Clinical Research Office. A partnership between Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Sheffield

Public Involvement in Research

On this page you can find out about:

  • What public involvement in research is

  • Why people get involved

  • When can people get involved

  • How can people get involved

Please click on each of the points above to find out more.

What is public involvement in research?

Public involvement in research refers to an active partnership between researchers and the public (including patients and carers) in the research process.  You may hear public involvement called patient and public involvement, or PPI or PI.

INVOLVE is a national advisory group that supports greater public involvement in NHS, public health and social care research. They offer a large range of information and supporting documents that explain patient and public involvement in research in detail.

Involvement in research can include:

  • Informing the design of the research study
  • Ensuring the methods chosen will be appropriate for patients
  • Advising on, or writing, the plain English summary of the research study
  • Assisting in writing participant information sheets
  • Helping to write a summary of the research findings
  • Presenting the findings of the study with researchers

You can read more about what plain English summaries are and why they are important here

Why get involved?

Involving patients and the public in research is well recognised as best practice and is also a requirement for most funders of research. It is widely acknowledged that involving patients and the public produces better quality and more efficient research because:

  • They help identify relevant research priorities that meet people’s needs
  • With lived experience as patients/carers/family members they are best placed to advise on what tests/visits are acceptable
  • They can ensure that documentation about the research trial is written in language suitable for everyone


In addition, it is only right that the public have the opportunity to be involved in research that is publicly funded.

Julie Drakeley - Sheffield Motor Neurone Disease Research Advisory Group

There is much work to be done and I want to be involved in any way I can in helping to find new ways to enhance the quality of life of patients and their loved ones.



When can you get involved?

You can get involved in a wide variety of research activities, and what you do may depend on what time you have available, the skills and experience you have, and any specific opportunities that are available to you.

This diagram shows the many ways you can be involved in research. You can find out more about each of these aspects here (under Briefing Note Eight).


How can you get involved?

Providing the public with opportunites to be involved in clinical research is central to all our research.

We have a number of established public involvement panels who provide our researchers with invaluable insights into how specific research studies should be designed, and which areas of research would benefit and further improve health and healthcare.

Opportunities for the public to get involved are continually expanding, and we want to make opportunities for involvement accessible to everyone.

For people who are unable to attend face to face meetings, or prefer to comment on research remotely, we have an Online Advisory Panel.

More information on how to get involved and the public involvement panels we have are on the left panel menu and below.

Panels supported by the Clinical Research & Innovation Office:

Online Public Advisory Panel

15 Panels that normally meet face-to-face

Cancer Consumer Research Panel

Cardiology & Cardiothoracic Surgery Research Patient Panel

Community Elders Panel

Community Infections

Lay Advisory Panel for Bone Research

Lay ADvice on Diabetes and Endocrine Research (LADDER) Panel

Dementia Research Advisory Group

The Lay Expert Advisory Panel for the South Yorkshire HIV Network

Reproductive Health Research Public Advisory Panel

Motor Neurone Disease Research Advisory Group

The Lay Advisory Panel for Oral & Dental Research

Sheffield Addiction Recovery Research Panel (ShARRP)

Sheffield Emergency Care Forum (SECF)

Across the Care Group panel for the Combined Community & Acute Care Group

Stroke and Aphasia Patient and Public Involvement Group
























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