Young People's Role in Research

It is important we understand why some young people get sick and others do not. The BioResource is asking young people who aren’t sick, as well as those who have illnesses, to help with research.

Young person with Dr.

I am a young person. Can I help?

Yes! Without participants, research cannot progress. If you are between the ages of 11 and 15, with or without a health condition, we would like to ask you to help with this research by joining the Young People’s BioResource. There are already over 200,000 participants, mainly adults, in the BioResource.

Our aim is to continue in-depth research into long-term health conditions. This knowledge can then be transformed into treatments to help those affected. 


What do we do?

YPBR for young person page

What happens when I join?

If you give your assent (agreement) and your parent/guardian gives consent (permission) to join the Young People’s BioResource, you will be asked to donate a small saliva sample and complete a questionnaire about your health and lifestyle.

The saliva sample will be used to extract cells and DNA. This is so we can study how genes work to keep us healthy and their role in whether treatments work or not.

We will ask your parent/guardian to fill in a consent form that describes how your sample might be used in research. You will also need to fill out a form to confirm you agree to be involved. Finally, we’ll ask you and your parent/guardian to grant us access to your health, education and social care records. For more information on what your participation entails, please see our participants page.

In the Young People’s BioResource, both you and your parent/guardian need to agree that you can take part. When you join you might also be invited to future studies.

If you and your parent/guardian decide to take part, here are the steps you will take:


Saliva Samples

Although other BioResource programmes might be asking for a blood sample, the recruitment of Young People to the BioResource through schools is only asking you to provide a saliva sample. If you decide to take part, we will send you a saliva pot and you will be asked to spit into it. Then, your parent/guardian will post it back to us in the provided pre-addressed and pre-paid postage box and we will be able to look at the DNA in your spit.

Agreeing to Take Part

It is very important that both you and your parent/guardian are happy for you to take part in the Young People's BioResource. After you attend the information session, your parent/guardian will be asked to give permission for you to take part by signing a form – this is called giving ‘consent’. You will also be asked if you are happy to take part – this is called giving ‘assent’. If your parent/guardian does not give permission, you will not be contacted about taking part.

Stopping Taking Part

You and your parent/guardian can change your mind about taking part at any time and you don’t have to tell us why. If you would like to stop taking part, you can email us at or click this link and follow the steps.

Find out more & register your interest

Email us if you are interested in taking part or would like more information on the Young People’s BioResource.

You can download a PDF version of the following information here for 9-12 years and here for 13-15 years.

Young people