Recruitment to clinical trials

Recruiting patients to clinical trials is an important part of clinical training and can begin in medical school.

Medical students are able to recruit patients to clinical trials following appropriate training, guidance and with appropriate supervision. We have compiled a list of clinical trials in the North-East who would consider having trainee doctors and dentists as recruiters. Please follow this link to an regularly updated list that can be sorted by specialty or hospital.

There are multiple opportunities to get involved in research studies. This may include as part of research collaborative or as part of a supervised project. The Student Audit and Research in Surgery (STARSurg) collaborative is a national, student-led audit and research network It empowers students to participate in high quality academic projects, forming links with supervising junior doctors and consultants. The STARSurg collaborative group has recruited thousands of patients to audit and research projects a link to their website where you can register to join their research collaborative is available from

Students wishing to recruit patients must first complete their good clinical practice training in either a face to face course or online. Courses can be booked via the NIHR Learn website. Access to NIHR Learn is openly available to staff who work for the NHS, UK universities and other publicly funded organisations conducting and supporting clinical research. You will need to create a free account using your NHS or University email account to access the learning content.

The Granule course is an online and face to face course specifically designed for medical students to learn the skills of clinical trial recruitment. It is recommended that medical students complete this before undertaking patient recruitment.

Keir is a haematology trainee at Newcastle Hospitals. He is the Local collaborator for the Haemstar Trainee research collaborative and the trainee representative for haematology for NIHR North-East and Cumbria. He explains how he became interested in clinical research and how the Haemstar trainee research collaborative are recruiting patients to clinical trials.