DescriptionThe 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.