How to get involved in research

There are many ways you can get involved to make a valuable contribution to research.

If you are interested in taking part in a research study, please visit our Current Clinical Research Opportunities page for information about available opportunities based on your diagnosis, situation or experience.

For other ways you can be involved in research, please see the information listed below.

We recognise the importance of communicating effectively about our research and creating opportunities for those with lived experience to be involved in research alongside healthcare professionals, academics and researchers. These approaches are collectively called Patient & Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE):

Patient: A person with lived experience of receiving support from services for a diagnosed health condition. The term ‘patient’ is the same as service user.

Public: People with lived experience relevant to understanding healthcare conditions (including carers).

Involvement: The process that allows those with lived experience of healthcare conditions to collaborate alongside healthcare professionals, academics and researchers, with the intention of improving healthcare research and delivery.

Engagement: The communication of knowledge about research.

For more information please email

The ARC is a network for staff, service users and carers, designed to:

  • keep you updated with the latest research findings.
  • allow you to hear about new and upcoming research studies.
  • provide opportunities for getting involved in research.
  • let you be the first to hear about R&D events and research-related training.

If you are interested in joining the ARC mailing list, please email us at

You can also get involved without playing a direct role in a study by becoming a member of the AWP R&D Committee, which meets four times a year in Bristol or online. Your involvement will make a real contribution towards mental health and dementia research, which can help service users, their carers and the public.

The purpose of the R&D Committee is to:

  • keep service users and their carers at the heart of what we do.
  • to consider how our decisions might affect service users and carers.
  • to ensure we achieve everything set out in the R&D strategy.
  • to monitor the progress, development, governance and performance of research across AWP.
  • to make sure we spend our money wisely.
  • to share information about research activities, events and publications.

We especially welcome input from staff, academics and other professionals. If you are interested in becoming a member of the committee, you can email our R&D Involvement Coordinator:

‘Join Dementia Research’ has been developed by The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), in partnership with Alzheimer Scotland, Alzheimer's Research UK and Alzheimer's Society. This service allows people to register their interest in taking part in dementia research and be matched to suitable studies locally and nationally. The service delivers new opportunities for people to play their part in beating dementia. Find out more on the Join Dementia Research website here 

If you are unsure about taking part in a study, there are other ways to get involved in the important work we support. This includes involvement in the various stages of a research study, such as research design, delivery, priorities, data analysis and sharing results.

To find out more about the opportunities to be involved, please see the current clinical research opportunities page.




There are publicly available guidelines and help from the following resources:

NHS Health Research Authority ‘Is my study research?’ tool: an online tool designed to help you decide whether or not your study is research, as defined by the UK Policy Framework for Health and Social Care Research, and based on information provided by the Health Research Authority Research Ethics Service.

NIHR Researchers page: Features advice and support on running your own study.

Research Design Service South West (RDS SW): Provides advice on how to turn an idea for research or a study into a funding application, with help from local RDS contacts.

Study Support Service: Assist Researchers and the life sciences industry to plan, set up and deliver research in the NHS and the wider health and social care environment, across England.

Research Capability Funding: Explains how the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) can fund NHS Trusts to undertake their own research and studies.

Akrivia Health enables organisations to securely work with the world’s largest and most in-depth dataset of structured psychiatric data. For more information, visit Akrivia Health here.

If you have questions regarding using Akrivia Health through AWP, please contact us: