Patients and the public are at the centre of healthcare and also our research. They bring a wealth of experience and provide valuable perspectives on the way that research is designed and delivered. PERC, in collaboration with the NIHR Imperial Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), is committed to broadening the scope of patient and public involvement activity in our research, by building capacity and collaborating with other organisations locally and nationally, as well as demonstrating the value and impact of these activities through high quality, evidence-based work.

Together, we developed the latest NIHR Imperial BRC PPI Strategy‌ (2017/18-2021/22) in collaboration with our NIHR Imperial BRC Public Advisory Panel and the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (ICHT) Research Committee.


What do we mean by "involvement" in research?

People are often quite familiar with the term public engagement but are less sure about how this differs from involvement in research, or participation. The boxes below outline how these three terms are typically defined and the types of activities they may include. As an additional note, when we refer to 'the public' this includes patients, potential patients, carers and people who use health and social care services as well as people from organisations that represent people who use these services.

3 column general block - key definitions

Engagement

Public engagement is where information and knowledge about research is provided to or shared with the public.

Science festivals, seminars or the ‘after hour’ events often known as ‘Lates’ are good examples of this. 

Involvement

Public involvement is where people share their views and experiences to guide and inform how research is designed, carried out, shared and adopted. In other words, research is done 'with' or 'by' members of the public, rather than 'to' them.

This may include taking part in surveys, focus groups, discussion forums or advisory groups.

Participation

Public participation is where patients or members of the public are participants in or the subjects of research that is done 'to', 'about' or 'for' them.


What do we do?

  • We develop systems and guidance to work more effectively with patients and members of the public
  • We offer public involvement training and support to both researchers and members of the public
  • We work with Imperial College research teams and public partners across a wide range of collaborative projects to establish effective public involvement, e.g. Consent to Contact projects, young people's advisory network
  • We support the NIHR Health Protection Research Units (HPRUs) at Imperial
  • We showcase our research and support public engagement events, including the Great Exhibition Road Festival
Image of a patient

Co-Creating Innovative Solutions for Health Course April 2018

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Co-Creating Innovative Solutions for Health Course London April 2018

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Co-Creating Innovative Solutions for Health Course London April 2018

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Exercise on Obstacles and Opportunities of Co-Creation

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Healthcare professionals and engineers co-create

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Multidisciplinary teams designing a research project

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LOL Lab

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QPR Family Community Day - March 2018


Our public networks


The NIHR Imperial BRC Public Advisory Panel

The Imperial BRC public panel support our Imperial BRC-funded researchers to ensure their research considers the public/patient/carer perspective. Panel members also help to co-develop and co-deliver training on patient and public involvement, as well as promote and advise on ways to reach and involve more diverse audiences in research.
For further information, visit the Imperial BRC webpage or email ppi@imperial.ac.uk.

The Young People's Advisory Network (YPAN)

The YPAN was first launched Autumn 2019 to enable people aged 17 to 25 to guide and inform research projects across Imperial College that are relevant to young people. It now has over 50 members.


Our video playlist

Video playlist

NIHR Imperial BRC Open Day 2016 - Overview

Members of the NIHR Imperial BRC present their views on public involvement in research during the NIHR Imperial BRC Open Day 2016. Imperial BRC researchers engage and involve a wide variety of people in their research, from the general public and healthy volunteers to patients with personal experience of health conditions and carers of patients. We continuously seek to advance and innovate patient and public involvement and engagement in our research, measure impact and evaluate these activities.

Public panel members views on public involvement in research

NIHR Imperial BRC Open Day 2016 - Overview

Imperial BRC public panel members share their views on the role of public involvement in research

Members of the NIHR Imperial BRC present their views on public involvement in research during the NIHR Imperial BRC Open Day 2016. Imperial BRC researchers engage and involve a wide variety of people in their research, from the general public and healthy volunteers to patients with personal experience of health conditions and carers of patients. We continuously seek to advance and innovate patient and public involvement and engagement in our research, measure impact and evaluate these activities.

Public research panel round table

NIHR Imperial BRC Open Day 2016 - Round table discussion

Highlights of a round-table discussion with researchers, clinicians and Imperial BRC public panel

Highlights of a round-table discussion with researchers, clinicians and members of the NIHR Imperial BRC Patient and Public Panel during the NIHR Imperial BRC Open Day 2016. Those involved recognised a changing culture of public involvement in research. Public involvement was seen as becoming more systematic and being multi-professional. Requirements such as the need for scientists and researchers to speak the same language with patients/public were acknowledged. Allocating/obtaining resources for public involvement, representation of patients/public, developing sustainable PPIE strategies, maintaining ongoing relationships with patients/public and embedding PPIE throughout research projects were identified as challenges to effective public involvement.