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

Patient and Public Involvement for Researchers

If you wish to involve patients and the public in your research, please contact us on the details below, and we can provide support and guidance, and together explore your options for public involvement. 


Nathan Babiker, Researcher, Psychological Services

Arranging two PPI focus groups before finalising our research proposal helped us completely re-think the study aims, and gave a far better understanding of its potential public impact than the available literature base.



Patient and public involvement (PPI) in research means research which is done with and by patients and/or the public, rather than to, for or about them (Buckland et al, 2007). Involvement in research refers to an active partnership between researchers and patients and/or the public in the research process.

PPI enables you as researchers to design, manage, undertake and share the findings of research projects in collaboration with patients and/or the public, which leads to research that is relevant to the patient groups and ensures the knowledge gained from your research has an impact.

Most health research funding streams require patients and the public to be involved in research and clear justification if they aren't.

You may wish to consider involving one of the STH PPI panels in an area that matches your research, or you can set up your own one-off group or permanent panel yourself. The Clinical Research & Innovation Office can give you advice about setting up a group and ensuring public involvement is meaningful and embedded within your grant applications.

You will need to ensure you consider how you can involve a diversity of voices in your research, and that those you involve are representative of the population group your research is for. 

High quality public involvement leads to more relevant and impactful research; you should use the UK Standards for Public Involvement in Research to consider what effective PPI looks like in your research, and identify ways you can continuously involve and improve.

Please contact a member of our team for advice or further information:

What is PPI?

Find out here

Our Public Involvement Groups

More information available here

Support for researchers wishing to involve patients & the public

UK Standards for Public Involvement in Research

There are a set of six National Standards to guide you with your patient & public Involvement activities. Full details of these standards can be found here

National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR)

The NIHR Research Support Service provides free and confidential advice to develop funding applications within the remit of the NIHR.  Advice is also given to researchers applying to non-NIHR funders such as charities. Support includes advising on patient and public involvement, and on developing and delivering inclusive research.

The National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) is the major funder of clinical research in the UK and encourages patient & public involvement. Researchers can access resources specific to PPI on the NIHR webpage by clicking here.

Health Research Authority (HRA)

The HRA are committed to supporting and encouraging researchers to involve patients and the public in research at the earliest opportunity. They have set out 4 principles for meaningful involvement of patients & the public in research. 


INVOLVE was a national advisory group that supported greater public involvement in NHS, public health and social care research.  (see below). The INVOLVE website is no longer actively supported or updated.

NIHR Centre for Engagement and Dissemination
In 2020, the NIHR launched the Centre for Engagement and Dissemination.This bought together its activities in patient and public involvement, engagement and participation with its strengths in research dissemination. It builds on the work of NIHR INVOLVE.

People in Research

People in Research is a website created for members of the public who would like to find out more about public involvement opportunities in research. Researchers can post adverts to share their opportunities for the public to get involved in their research.

Learning for Involvement

Learning for Involvement has resources and training about public involvement in health and social care research. It has excellent collections around topcs including Getting Started, Impact and Evaluation, Co-production, and much more.

Research Champions at STH

The aim of the STH Research Champion role is to capture and engage staff within the directorates across the Trust, to spread the knowledge of current research activities and promote patient involvement. Please see here for more information and the Research Champion and Cafes strategy


Useful PPI Documents

Commonly used resources and template documents can be found here.

NIHR briefing notes for researchers on how to involve members of the public in NHS, health and social care research.

NIHR Cost Calculator allows researchers to calculate the costs of PPI in their research to enter into grants applications.

STH have a public involvement payment & reimbursement guidance document which sets out best practice and processes that should be followed at STH when considering involving the public in research.  It also has guidance about involving the public as co-applicants in research at STH. Please contact for a copy.  (Current version v0.4 April 2024).