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Patient and public involvement (PPIE)

What is patient and public involvement in research?

The NIHR defines public involvement in research as research being carried out ‘with’ or ‘by’ members of the public rather than ‘to,’ ‘about’ or ‘for’ them. It is an active partnership between patients, carers and members of the public with researchers that influences and shapes research (NIHR, 2021).

Research is only possible if patients and members of the public are willing to take part, and is only useful if it is directed at issues which are of a concern to patients and those who care for them.

It is well documented that research active trusts have better patient outcomes (Boaz et al 2015).

Research that reflects patient and public views are more likely to attract funding and enhance patient and public awareness of research.

Patients and the public can be involved in every stage of the research process. This can include:

  • Identification of research priorities
  • Consulting members of the public  about their views on your research idea
  • Reading and giving feedback on research materials (e.g. questionnaires, letters to patients, patient information leaflets)
  • Commenting on research proposals to ensure they are relevant and accessible to patients
  • Co-applicants on grant applications
  • Co-authors on publications
  • Co-production of research projects
  • Supporting the dissemination of the impact of our research

It is important that you seek advice and support from an Academic Development Officer who can discuss best practice and share template documents with you. Support includes:

  • Planning PPIE work throughout the lifecycle of a study
  • Providing appropriate costings for patient and public involvement work
  • Applying for initial PPIE funding known as a PIF bursary
  • Advice on achieving equality and inclusivity in research

We have example templates that can be used to plan your patient and public involvement work such as role descriptors for public contributors.

Online training resources are also available - Homepage - Learning For Involvement

You may also find the following links helpful:

UK Standards for Public Involvement - UK Standards for Public Involvement (

Be Part of Research - Be Part of Research (

People in Research - Home - People in Research

NIHR (2021) - Briefing notes for researchers - public involvement in NHS, health and social care research (


Boaz A, Hanney S, Jones T, et al. 2015. Does the engagement of clinicians and organisations in research improve healthcare performance: a three-stage review. BMJ Open; 5: e009415.