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Public Involvement

CLAHRC North Thames Questions for the panel

What is Public Involvement?

Public Involvement (PI) in research is when health and social care researchers work in active partnership with members of the public. Public involvement is often referred to as Patient and Public Involvement (PPI).

PPI in research is defined as research carried out ‘with’ or ‘by’ members of the public rather than ‘to’, ‘about’ or ‘for’ them.

PPI should not be confused with:

  • Public Engagement which refers to information and knowledge about research being provided and shared to the public via media reports, science festivals or discussions; or
  • Public Participation whereby patients and members of the public take part in clinical trials, or qualitative research e.g. by completing questionnaires or as members of focus groups.

Why is PI in health and social care research important?

PPI brings together the expertise of the health and social care professionals and the personal knowledge and experience of the public.  Undertaking Public Involvement at an early stage of the development of your research enables you to:

  • Address questions of relevance to the health and social care professionals and the public
  • Ensures that the design of the research project takes into account the impact and burden on participants
  • Clarifies the research question and identifies relevant outcomes
  • Develop research information which is communicated in a clear and accessible format
  • Help develop your Public Involvement plans for your proposal, including dissemination of your research
  • identify practical issues that might affect recruitment

How can the RDS NENC help?

As part of the support RDS NENC provides there are several opportunities for you including:

  • Allocation of a PPI Specialist adviser to provide one to one advice for your proposal
  • Meeting with the RDS consumer panel – a group of public contributors who can offer general input into your research
  • A review of your lay summary by members of the RDS consumer panel
  • Access to a wide range of patient groups both locally and nationally
  • Access to the Public Involvement Fund
  • RDS arranging remote/online PPI sessions

I’m an interested member of the public – how can I get involved?

We are recruiting new members of the RDS NENC Consumer Panel. For more information on the role and how to register your interest, please contact