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Participate Network

People with experience of a health condition, service users and members of the public can help to improve health research by joining our Participate Network.

If you join our Participate Network, you can get involved as little or as much as you want to. No particular skills or qualifications are needed to get involved; just an interest in health research and a willingness to share your experiences and views. We make sure nobody is out of pocket; we will pay your expenses. Members of the Participate Network can get involved in three different ways:

1. Research panel

If you have a particular health problem or issue.

We have three research panels:

  • Pain panel – for people with experience of living with chronic pain
  • Carers panel – for people with experience of caring for a relative or friend
  • Healthy living panel – for people who struggle to keep active and/or lose weight

At research panel meetings, about 8-10 people with experience of these conditions or issues talk to researchers about their ideas and plans. Their feedback and views are used to improve research studies.

Panel meetings are informal and interesting, even enjoyable! You will meet other people with similar experiences and interests. Some people say they gain confidence as well as new skills and knowledge.

2. Research partner

If you have a general interest in commenting on health research.

If you are interested in a variety of health research topics, you can become a Research Partner. Some Research Partners have a specific condition, some are already members of a research panel, others may not have any health problem.

Partners attend meetings and events, help researchers plan and design projects or help publicise research findings. Some comment on or review documents at home. Partners can be individuals or health related organisations.

We send Research Partners and Research Panel members regular information about health research opportunities that arise. Meetings are usually held at the University of Bath, and events may be in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon or Wiltshire. Information, support and training is offered to help you make the most out of your involvement.

3. Research study participant

If you are interested in taking part in specific studies or trials.

You may be interested in taking part in health research as a participant, and as a member of the Participate Network we will let you know about any studies that might interest you.

A research participant is somebody who agrees to take part in a research study. This might mean having your blood pressure or heart-rate monitored regularly, taking part in a new exercise programme or being one of the first people to use a new drug. Taking part can have benefits for individuals, as well as lead to new treatments or services in the future.

Join the Participate Network