Participate in our research
To carry out our world-changing research, we need individuals to provide information about their health and other factors that can affect their lives.
Many advances in population health in the United Kingdom and beyond would not have been possible without individuals volunteering their time to advance research. If you are considering participating in a study, this page will help you understand what is involved.
What is a research study?
Our research programmes use data collected through a number of participant studies. These studies help us to learn more about a specific problem or answer a particular question. The information collected varies from study to study – typically questions might focus on the participant’s health, background or education. Once this information has been collected, it is collated and analysed by researchers in order to extract interesting and useful insight - which in turn can have a big impact on policy and practice.
Why should I take part in a research study?
While sometimes there may not be a direct benefit to you, there are many good reasons to take part in a research study. By participating, you will:
- Help researchers understand how a specific issue influences health and wellbeing
- Provide invaluable information that can help others in the future
- In some studies, you will be compensated for your time (normally by shopping voucher).
What happens to my data?
We are committed to conducting responsible research and maximising the use of publicly-funded data to improve health and wellbeing. We have developed a data sharing policy for all of our studies, with the aim of making data as widely and freely available as possible to researchers, while safeguarding the privacy of participants, protecting confidential data, and maintaining the reputation of the study. The criteria and process for accessing data varies according to each study, and further information can be obtained from the researcher conducting the study. You have the right to ask us for the data we hold about you.
Social Connections, Health & Wellbeing in Scotland
We are currently recruiting for:
• Adults aged 16 and older
• Who live in either Glasgow or the rural Highlands
to take part in a confidential survey aimed at understanding how social relationships relate to health and wellbeing. Participants will be entered to win a £50 voucher in exchange for their participation. For eligibility information, and to take part, please visit bit.ly/connectionsstudy.
Background: Loneliness and social isolation are growing concerns in the UK, with important implications for both physical and mental health. Rural areas face specific challenges to facilitating relationships between people who live remotely, and though there is increased interest across multiple sectors in alleviating loneliness and isolation, it is currently unknown if the circumstances surrounding loneliness and isolation differ between individuals living in rural or more urban environments. Efforts to reduce loneliness and social isolation that fail to account for the impact of place (e.g., rural settings), and the interconnections between place-based influences and personal circumstances, risk ignoring critical avenues for prevention.
This project: This project uses a place-based perspective and novel social network data to explore the impact of rurality and urbanicity on loneliness and isolation. Specifically, the study will collect data on participants from Glasgow and the Highlands. The primary aim of the study is to understand the extent to which characteristics of social networks relate to experiences of loneliness or social isolation, and explore whether rural or urban context amplifies or attenuates this relationship.