Information for Teenagers

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This page contains information about the type of work we do at the facility and what it is like to be a participant.

You can use this page to get a better understanding before you take part in a study.

You could also show this page to your friends and help them understand what it is like to take part in a trial and why you are doing it.

Background on clinical research in young people

In the past research in medicine has mainly been for adults. This is because there are more adults in the world and they are bigger than young people, so they need higher doses of medicine to get better.This meant it was more economical for the companies that produce the medicine to research and sell medicine for adults rather than for young people.

It is also a lot harder to try new medicine on young people due to ethical issues.

Because of these issues, doctors had to use a series of methods to give new medicine to young people, including:

  • Off-label drug – When a dosage of a medicine has been tested for adults, doctors might prescribe lower doses using their knowledge for young people.
  • Unlicensed drug – This is when a drug is given in a different form to how it is made. For example a large tablet might be ground down into a powder and mixed with a liquid. This makes it easier for young people to swallow.

However, there is now a new European legal requirement to test medicines on children and young people before they can be licensed. This is what our doctors and nurses are doing within the children’s clinical research facility.

What is our research about?

Our research doctors and nurses work with young people and families, to carry out all types of clinical research. We specifically focus on the testing of new medicines to ensure that they are safe and effective in children of all ages.We are based in the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, which means we have access to all of the hospital’s state-of the art equipment and resources.

This makes it possible for young people to take part in our studies alongside ongoing treatment.

The unit aims to promote a family-friendly and safe environment for young people and their families, supporting patient-focused clinical research where a day case or inpatient is required.

What is it like to take part?

Taking part in our research is normally similar to when you go into hospital for treatment.The facility is open 24 hours a day as some studies require overnight stays.

When you first arrive we will ask you and your family some questions to get an idea about your health and also your family’s health.

These questions might include the type and dose of medicine you take and whether you have any allergies.

We may also need to do a few tests such as measuring your height, weight and blood pressure. Samples of urine and blood may also be taken so we can run tests to find out more about your body

If you have any questions do not hesitate to speak to one of our team.

The type of treatment and tests differ depending on each study. In some studies you might have to take a new medicine and be asked, with the help of your parents, to keep a diary about how you feel when you take your medicine.

One of our main aims is to make sure every participant in the facility is comfortable and relaxed. By taking part in our research you may be helping ill young people in the future, which is something to be proud of.

A great online resource ( contains real life stories about young people taking part in clinical trials. You can find videos about a variety of different types of clinical trials and a forum for discussion with like minded people.

If you have any questions about taking part in a study or would like to get in contact with our team please email