Abstract: In the growing literature on public involvement in research (PIR), very few works analyse PIR organizational and institutional dimensions in depth. We explore the complex interactions of PIR with institutions and bureaucratic procedures, with a focus on the process of securing institutional permissions for members of the public (we refer to them as “research partners”) and academics involved in health research.
We employ a collaborative autoethnographic approach to describe the process of validating “research passports” required by UK NHS trusts, and the individual experiences of the authors who went through this journey – research partners and academics involved in a qualitative study of PIR across eight health sciences projects in England and Wales.
Our findings show that research partners encountered many challenges, as the overall bureaucratic procedures and the emotional work required to deal with them proved burdensome. The effects were felt by the academics too who had to manage the whole process at an early stage of team building in the project. Our thematic discussion focuses on two additional themes: the emerging tensions around professionalisation of research partners, and the reflexive effects on PIR processes.
In the concluding section, we make a number of practical recommendations. Project teams should allow enough time to go through all the hurdles and steps required for institutional permissions, and should plan in advance for the right amount of time and capacity needed from project leaders and administrators. Our findings are a reminder that the bureaucratic and organisational structures involved in PIR can sometimes produce unanticipated and unwanted negative effects on research partners, hence affecting the overall quality and effectiveness of PIR. Our final recommendation to policy makers is to focus their efforts on making PIR bureaucracy more inclusive and ultimately more democratic.
External link: The following links will take you to information on this entry on an external website. INVOLVE is not responsible for the content or the reliability of the external websites. Click here
Related entry: none currently available
Categories: all Identifying topics, prioritising and commissioning Designing research Managing research Undertaking research Analysing and interpreting Writing up and disseminating Evaluating journal article Recruitment Implementation and change lessons from direct experience of involvement description of involvement in a research project
Date Entered: 2018/09/19
Date Edited: 2018/09/19