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How do I get involved in research projects?

New research can’t be done unless the right people volunteer. Your doctor, a researcher or your local Social Services may contact you directly to ask you to help them, but you don’t have to wait to be approached. There are a number of different ways you can get involved in research:

  • Contact your GP or rheumatology team – they may need people for their own research or can advise you on where to look for volunteering opportunities.
  • Speak to your local hospital’s ethics committee to find out whether they’re recruiting for members.
  • Become a member of a support group or organisation. Some larger patient support groups train their members to do their own research, and many charities need people to sit on their research committees. A researcher may also approach support groups to find people who want to get involved with their project.
  • Reply to local or national adverts recruiting people.
  • Contact organisations that commission research. If they don’t have anything available, you can leave your details so they can contact you in the future.
  • Visit People in Research and Involve, which support public involvement in medical research.

There are more organisations in Where can I find out more about taking part in research? Some of the websites allow you to search for research projects by topic and area.

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