Induction materials for researchers new to public involvement

These resources provide the basic information required by a researcher new to public involvement to enable them to get started. Each resource also contains more detailed information and signposts towards other resources to enable someone to become well informed about public involvement as their needs evolve.



INVOLVE is the national advisory group that supports public involvement in health and social care research. INVOLVE offers a definition for 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.

INVOLVE’s starting point is ten briefing notes for researchers, covering a range of topics from ‘what is involvement’ to ‘how to involve people in research’. Case studies and templates are included:

INVOLVE provides an Evidence Library of published research about involvement and resources documenting how involvement has been put into practice.

2. Guide for researchers working with PPI contributors

Produced by the University of Oxford, this thorough guide covers many topics a new researcher needs to consider such as advertising for contributors, developing role descriptions and good practice for running meetings etc. Some minor aspects are specific to the university (such as contacting their pool of contributors), but the overall advice is highly relevant to any researcher. 


3. Health Talk Online

Watch online videos and read about researchers’ experiences of public involvement.  Many topics are covered ranging from reasons for involving patients and practical advice to the skills and training needed and doubts, worries and debates about involvement.


4. Public Involvement Impact Assessment Framework

PIIAF helps researchers to assess the impact of involving members of the public in research. It is a rich resource that any researcher new to public involvement will find useful, whether or not they are undertaking impact assessments. The guide takes a step-by-step approach to many aspects of involvement, prompting researchers to think about values, different approaches to involvement, the type of research undertaken, practical issues and impacts.