This article is a summary of issues which nurses face when carrying out research involving competent adults. A recent case of a nurse in Teeside who was struck off as a result of irregularities in conduct during a clinical research trial highlights the importance of standards of care in research being met. The authors focus on two aspects of research - the problems of the consent procedure and the different obligations that might arise from involvement in research. Nurses have a very important role to play in the conduct of research. They, like any other health-care professionals, must make sure that they conduct themselves in accordance with the standards of care of their profession and are accountable for their research conduct.