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Patient and public involvement in research

Why involve patients or the public in research?

Evidence of involving patients and the public in the planning, design, management and/or dissemination of research is increasingly becoming a requirement of major funding bodies in the UK.

Alongside other major funders, the BRC expects investigators wherever possible to actively involve patients and the public in their research.

The active involvement of patients and the public in research can lead to treatments that better meet the needs of users and the public, and research results that are more likely to be put into practice.

Researchers who make the involvement of users and the public an inherent part of their research also gain a huge source of practical help and solutions.

Patients and the public can help with:

Planning your research question - helping you to identify and prioritise the most relevant research questions for people living with the condition you are studying.

Improving your grant application – including the perspectives of patients and the public will strengthen your proposal to major funders, who often have lay representatives on their review panel.

Designing your protocol – answering important questions about how acceptable and feasible your research methods are for the patients or public members who will be recruited.

Communicating your research – helping you to communicate your research in plain English in your grant application, patient information leaflets, and dissemination materials.

Accessing patient communities – connecting you with different communities of patients, to participate in your research, or share research results. 

Undertaking your research – joining a steering committee to help with managing the study, advising on recruitment and retention, collecting data from patients and dissemination of findings.

Evidence of impact – Research shows that involving patients and the public results in more relevant, higher quality research, that is more likely to receive funding.

Read about the impact patients and the public have been having in our case studies booklet.

The BRC expects investigators wherever possible to actively involve patients and the public in their research.

We support researchers with patient and public involvement (PPI) by providing training, advice and signposting to further resources. For more information on sources of help see the links to the left.

As part of the BRC’s commitment to PPI in research, we offer a consultancy service to help researchers design, develop and deliver PPI plans and activities for their research. Contact the PPI team ppihelpdesk@ucl.ac.uk for an appointment for bespoke PPI advice.

How can you involve patients and the public?

How can we support you?


Additional Resources


Bursary funding for Patient Involvement