Usher Institute

Take part

Many of the studies at the Usher Institute involve members of the public. Find out how you may be able to take part.


Research participants are members of the public who agree to participate in an approved study, and who meet the relevant eligibility criteria. 

Participation may take many forms; for example being interviewed, or receiving a novel form of treatment or care as part of an evaluation, or clinical trial.

COVID-19 studies

Some key COVID-19 studies from across the Usher Institute currently recruiting participants include:

  • ELVIS COVID-19 - Professor Aziz Sheikh and Dr Sandeep Ramalingam seek to investigate whether a simple salt water solution could reduce symptoms and transmission of COVID-19.

Read more on the ELVIS-COVID-19 study website.

  • Coronagenes - Professor Jim Wilson is leading an international volunteer project to help understand the genetics of susceptibility to and symptoms of coronavirus: why some people get sick and others don't.

Read more on the Coronagenes Study website.

  • COVIDENCE UK - Professor Aziz Sheikh is Scotland lead for this study, recruiting people over 16 years old across the UK for a study involving monthly questionnaires to dig into the longer term challenges following the COVID-19 pandemic, and to establish a platform for future research on coronavirus disease in the UK.

Read more on the COVIDENCE UK Study website

Thank you to all those who have participated in our research in the past.

Be involved on research teams

Involving and engaging members of the public in our research is an important part of our work. We host Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) groups that are open to members of the public with a particular interest in our research. These public volunteers work with our researchers to ensure that our research remains relevant, to help us to communicate our activities and to help plan and design the research of the future.

Some of our current Patient and Public Involvement groups are listed below.

Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research - Patient and Public Involvement groups

We have a Patient Advisory Group that includes over 130 people across the UK.  This group often provides feedback for our research programmes, as well as supporting other projects. Volunteers have opportunities to be involved at every step of the research process, from grant applications to the design of study materials, and sharing information about research findings.

We also have a group for children and young people, SPEAK Asthma.  SPEAK Asthma gives children and young people a way to collaborate with researchers on projects that are important to them.  SPEAK Asthma members enjoy getting to meet other young people with asthma and help make research better for young people.

We are keen to involve patient and lay volunteers in as many ways as possible, offering flexible ways of contributing. We find that many people enjoy creative opportunities such as helping at Science Festivals, networking with our researchers or designing leaflets.

Read more on the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research website

Join us for public events

Our researchers often take part in science festivals, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and other events throughout the year.

Many of our events are open to the public. Check our events page for upcoming seminars, talks and other events. 

If you are interested in joining any of the listed events but you are not sure on any details, or if they are open to you, please simply get in touch with us via email to

Usher Institute Events