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Public Involvement Fund

Public Involvement Fund

It is considered good practice to involve members of the public as early as possible in the research design process. Funding public involvement at the grant application stage can be challenging. The RDS ‘Public Involvement Funds’ aim to bridge that gap. Funds are available to help facilitate public involvement in the development of research ideas and research grant applications. Please contact your regional centre for more information.


Who can apply for the funds?

In order to be eligible to apply for Public Involvement funds, applicants must:

  • be a researcher based in the North East and North Cumbria region;
  • be intending to submit a research funding application to National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) programmes, or other peer-reviewed funding programmes such as those linked to recognised national charities;
  • have registered a request for support with RDS NENC in relation to the proposal to which the Public Involvement Fund application relates;
  • have explored other opportunities for PPI input to the research but need to access a specific group of patients and/or public; and
  • have explored other opportunities to obtain funds to support patient and public involvement in the design and development of a research funding application (e.g. funds available through universities for academics or funds available through NHS trusts in the case of clinicians).

How can these funds be used?

The purpose of the RDS NENC Public Involvement Fund Scheme is to provide limited funds to support the development of early-stage Public Involvement in research design. The RDS NENC PI fund can be used to support a variety of public involvement activities in the design and development of health and social care research. Examples of appropriate use of RDS NENC PI fund include:

  • Reimbursement of travel expenses related to involvement activities for members of the public;
  • Payment to patients and members of the public for their time and expertise in accordance with national and local guidelines;
  • Hire of venue external to the researchers organisation if this is fully justified;
  • Payment of appropriate support costs to enable carers or parents to be involved in relevant PI activities; and
  • Payment for materials which the researcher would not normally have access to within their organisation to support the PPI activity g. play materials for activities with children.

How do I apply for RDS NENC Public Involvement Funds?

Talk to your RDS NENC adviser who can discuss eligibility and the application process, or contact  If you are not already receiving support from RDS NENC please contact us.

Case Study – Co-production in Dental Research: Richard Halliday

Richard engaged in some comprehensive PPI including several co-production events supported by the RDS PIF.  You can listen to Richard’s blog  Getting stuck into Co-Pro in which he talks about his work with patients to help develop his research.