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How to find a study on UKCTG: a step-by-step guide

Use UK Clinical Trials Gateway to find research taking place in the UK, looking at any condition you are interested in. The guide below will tell you how to find this information.

  1. When you visit UKCTG you will find our search tool. Use this to find studies looking into a condition and/or location you are interested in. Type any keywords in the left-hand box (such as health condition or drug name, or even name of the organisation funding the trial).

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  2. Click on 'search', then you’ll be given a list of all the studies that meet your keywords.  

  3. On the right hand side, use the drop down list to change how the list is sorted. You can sort your results by distance, title, relevance and how recently the study details were updated.find a study image 3

  4. On the left hand side of the results page, a list of filters is provided. You can use this to reduce the number of studies displayed to you. You can filter by age, gender, distance, condition, and whether the study is currently looking for participants (see here for an explanation of different trial statuses).

  5. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, here are a few tips to improve your search results:
      • Search for phrases as well as words: If you want to search for a specific phrase of two words or more, you can use double quotation marks around your search term. E.g. “vascular dementia”, “irritable bowel syndrome”, “migraine headaches”
      • Try similar search terms: Experiment with words with a similar meaning to your original words, such as ‘cardiac’ instead of ‘heart’. The medical dictionary from may help you.

      • Use wildcards: You can use the asterisk symbol (*), to specify part of a word. For example, to search for all words beginning with ‘cardi’ (including cardiac, cardiology and cardiologist), you might search for cardi*

      • Check your typing: Unlike many search engines, our system doesn’t yet provide suggestions when you mistype a search term, so be careful with spellings: a mistyped word can alter your results.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: UKCTG includes study informations from two databases: and ISRCTN. This means that if the study is listed on both registers, the same study may be listed twice in your search results. We apologise if this is confusing.

  6. To look in more detail at a study in the list, click on the study title or the ‘See Trial Details’ button.find a study image 6

  7. You will be taken to the main study page.find a study image 7

    In the middle of the page you’ll see four tabs with further information.

    Click on the headings to read more details in each.

      • Trial details - This give you information about what the study is looking at and what it involves for anyone participating.
      • Volunteer information - This tells you which people the researcher is looking for. ‘Inclusion criteria’ are the things researchers need all volunteers to have, and ‘exclusion criteria’ are things which mean that volunteers may not be suitable for that particular study. Use this information to see if you might able to take part in the study.
      • Contact and locations - Some studies take part in multiple locations in the UK. This tab will list them all and provide contact details for the different teams working on the study. Some sites list a more detailed address than others. If you want to know more about a specific location, please contact the study team.
      • Funding and other information - This will give details about who funds or sponsors the study.

  8. Once you’ve read all about what’s involved in the study, and checked to see if you meet the volunteer criteria, you can use the contact details on the study page to let the study team know you’d like to take part. At the top-right of the study page you’ll see the Primary Contact Details. Use this to get in touch with the team.

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    Alternatively, you may find contact details for the team running the research in your local area when you click on the ‘Contacts and Locations’ tab.

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  9. Let the study team know that you’ve seen their study listed on UK Clinical Trials Gateway and that you are interested in taking part.  

    NOTE: Each study will have its own processes for confirming people are suitable for the study and enrolling volunteers. Ask the study team to tell you what’s involved.