INCLUDE, making health research more inclusive

The NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) INCLUDE steering group, following discussions with key stakeholders, ongoing research and hosting a series of events, are delighted to have developed the following:

NIHR CRN INCLUDE Guidance (General)
NIHR CRN INCLUDE Guidance (COVID-19 specific)

Unfortunately there isn’t a simple way to say a group is under-served. It depends a lot on where research is happening, who lives in that area and the kind of place they live in (for example a care home or assisted living facility). Also, what the research study is about and the type of medicine being tested.

INCLUDE found that an under-served group is a group of people who are not normally included in research. They need to be considered when researchers are developing and designing their studies.

Some things that make a group under-served are:

· They are not included in research as much as they should be.

· They have health problems but there are no research studies for them to join.

· They may not want to go to the doctor or the hospital.


The INCLUDE guidance has been designed to be used in conjunction with research, particularly in the early stages of setting-up. The guidance aims to get research teams thinking about ways of making health research more inclusive and to ensure under-served cohorts are more fairly represented in health research.

What will I find in the INCLUDE Guidance?

This guidance summarises what an under-served group is, provides a roadmap suggesting intervention points to improve inclusion, examples of under-served groups and example barriers to inclusion. It then offers a suggested framework of questions to guide the deliberations of funders, researchers and delivery teams as they design and assess clinical research proposals, and ends with examples of good practice and other resources to guide teams seeking to engage with, and improve inclusion of, under-served groups in clinical research.


You will note that the second INCLUDE guidance document is COVID-19 specific. This guidance has been tailored to specifically meet the needs of COVID-19 research. Professor Miles Witham, national speciality lead for the NIHR Ageing Clinical Research Network (CRN) discusses the INCLUDE guidance in the video below.



Help us make a difference

To find out more about INCLUDE, please take a look at the NIHR CRN INCLUDE Project Summary which provides information to date on the INCLUDE project. Take a look at our new INCLUDE website for additional resources, information about partners and much more.

For enquiries or more information about INCLUDE, please contact Eleanor Anderson (NIHR CRN Project Coordinator) on

More information on INCLUDE website here