Publish date: 11 October 2023

A new centre at UCLH launched today will work to ensure health research is accessible to everyone.

The Centre for Access to Research (CAR) brings together UCLH clinicians, UCL academics and patients to pool experience and expertise and initiate practical actions that researchers and clinical services can take to break down barriers to access.

The CAR, which is overseen by the Patient and Public Involvement team at the Biomedical Research Centre at UCLH, will identify and initiate work looking to find out what stops health research being accessible to all and what can be done to make it accessible.

The launch today, at the Camden Chinese Community Centre, was marked by a funding call for interdisciplinary teams to apply for a small grant to work up rigorous and competitive research proposals.

The aim is to take local action and build up an evidence base for ways of making research accessible to all which can be shared across the UK.

As yet, not all groups in society have the same access to participating (as a volunteer or participant in a study) in research or getting actively involved in research (by having a say in what researchers should investigate, or how a research study should be set up and delivered).

The vision of the CAR is that no section of society is excluded from participating in, inputting into, or benefitting from health research.

The centre was launched today at an event addressed by UCLH Chief Executive David Probert, UCLH Director of Research Prof Bryan Williams, and Managing Director of Research at UCLH and UCL Dr Nick McNally.

The centre will not be funding entire projects but partnership teams of patients, clinicians and academics can apply to the CAR for small grants (under £5000) to enable them to devote time and effort to design and develop robust and rigorous research proposals, including the gathering of pilot data, that establish a compelling case for further research and a competitive case for grant funding from other organisations.