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Jargon Description

A carer is a relative, friend or partner who provides (or intends to provide, or used to provide) a substantial amount of care to another person on a regular basis, but not necessarily through living with them.

Case Report Form

A printed, optical, or electronic document designed to record all of the protocol required information to be reported to the sponsor on each trial subject.

Chief Investigator

The person who takes overall responsibility for the design, conduct and reporting of a study if it is at one site; or if the study involves researchers at more than one site, the person who takes primary responsibility for the design conduct and reporting of the study whether or not that person is an Investigator at any particular site.

Clinical Advisory Group

Clinical Advisory Group is a national group which providing formal clinical advice to ministers, the CAG tested the scope of each specialized service against the four factors in the Health and Social Care bill to determine whether a service were truly ‘specialized’ or not.

Clinical Guideline

A systematically developed statement for practitioners and participants about appropriate health care for specific clinical circumstances.

Clinical Research

Clinical research aims to find out the causes of human illness and how it can be treated or prevented. This type of research is based on examining and observing people with different conditions and sometimes comparing them with healthy people. It can also involve research on samples of blood or other tissues, or tests such as scans or X-rays. Clinical researchers will also sometimes analyse the information in patient records, or the data from health and lifestyle surveys.

Clinical Trial

Clinical trials are research studies involving people who use services, which compare a new or different type of treatment with the best treatment currently available. They test whether the new or different treatment is safe, effective and any better than what already exists. No matter how promising a new treatment may appear during tests in a laboratory, it must go through clinical trials before its benefits and risks can really be known.


Collaboration involves active, on-going partnership with members of the public in the research process. For example, members of the public might take part in an advisory group for a research project, or collaborate with researchers to design, undertake and/or disseminate the results of a research project.


A commissioner is the person (or organisation) who asks for a piece of research to be carried out.


Commissioning usually involves identifying funding for a piece of research, preparing a research brief, advertising the research topic, selecting a shortlist of researchers who apply to undertake the research, arranging for proposals to be peer reviewed, making a decision about which researchers are going to be awarded the funding and agreeing a contract.

Commissioning Board

A Commissioning Board is a group of people who oversee the commissioning process. It is made up of research funders, researchers, health and/or social care professionals and often includes people who use services and carers.


During a research project, the researchers must put data protection measures into place, to ensure that all of the information collected about the participants is kept confidential. This means that the researchers must get the participants’ written permission to look at their medical or social care records. It also means that any information that might identify the participants cannot be used or passed on to others, without first getting the participants’ consent. For example, when researchers publish the results of a project, they are not allowed to include people’s names. This confidentiality will only be broken in extreme circumstances: where it is essential for the person’s care, treatment or safety, where it is required by a court order, e.g. in a criminal investigation, or it is necessary to protect the public.


Consultation involves asking members of the public for their views about research, and then using those views to inform decision-making. This consultation can be about any aspect of the research process –from identifying topics for research, through to thinking about the implications of the research findings. Having a better understanding of people’s views should lead to better decisions.


The term consumer is used to refer collectively to people who use services, carers, organisations representing consumers’ interests, members of the public who are the potential recipients of services, groups asking for research to promote good health or because they believe they have been exposed to potentially harmful circumstances, products or services.