From Sarah Buckland, Director, INVOLVE Coordinating Centre

Sarah BucklandWelcome to the Spring issue of the INVOLVE newsletter. In this newsletter there are some interesting articles about different aspects of involvement. You can read about how nine PhD students identified the need and then organised a workshop for fellow researchers within their University to raise awareness of the value of public involvement. You can also read about two research projects where patients and carers were involved from the outset and throughout the projects influencing their design and direction. An aspect highlighted by one of the studies – the Beating Anxiety Together study – was the importance of using clear language both within the research team and in describing the project to the young people and parents involved.

Writing clearly is important to every aspect of research and can help all of us to better understand sometimes complicated research. However, it isn’t always easy. In this newsletter we report on some work we have been leading on, working with colleagues from across the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), to produce new guidance for researchers on writing plain English summaries for NIHR funding applications. 

Also in this newsletter we update on some of the other activities at INVOLVE. If you would like to know more, then go to the About INVOLVE / Current work section of our website: Here you can read our INVOLVE update, where we give a summary of the different projects we are working on, as well as read about our plans for the coming year.

Please don’t miss the opportunity to respond to the National Institute for Health Research strategic review of public involvement in research ‘Breaking Boundaries: thinking differently about public involvement in research’. The review is an important chance to contribute your views and influence the future shape of public involvement in research. The deadline for contributing is 12.00 noon on Thursday 26 June. For further details see the article in this issue of the newsletter.

The Summer edition of the newsletter will have the theme of learning for involvement. As part of this we will be reporting on work that we have been involved in over the last 12 months with colleagues from across the National Institute for Health Research. We have been exploring issues such as principles and standards for learning and development and different approaches to support involvement.

We hope you enjoy reading the newsletter and do let us know of any public involvement activities you are involved with so that we can share them with others.