This paper provides an account of how family carers were involved in a longitudinal research study that aimed to investigate the needs of ‘new’ family carers of stroke survivors. An account of how the researcher involved carers is provided, followed by one carer's description of the benefits and negative consequences of being involved in the study. Suggestions are made about how to develop good practice with regard to involving people in research. The conclusions highlight that, although rewarding, being involved in research is not without its challenges. However, research participants have much to contribute to the entire research process and its products. It is important therefore to learn lessons about how best to maximise the expertise that carers and others have to offer.