INVOLVE – the NIHR Co-ordinating Centre for the promotion and advancement of public involvement in health research – is delighted to announce the appointment of seven new public and non-public members to its Advisory Group.  The function of the Advisory Group is to challenge, advise and provide guidance on the strategic direction and work programme of INVOLVE with a focus on achieving optimum public involvement in and through its work. The new members are:

Sophie Ainsworth

Robert Droy

Cheryl Gowar

Ngawai Moss

Ruth Richardson

Jane Taylor

Janet Tonge

The successful applicants are a mix of patients/carers, researchers and those that work at a senior level in health and care delivery settings, or charities.  More detailed information about those appointed will be available on the INVOLVE website shortly.

The panel were extremely impressed with the new members who were selected following a rigorous assessment and interview process.  The recruitment subgroup, which consisted of INVOLVE lay members, was instrumental in increasing the reach of the advert, and this was reflected by the breadth of relevant experiences and connections with broader communities and groups of the applicants.  Tina Coldham, Chair of INVOLVE and panel member echoes this point “Well it was a nice problem to have as a Chair!  130 applications across a wide diversity of people with an interest and skills in PPI in research.  It was very tough short listing, then deciding at interview the final people for the Advisory Group as the calibre and reach was fantastic.  It is very gratifying to know so many people have the passion to get involved, and also lead changes they want to see themselves, and then wanting to bring this to INVOLVE.  I feel we are on a new chapter of PPI in research so I look forward to working with the newly re-energised Advisory Group in taking our aims forward.”

This was echoed by fellow panel member and public member of the Advisory Group Joyce Fox “The number and calibre of applications we received for the Advisory Group vacancies, was extremely high. With so many excellent candidates, it proved a very difficult task to select a short-list for interviewing and then to choose only seven from the candidates interviewed. Although difficult, it was also very inspiring to see so many people so committed to public involvement and keen to work with the INVOLVE team. Congratulations to all the successful candidates, I hope you enjoy your time with INVOLVE as much as I am doing, and I look forward to working with you.”

Louise Wood (Director of Science, Research and Evidence at the Department of Health and Social Care) said “I am delighted that we received so many applications from across England for these positions, and that the opportunity has attracted so many people who have previously not been involved in research. The INVOLVE Advisory Group has an increasingly influential role, guiding INVOLVE’s leadership for the advancement of public involvement across NIHR and beyond. I welcome the new members and look forward to learning from the networks, skills and lived experience that new and existing members bring, as NIHR continues to deepen and broaden its work with public and patients”