample, from which your DNA can be taken. You'll be asked to complete a healthcare questionnaire and consent form so you can be matched to specific research studies.

Support research without taking part in a study

Research Champions

NIHR Research Champions volunteer their time to help spread the word about health and care research to the public.

Anyone can be a champion, as long as you are enthusiastic about health research and are comfortable talking to people about it. Many current champions have previously taken part in studies and use their experience to support potential research participants.

James Lind Alliance

The James Lind Alliance brings together patients, carers and clinicians to identify unanswered questions so that health research funders know the issues that matter most to people. The Alliance also addresses any mismatch between what researchers want to research and the practical information that is needed by patients and healthcare professionals.

People in Research

People in Research hosts a range of opportunities including working with research funders, joining a project steering group or developing materials for a research study.

Simply browse these opportunities and respond to anything that you might be interested in. You can also sign up to receive an email alert when a new opportunity is added that matches your preferences.

Read study summaries and review Alerts on NIHR Evidence

NIHR Evidence takes the results of NIHR-funded research studies and summarises them in plain English, to make it easy to understand. Our research summaries are accurate and up-to-date.

We need people like you to help us
review research findings so that we can make them easy to understand for everyone. You can help decide which research results should be shared as an Alert on our NIHR Evidence website.

You can keep up to date with different ways of getting involved by following NIHR Involvement and NIHR Evidence on Twitter.

Take an online course

The NIHR has two free online courses for the public to learn more about health research. What is health research? and Improving healthcare through clinical research, both courses that are ideal for anyone new to research who would like to learn more.

Other UK research registries

If you’re interested in finding out about more research in the UK, you can register with a specialised or local service. By registering, you increase your chances of taking part in a study.


Before you go

  1. Talk about it - take some time to talk about any research opportunities with family or friends.
  2. If you are interested in taking part in research you can find out what happens on a study and who will support me.