Thirteen student nurses from the Mental Health and Learning Disability branches (Project 2000) of the School of Care Sciences at the University of Glamorgan volunteered to participate in a research study as research assistants. Participation of this kind represents a novel, practical way of learning about research. Following training and data collection within the research study we evaluated the student's experience of training and participation. Within the survey both quantitative and qualitative data were collected using a self-report questionnaire. Thirteen questionnaires were distributed and twelve completed questionnaires were returned to the School of Care Sciences. The overall results were extremely encouraging with regards to using this approach to increase research awareness. An evaluation of the student's experiences as a researcher confirmed that this was a successful strategy to learning, in particular increasing knowledge of the research process, ethical considerations and skills in interviewing. Involvement also increases the student's awareness of the topic area being studied. Limitations to the study were that this was a small sample.