What is public involvement in research?

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

This includes, for example:

  • working with research funders to prioritise research;
  • offering advice as members of a project steering group;
  • commenting on and developing research materials;
  • undertaking interviews with research participants.

When using the term ‘public’ we include:

  • patients;
  • potential patients;
  • carers and
  • people who use health and social care services as well as people from organisations that represent people who use services.

Whilst all of us are actual, former or indeed potential users of health and social care services, there is an important distinction to be made between the perspectives of the public and the perspectives of people who have a professional role in health and social care services.

For more information go to www.involve.nihr.ac.uk/find-out-more/what-is-public-involvement-in-research-2.

The NIHR Research Design Service (RDS) (www.rds.nihr.ac.uk/) supports researchers to develop and design high quality research proposals for submission to NIHR and other national, peer-reviewed funding competitions for applied health or social care research.