Involving patients and the public: for researchers

Involving and engaging patients and the public in research is a key part of research at the BRC. We want to encourage all researchers to involve patients in their research. 

James Larkin Melanoma event
Professor James Larkin, Uncommon Cancers research theme lead

 Why involve patients and the public in your research?

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) expects investigators receiving support from the BRC to actively involve patients and the public in their research.

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

We encourage researchers to involve patients, carers and members of the public in all the research we do and in all stages of research cycle (Fig. 1).



Figure 1: The research cycle: patients and the public should be involved in all stages 

How can patients and the public help with your research?

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

Improving your grant application - the inclusion of 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 - patients and the public can help to answer important questions about how acceptable and feasible your research methods are, e.g. for patients recruited to clinical trials. 

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

Top tips for involving patients in research

We have developed a guide offering practical advice for researchers who want to involve patients and members of the public in their research projects.

Read our top tips for how to involve patients in your work. 

NIHR INVOLVE provides further guidance and advice on patient involvement in research. 

There are many different ways to be involved and to involve patients and the public in research at the BRC, and we regularly hold patient engagement events to showcase our research and the progress being made to patients, carers and the public.

For further information, please contact [email protected] 

Training and support for PPI/E

We offer training and support to patients and the public who are involved in research, and to researchers to help them involve patients in their work.