This resource provides practical advice on how to budget for involving patients, carers and the public in research. It will be helpful for working out the costs of involvement at any stage of the research process – whether that’s a planned focus group in a study underway or putting together an entire budget for a study. It may be particularly helpful when designing research studies and applying for funding. However, following this advice will not guarantee funding will be awarded. Research funders take a number of factors into account, including value for money, when making decisions about which research to fund. As with any aspect of budgeting for research, it is important to justify the costs involved.

The authors of this resource were:

Julia Cartwright, Oxford Business Development Ltd and co-author of the BMJ Wiley/Blackwell Patient and public involvement toolkit

Thomas Kabir, Mental Health Research Network

Lucy Simons, INVOLVE.

This resource was jointly funded by the Mental Health Research Network and INVOLVE which are funded by and part of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

This resource should be referenced as:

Mental Health Research Network and INVOLVE (2013) Budgeting for involvement: Practical advice on budgeting for actively involving the public in research studies, Mental Health Research Network, London and INVOLVE, Eastleigh.

How was the information gathered? 

The information for this resource was gathered using feedback, expertise and support from a project advisory group. The group comprised people who have direct experience of budgeting for involvement in research – advising on involvement in research, reviewing applications for research with involvement activities and conducting involvement research.

The project advisory group were:

Suzy Bourke, Lay Reviewer, Research for Patient Benefit

Karen Burnell, Lecturer in Health Sciences Research, University of Portsmouth

Pam Carter, Research Fellow, SAPPHIRE team, University of Leicester

Jean Cooper Moran, Patient and Public Involvement Manager, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Central Commissioning Facility

Alison Ford, Senior Programme Manager, Topic Identification and Patient and Public Involvement, NIHR Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre

Ferhana Hashem, Research Fellow and Research Design Service South East Advisor, Centre for Health Services Studies, University of Kent

David Hindle, service user researcher

Jenny Newman, Consumer Liaison Manager, NIHR Medicines for Children Research Network Coordinating Centre

Chloe Sheppard, Researchers’ Engagement, Wellcome Trust

Natalie Simon, Public Involvement Team Lead, Involving People, National Institute for Social Care and Health Research Clinical Research Centre, Central Office, Wales

Christine Vial, service user and carer

Amander Wellings, public member of the INVOLVE advisory group, patient and public involvement consultant and lifelong carer.

Let us know what you think

We welcome your comments and feedback on this resource. Please also send us ideas for more examples and links to other useful resources.

Send your comments, information and ideas to: involve@nihr.ac.uk