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Taking part or getting involved in research

Last updated on 19 Mar 2018

Participation in research is where someone takes part in a research study, for example, being asked questions about their health condition or testing a new treatment in a clinical trial. People may be asked to consider joining a study by their GP or come across an advertisement to join a trial on a noticeboard or in a newspaper.

The NHS website NHS Choices has written some very clear information about taking part in clinical trials and issues to consider before taking part in health research.

Where can I find out about clinical trials and research taking place? 

If you want to find out about research that you can take part in it is OK to ask your doctor and there are some websites like Join Dementia Research that let you register to hear about opportunities.

How can I find out if a clinical trial or research study has been reviewed by a Research Ethics Committee?

It is the role of the HRA through the Research Ethics Committees it appoints in England to safeguard the safety, dignity, rights and well-being of people taking part in research.

The information you are given about taking part in a study should let you know that the study has been reviewed by a Research Ethics Committee.  The HRA publishes summaries of research approved by Research Ethics Committees in the UK. This information is available on our Research Summaries pages.

What is public involvement in research?

Public involvement in research is where research is undertaken ‘with’ or ‘by’ patients and the public rather than ‘to’ ‘for’ or ‘about’ them. Public involvement is not about taking part in research as a research participant or as a research subject.

Anne-Laure Donskoy, a HRA public contributor has written some information about public involvement and the different ways you can get involved in health and social care research.

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