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Case study: 'I've always wanted to take part in research'

'I've always wanted to take part in research'

The NIHR Patient Recruitment Centre: Leicester, is delivering a COVID-19 vaccine trial. Dan is taking part and tells us about his experience…

“I’ve always wanted to be involved in a research trial,” Dans says, “and given the essential role that research is playing in our efforts to tackle the threat of COVID-19, now seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to put myself forward. I’m proud to be taking part in a vaccine study.”

The phase 3 vaccine trial, which is being delivered across multiple sites including the NIHR Patient Recruitment Centre: Leicester, is testing the safety and effectiveness of a two-dose regimen of a new COVID-19 vaccine. 

Dan’s role at the CRN East Midlands means that he is working to ensure that research studies across the East Midlands are delivered efficiently and effectively. He says that his involvement means that as well as supporting vital research, he is also using the experience to identify any challenges that could inform the delivery of future research.

“It’s really important that we are continually learning from people’s experiences to make improvements to research practices,” he says. “By taking part in one of the first research studies at the new NIHR Patient Recruitment Centre: Leicester, I am able to get an insight into how research looks from a participant perspective.”

Dan adds that he was impressed by his experience at the new facility. “It’s a nice, modern facility that feels very slick, and precautions have been taken to ensure that participants do not feel at risk going there,” he explains. “The staff I dealt with were excellent and explained everything in detail, which really helped to put me at ease.”

Following his first visit where he received either the vaccine or a placebo injection, Dan now uses an electronic diary to record any daily symptoms that he has, which he believes is a step forward for research. "We need to make the most of the digital solutions available to us, and using a digital diary makes things easy for both participants and staff,” he says. This is also an effective way to reduce face-to-face interaction during the pandemic.

Dan believes that more people should put themselves forward to take part in COVID-19 vaccine research. “It’s really important that we continue to do further trials, even following the positive recent news,” he adds. “Taking part is an incredibly positive, worthwhile experience and gives you the knowledge that you are contributing to something that can save lives.”

For more information and to register to support COVID-19 vaccine research, visit