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Every year, the NIHR runs a campaign to coincide with International Clinical Trials Day on 20 May. The campaign is now called ‘Be Part of Research’ and is intended to:

  1.  Communicate the value of research to patients, carers and the public
  2. Encourage patients, carers and the public to find opportunities to be part of research, such as by participating in studies or by being involved in the design, conduct or dissemination of research
  3. Encourage healthcare researchers, professionals and other specialists to promote participation and involvement opportunities to patients, carers and the public 

How can you be part of the campaign?

Some ideas, recognising that not all of them will be applicable for all parts of the NIHR.

  1. Hold an event - We’re inviting trusts and partners to help us promote research by holding an event for the public on or around 20 May. We will provide details of the materials available to support your event (such as bunting, posters and leaflets) in early April. 
  2. Spread the word on social media - Help raise awareness of research through your social media channels using #BePartofResearch. We’ll be providing sample content as well as social media boards that members of the public and staff can use to share messages about research. 
  3. Showcase your research - Help inspire people to take part in research by telling them about your studies or asking your participants to share their experiences.  Connect with NIHR communications teams in your region using the details at the end of this brief, to share case studies or details of your events. They may be able to help promote your activities or stories further,  such as through social media. 
  4. Support the mock study - We’re aiming to demystify research and reduce the barriers that prevent people taking part in studies by creating a mock study. You can promote the national study that we’re creating online. Alternatively, you’ll be able to use materials that we’ll provide to run a mock study at your event.  Look out for further information and resources to help you and your patients to get involved.
  5. Showcase patient and public involvement (PPI) - The campaign period in May offers a high-profile reference point for: recruiting people to your panels or groups; community involvement and engagement; publicising advice on PPI for researchers;  promoting PPI grants for researchers; sharing experiences of being involved in the design, conduct or dissemination of research; telling people about how patients and the public have shaped and improved your research. 

Key messages for patients, carers and the public

  • Research is how the NHS and local authorities learn how to make health and social care better.
  • There are lots of types of research, from lifestyle surveys to drug trials.
  • And it can be paid for in different ways - by government, charities and commercial organisations. Did you know that commercial research generates millions of pounds for the NHS? 
  • Research needs people from all over the country, of different ages and backgrounds, to participate or otherwise get involved. These could be people who have health problems and people who don’t.
  • There are lots of ways to get involved. You can join a study in your community or local hospital - over a million people did this last year - or even have a say on what gets funded.
  • Take part in our mock study and find out how participating in research improves health and care for all.
  • Visit Be Part of Research or the NIHR website to find out how you can be part of research through participation or involvement or ask a healthcare professional.
  • Wednesday 20 May: International Clinical Trials Day