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NIHR, CRN, South West Peninsula - Patients, Carers and the Public

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Be Part of Research

Patients, carers and the public play a vital role in the research we support. Research relies on people volunteering their time to take part as research participants, and we recruit thousands of people to studies the South West every year.

Every minute in the UK, someone is diagnosed with a disease or a condition. The treatment and support they will receive will, at some point, have been informed by research. Whether it’s testing a new medicine, a new surgery procedure or scan, or trying healthier lifestyle choices to prevent disease, everyone has an important role to play – if they want to.

There are lots of different types of research. Research usually involves examining and observing people with different conditions and sometimes comparing them with people who don't have the condition. It can also involve research on samples of blood or other tissues, or tests such as scans or X-rays.

Be Part of Research gives you the opportunity to find out more and to potentially take part in local research.


Make a difference through research

Join Dementia Research is a national service, which helps people find dementia studies in their area. The service is open to people with dementia or anyone who is interested in taking part in dementia research. Lots of studies need people without a diagnosis of dementia for comparison.

You can register for the service online, by phone or by post.

Contact one of the following charity partner helplines for more details:

Alzheimer's Research UK: 0300 111 5 111
Alzheimer's Society: 0300 222 1122
Alzheimer Scotland: 0808 808 3 000

What are Research Champions?

Research Champions volunteer their time to help spread the word about health and care research to patients and the public, and especially those groups who are currently less likely to take part in research. They also help research and healthcare staff understand more about the experiences of those who take part in research.

They are patients, carers, members of the public, people who have taken part in a research study before, as well as those who haven’t. Something that they all have in common is that they are passionate about getting more people involved in research so that we can develop better care and treatment for everyone.

What can Research Champions do?

What you contribute as a Research Champion will be shaped around your interests, skills and time. Some commit to regular activities while others may volunteer as opportunities arise. Research Champions may volunteer to get involved in some of the activities listed below:

  • Talk to patients and the public about health and care research e.g. by giving talks, hosting coffee mornings or hosting stands within the local community, visiting health services
  • Raise awareness amongst friends and family about research and being a champion for taking part in health and care research amongst people they know
  • Promote the Be Part of Research campaign to patient, public groups and help people find out about research studies they can take part in
  • Promote the Join Dementia Research website and the importance of dementia research to the public
  • Visit local health and care organisations to tell people about health and care research and encourage them to connect with local research teams
  • Take part in local actions to mark International Clinical Trials Day and health awareness days
  • Write about their experiences of participating in health and care research to share with the NIHR or other platforms
  • Speak to patient groups about health and care research

Contact our Participant Engagement & Involvement Lead Ali Potter ( | 01392 406912 if you’d like to discuss becoming a Research Champion.

We'd love to hear from you

Your experiences can help shape local research and inspire others. If you've taken part in research or been involved in supporting it in any way we would love to hear from you. If you're happy to share your experiences please contact our Communications Team at or 01752 431994.

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