Are you a member of the public involved in the work of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)?

Would you like more information on how payment of fees and expenses for being involved in research might affect your state benefits?

Contact our new, free, confidential advice service run by Bedford Citizens Advice Bureau, launched 29 January 2015.

Please note that benefits guidance and tax legislation been subject to considerable change/reinterpretation since 2019. Any INVOLVE documents referring to the payment of involvement fees may now be out of date and are pending a review during 2020. INVOLVE’s guidance should not be substituted for professional advice, and INVOLVE accepts no liability for decisions or actions taken as a result of its guidance. You are always recommended to take your own tax, finance or legal advice.

Who can use the Benefits Advice Service?

If you are a member of the public involved in an NIHR organisation, or in a research project funded by the NIHR, you can use the service. There are different ways you might be involved, such as in reviewing research funding applications, as a member of an NIHR board or panel, or working with an NIHR funded research team or study.

What does the Benefits Advice Service offer?

The benefits advice service is free and confidential to use. When telephoning the service you will be able to speak to a specialist Welfare Benefits adviser at Citizens Advice Bedford. You will be required to provide information regarding your circumstances and then the benefits adviser will usually call you back. All information given is confidential and will not be shared with any third parties without your express written permission, including sharing any information with INVOLVE.

The service:

  • provides advice based on the benefits you are receiving, to help you decide if and how you want to get involved in research or receive payment for your involvement
  • supports you should you need to make contact with the Department for Work and Pensions, or other benefits agencies about your involvement work.

How can I contact the Benefits Advice Service?

Contact INVOLVE by email or phone 020 8843 7117. Tell us the name of the NIHR organisation you are involved with, or the name of the NIHR programme funding the research project you are involved with. We do not need to know anything about your benefit situation.

We will give you an email address (or telephone number) so that you can contact the Benefits Advice Service directly. We will also give you a code. Please give this code to the service when you contact them.

The service prefers that the first contact is by email if possible. The service will then arrange a time to call you.

If you do not know if the organisation you are involved with is part of the NIHR, please contact the person who asked you to get involved. They should be able to advise you further.

Please note: 

The service is not able to give advice on tax or National Insurance queries or for benefits enquiries relating to payment for participating in research (for example, for taking part as a subject of a clinical trial or research study).