The Citizen Scientist project was launched in September 2012 and is an innovative public engagement in research initiative. The web based system allows people to find out about health research in their local area and to seek opportunities to take part in research studies. This unique approach allows people to find out about studies that might suit them and to self refer into the studies by approaching their clinician or the researchers directly. It puts the choice with the patient. By making research more accessible in this way, the project aims to increase awareness, understanding and acceptance of  research. Our aim is to build a community that is fully engaged with health research and improve on the way volunteers are recruited into studies.

A broad range of studies are included on the site, and include those from NHS, local Academic institutions and Public Health bodies. The design of the project was determined after public consultation to assess public understanding of health research and preferred ways for accessing research opportunities. The project team works closely with a project group,  which includes members of the public; who as well as commenting on the structure of the project, contribute  with dissemination of information,  presentations and attendance at community events.

Members of the public  are asked to feedback on their experiences of being involved in research so that we can make improvements to the way research is communicated and delivered locally.

Public involvement in research

Our members are encourage to indicate a preference for public involvement activities. They also indicate their preferred areas of interest with respect to health conditions, healthy volunteers or questionnaire based activities. In this way we can support researchers who are looking for people to take part in involvement activities. A researcher can request a call for participants which goes out to our members. We can advertise the call through a number of means and use a variety of supportive technologies to allow people to access the information. Once members indicate an interest in the involvement activity, we then support the research to carry out meaningful involvement and to report back a summary of the activity which we in turn report back to our members.

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Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, Research and Development, Summerfield House, 544 Eccles New Road, Salford M5 5AP

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Greater Manchester, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, University of Manchester, The University of Salford, University of Bolton, Manchester Metropolitan University, Salford CCG, Salford CVS, Salford City Council, Salford Public Health and Wellbeing Baord, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, Manchester Academic Health Science Network, Public Health England (Health Protection Agency) Salford Citizen Scientist Advisor Group

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