Getting started: involving people

Are you looking to involve patients and the public in your research but aren’t sure where to start? Take a look at our resources

People at the event (see info in notes)

What is patient involvement in research?

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

It should be an active partnership between researchers and patients, carers and members of the public. Involvement should influence and shape research.

Who should I involve in my research and why?

When planning who to involve in your research you should consider what knowledge and perspectives you are looking for. This could include insights from patients, potential patients, carers and people who use health and social care services.

Public involvement with research can improve the quality and relevance of your research, making sure:

  • the right questions are answered
  • the research is carried out in the right way
  • and the results are shared with the people who need to know about them

Not only can involvement improve your project, most research funders in the UK will expect (or require) you to involve patients, carers and the public.

How do you involve patients and the public in research?

Below we’ve collected some of the important resources you might want to look at when you are planning how to involve patients, carers and the public. This includes NIHR public involvement guidance, information on how to reimburse people for involvement, and examples of patient and public involvement.

However, this is just a starting point! There is plenty more to discover on Learning for Involvement, so do browse the site further. We’re keen to support learning and development across all aspects of public involvement.

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