NIHR INCLUDE online course

A new NIHR INCLUDE online course aims to help participants improve the inclusion of under-served groups in health research

Are you interested in improving the inclusion of under-served groups in health research, but not sure where to start? Have you ever wondered why it is so important to include under-served groups in health research? And what do we even mean by ‘under-served’? These questions – and more – can be answered by INCLUDE’s brand new online course, created in collaboration with the Workforce, Learning and Organisational Development Directorate and hosted on NIHR Learn. 

What is INCLUDE?

The INCLUDE project was commissioned in 2017 by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to explore how we can improve the inclusion of under-served groups in health research. Using the basis of INCLUDE’s vision, ‘better healthcare through more inclusive research’, the INCLUDE steering group developed the INCLUDE Guidance. The Guidance is a tool to support researchers, funders and study teams in working towards more inclusive research. It shares examples of good practice and resources to guide teams seeking to engage with, and improve inclusion of, under-served groups in health research. The NIHR Guidance forms the basis of this interactive online course and is supplemented by videos, quizzes, opportunities for reflection and access to useful resources.​

How can I access the INCLUDE online course?

We are delighted to announce that the course is now live! It is accessible online through NIHR Learn: For new users, you will be prompted to register at the login page. Upon completion of the registration form, you will then have access to the available learning opportunities including the NIHR INCLUDE course.

Who is the course aimed at?

The INCLUDE course is for anyone who has an interest in health research, inclusivity and the research lifecycle. The course is designed to help those who may be involved in the design and delivery of research. It can be applied across the whole of the research lifecycle from prioritising research questions through to dissemination of the results. It aims to get research teams, assessors, funders and reviewers thinking about ways of making health research more inclusive and to ensure under-served groups are more fairly represented in health research.​

What topics will I cover?

We have worked closely with colleagues in Workforce, Learning and Organisational Development Directorate to develop a course that will facilitate learning and engage meaningfully with our active health research community.

Through the INCLUDE online course, we will be looking at:

  • Topic 1: Why is it important to include under-served groups in research?
  • Topic 2: What is an under-served group?
  • Topic 3: Examples of under-served groups.
  • Topic 4: Examples of barriers to inclusion.
  • Topic 5: INCLUDE in practice: COVID-19 and Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement

Upon completion of this course, you will know:

  • Outcome 1: How to improve inclusion using a roadmap of suggested intervention points.
  • Outcome 2: How funders, researchers and delivery teams can improve inclusivity of study design and delivery by following a framework and guidance questions.​

Will I get a certificate?

Yes, once you have completed the course you will receive a certificate of completion. You will also have opportunities throughout the e-learning experience to reflect on content covered and add this to your e-journal. A copy of your reflection journal will be generated at the end of the course.​

How long will the course take?

T​he e-learning course should take around one hour to complete. You can leave the course at any time and return to where you left off.

How can I find out more?

For more information about INCLUDE or to share feedback about the course, please email Ella Anderson, INCLUDE Project Coordinator, at For a broad overview of the INCLUDE project and what it is setting out to achieve watch this video from Professor Miles Witham.