Preparing members of the public for their role should:

  • help them understand the role they will be undertaking and the value of their perspective
  • explicitly recognise and acknowledge the skills and experience they bring from other areas of life
  • help them understand where they fit in the wider research context such as within the research team or host organisation or the wider research commissioning and prioritisation process, for example how decisions are made about research priorities and funding, or how research influences healthcare
  • provide opportunities to develop their experience, skills and knowledge in a way that is matched to their role
  • when required, include a general introduction to research, covering topics such as the research cycle, overview of different research methods and research terminolog
  • provide opportunities to discuss further training and support needs.

For more detailed advice and guidance about training and support for five of the common roles for involved members of the public see: 

Research panel member

Project advisory group member

Project steering group member

Public reviewer

Peer interviewer