In its continuing efforts to raise patient and public awareness of research conducted in the NHS, the National Institute for Health Research’s (NIHR) Clinical Research Network (CRN) has launched a new section of its website featuring short films about the various people involved in National Health Service research activities.

In the ‘Research People’ videos at, members of the NHS research community explain “who they are, what they do, why they do it”, as the website puts it.

These research people are a chief investigator in Exeter; a GP (also Exeter); a Local Research Network manager (Birmingham); a patient (Norwich); a pharmacist (Truro); a research nurse (Leeds); a research operations manager (London); a clinical trial co-ordinator (Southampton); and a Youth Advisory Board member (Liverpool).

All of them filmed themselves with hand-held digital cameras at home, at work and on their travels. The result is a set of informal one- to four-minute films offering insights into the motivation and passion of those involved, as well as what clinical research entails and how it benefits NHS treatments and services.

“Although more than half a million patients took part in NIHR Clinical Research Network studies during 2010-11, many people are still unaware of what research involves,” commented Dr Jonathan Sheffield, chief executive of the NIHR Clinical Research Network.