Health researcher

What is Research for the Future?

We are an NIHR CRN GM (National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network Greater Manchester) initiative to facilitate recruitment to NIHR portfolio studies and other NHS health research across the region using a ‘consent for approach’ model.

Research for the Future is provided in partnership with NIHR CRN GM, North West EHealth, Health Innovation Manchester and the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group.

Since the programme was established in 2011*:

  • More than 8500 people have registered their details and consented to be approached about future research opportunities
  • We have supported over 150 studies to recruit to a range of research opportunities, including clinical trials, observational studies and engagement opportunities such as focus groups and advisory panels
  • We have been recognised with a number of awards and commendations and have been invited to present to organisations including the NIHR, Quality in Care and Google
  • Feedback from research teams has been overwhelmingly positive with a variety of journals and other publications acknowledging the contribution we have made to recruitment.

* Figures correct at February 2020


Our ‘Help BEAT’ campaigns invite people living with certain health conditions to register to hear about relevant research opportunities.  Current campaigns include:

We are based in an NHS research and innovation department. Using standardised scripts, the team guide volunteers through the registration process, help maintain their details and make contact when opportunities become available to take part in research.

Volunteers are aged 18+years living with one or more of the ‘Help BEAT’ conditions. All are interested in participating in health research.

How can we help you ?

If you are looking for people to participate in diabetes, cardiovascular, renal or respiratory studies we can help you with recruitment.

We can help you to recruit to a wide range of research involvement and engagement opportunities including grant applications, clinical trials and other PPIE (patient and public involvement and engagement) opportunities.

Following initial contact, you will be required to complete the Research for the Future request form and return along with appropriate study documentation which might include the protocol, patient information sheet and ethics approval(s).

If you want to us to approach volunteers from our database to take part in your clinical trial or study, you will need to make sure this is included as part of the recruitment strategy and ethics approval is in place.

We will use the information provided to develop an invite outlining the study and commitment required.  This is sent to those volunteers who meet the broad inclusion criteria.  Those interested in taking part would contact you directly for further information and discuss eligibility.  We never pass any volunteer details to researchers/ research teams.

Opportunities are usually emailed directly to volunteers.  We are able to contact volunteers by telephone or post by request, although costs would need to be covered by the research team.  We also promote research opportunities on our website and via our social media accounts, you will need to make sure this is included as part of the recruitment strategy.

For more information or advice, please contact

Katherine Grady, Research for the Future Programme Development Manager via our contact page.

What other support can your research benefit from?

NIHR CRN GM is able to:

  • Assist you registering your study for NIHR support
  • Advise on the study approvals required to enable you to access Research for the Future volunteers and help you decide on the best approach to invite volunteers to participate in your study
  • Help your study’s feasibility and strengthen your funding bid.  NIHR CRN GM has access to a system called FARSITE.   This links to GP data systems and provides anonymised information about the number of people in primary care who meet the eligibility for a study.

These services are all provided free of charge.  For more information about the support available, please visit the NIHR CRN GM website.

Developing a new 'Help BEAT' campaign

We are often asked if we can add a new ‘Help BEAT’ campaign to the Research for the Future programme.

If you work in research and have identified our approach as a potential benefit to recruit to NIHR portfolio research cross Greater Manchester, then please contact us.

Our information sheet ‘Developing a new ‘Help BEAT’ campaign‘ has been produced to help guide you through the process.

Can you help Research for the Future?

We want to promote  ‘Help BEAT’ campaigns as widely as possible to encourage people to get involved in health research.  A variety of free promotional ‘Help BEAT’ resources are available on request.  These include laminated posters, leaflets, video and sample content for newsletters, websites and social media.  Research for the Future can also attend and provide an information stand at clinics, Trust open days, health fairs and patient support groups.