How to get involved

Involving patients and the public in research is pivotal to our vision of achieving the best access, experience and outcomes for our patients and staff, and for our research to make a major impact in improving the care of our local populations and beyond.

There are many ways you can help to shape our research and you can be involved as much or as little as you want. If you are interested in finding out more about shaping research at the Royal Free London, then please email

Five good reasons to participate in research

  1. Better health outcomes for you and other patients
    Evidence suggests patients who receive care in research-active hospitals have better health outcomes than patients who are treated in hospitals that are less research active or do no research at all, so by joining the research community you are actively helping to drive up the standard of healthcare for yourself and other patients.
  2. Access to newer and possibly more effective treatments
    Patients who take part in clinical trials may receive experimental treatments that go on to become a breakthrough for their condition when the trial is complete, and the results are published.
  3. An enhanced patient experience 
    From the care you receive whilst being part of research to the feeling of helping to inform the treatments of tomorrow, our research patients often tell us that their experience of taking part in research at the Royal Free London has been positive. 
  4. Additional interaction with your clinicians
    During trials people often have more regular check-ups, tests and support from doctors and nurses.
  5. Benefit future generations
    By taking part in clinical research, you may not gain any personal clinical benefit, however, you will be helping to establish an evidence base for the treatments of tomorrow which will benefit future generations.

How to participate 

Your doctor or nurse may offer you the opportunity to take part in research and refer you to a research team to be considered for a study. 

Alternatively, if you are interested in taking part in research but have not been approached, or you have a particular illness or ailment and you would like to find out about research in that area, feel free to ask your doctor or nurse if there are any studies for which you may be eligible.

You can also register your details on the National Institute for Health and Care Research website and it will send you information on studies that match your interests.

We conduct clinical research across a diverse range of clinical specialities including cancer, liver and kidney failure and transplantation, heart disease, musculoskeletal conditions, infectious diseases and rare disorders such as haemophilia, amyloid and lysosomal storage disorders. 

If you are keen to take part in research but are unsure if the speciality that looks after you is involved, please always ask your clinician or contact the research and development team at who will be delighted to guide you.

Ashleigh's story

"With regards to my experience of the Rio trial, I have to say it has been overwhelmingly positive. I was at a dark place when I started and was just about to start therapy so I saw both therapy and the trial as an opportunity to reset the unhealthy relationship I had with my HIV status and begin again in a more positive manner, as well as wanting to give something back to a hospital who have treated me for years with nothing short of compassion and superlative health care.

"I was immediately struck by the friendly, enthusiastic and engaging team I was to work with and their passion shone through. I have never once been treated as a patient or a number during the trial which remains ongoing. It has been a fully inclusive, supportive and nurturing experience and journey. My health has always been considered at every stage and choices and options always fully explained and discussed to ensure I understood what was being asked of me. More than once during the trial I have had some health issues and these were addressed immediately. regardless of the fact that they were not related to, or as a result of, the trial. The level of care and empathy has been simply exemplary.

"From a personal perspective to be part of such a potentially historic trial is a privilege and an opportunity I do not take for granted. I am immensely grateful to my wonderful doctor, who put me forward for this.

"The impact on my wellbeing has been tremendous with a new zest for life and living again and I have made considerable peace with my HIV and am sharing my condition with far more people with far more confidence.

"To be off my HIV medication is of course amazing and I had not realised that the taking of daily medication was an unconscious reminder. I certainly did not expect to exceed six months undetectable following the infusion yet at the second infusion one year after the first, I remained undetectable and now a further six months on from that second infusion I continue to remain undetectable. It is nothing short of a miracle.

"I cannot recommend embarking on such a trial to others enough. It literally is life affirming, rewarding and with tremendous benefits to the person choosing to commence a trial.'