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Public Involvement training sessions for researchers and people you involve

In collaboration with the Imperial Clinical Trials Unit (ICTU), PERC has developed the following series of Public Involvement in Research training sessions (suitable for both Imperial researchers and patients/members of the public), which are co-delivered with a member of the public.


Session 1: Public Involvement – The Basics
Learn more about public involvement including what involvement is and how you can get involved. Little or no public involvement experience required.
Locations: TBC
Next sessions: 

  • TBC

Session 2: Roles & Responsibilities and Public Involvement Facilitation

Understand the role you may play in research as a member of the public and how this should be communicated to you as well as what it might be like to take part in, or facilitate, a focus group discussion. Basic to intermediate public involvement knowledge preferred.
Location: TBC
Next session: 

  • TBC

Session 3: Public Involvement Early in the Research Cycle

Discover more about the different stages of research through the "research cycle" and how you can be involved in research during the first 3 stages of this cycle. Basic public involvement knowledge and completion of Session 1 is preferred.

Location: TBC 

Next session:

  • TBC

Session 4: Public Involvement for Participant Information Documents & Recruitment
Learn how you can be involved in reviewing documents for research study participants. Completion of Session 1 and ideally Session 2 required.
Location: TBC 
Next session:

  • TBC

Session 5: Completing the Research Cycle with Public Involvement
Explore how you can be involved during the analysis, dissemination, implementation and evaluation of research. Completion of Session 1 and ideally Session 2 required.
Locations:  TBC
Next session: 

  • TBC


These sessions have been designed as a series. We therefore recommend that people attend as many as possible. Places will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis, but priority will be given to researchers and public partners affiliated to the NIHR Imperial Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), Patient Experience Research Centre (PERC) or Imperial Clinical Trials Unit (ICTU).

You will be required to provide evidence that your line manager has approved your attendance. Should you not attend without providing at least one week's prior notice, your department will be charged for your place. This does not apply to members of the public who are involved in research.

If you have any other enquiries or need more information about these training sessions, please contact PERC at publicinvolvement@imperial.ac.uk.

Graduate School

Please note that if you are eligible to attend the Imperial Graduate School courses for Doctoral Students, we run a training workshop as part of the "Societal Engagement" workshops entitled "Public Involvement in Medical Research".  For more details please see here.

Other training resources

Other training resources

Other websites for Public Involvement support

  • NIHR INVOLVE – Etablished in 1996, this government funded programme is considered the central portal for public involvement expertise, insight and research. It's part of, and funded by, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), to support active public involvement in NHS, public health and social care research. Visit their site for the latest insight on PPI in research

  • The Health Research Authority (HRA) – In its role to protect and promote the interests of patients and the public in health, the HRA now manages the research and ethics approval process for the NHS in England  for a quick itroduction, watch this HRA Approval animation. Public involvement is therefore central to their work and the approval process, and they have provided useful guidance and templates specific to this on their website

  • EUPATI  The European Patients' Academy (EUPATI) is a pan-European project established as a collaborative partnership between the pharmaceutical industry, acadeia, not-for-profit, and patient organisations. They focus on education and training to increase the capacity and capability of patients to understand and contribute to medical research and development

  • Public Involvement Standards Development – A UK-wide partnership project that aims to improve the quality and consistency of public involvement in research through the development and introduction of national standards. A consultation was carried out in 2017, and from April 2018 to April 2019, work will be underway to pilot how the developed standards can be put into practice

  • Imperial College London – Public involvement is central to a number of departments at Imperial. Many of these have their own public involvement sites, with additional information tailored to the research field:
    1. Patient Safety Translational Research Centre
    2. Imperial Clinical Trials Unit
    3. NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Modelling Methodology
    4. NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Respiratory Infections

    In addition, Imperial are dedicated to 
     , which looks more generally at how we share the wonder and importance of what we do here at Imperial with the public - including schools, patients and local communities.

  • Voice – Voice is an organisation that aims to capture the publics' vast experience, ideas, opinions and expectations about the research, innovations and policies affecting their lives. They support members of the public, of all ages and backgrounds, to become actively involved in contributing their insights and visions. Through this platform researchers are able to engage in discussions with members, as well as post opportunities for involvement in their research

Other Public Involvement training and resources for researchers and members of the public

  • Public reviewing with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) - online course made up of 3 modules developed by the NIHR for:
      • Public contributors who have been asked to provide feedback on a research document or sit on committee that assess several research documents.
      • Public contributors who are new to reviewing (research) and those who want to know more.
      • Researchers, research managers and funders who want to understand what makes good Patient and Public Involvement and the public perspective.
  • European Patient Ambassador Programme course - The course is made up of eight modules, which will help you gain the information and skills you need to become a successful patient representative. You do not have to do the modules in the order they are presented. The individual modules can be done in any order you feel best suits your needs and interests.
  • The Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (North West London) (CLAHRC NWL) offers eLearning modules to aide quality improvements. It’s primarily aimed at lay people, however one module entitled ‘Patient and Public Engagement/Involvement’ may be of interest. [N.B. email registration needed]

  • The Cancer Research UK Patient Involvement Toolkit is a free access resource for researchers to learn about, plan and carry out public involvement during their research.

  • The EUPATI Toolbox on Medicines R&D – The European Patients' Academy for Therapeutic Innovation (EUPATI) has devised a toolbox (including training aids, template PowerPoint slides and cases studies) for training patients and patient advocates about the medicine research and development process. Material from the EUPATI toolbox can shared and adapted for free due to its Creative Commons Licence, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

    Search the Toolbox by keyword or by category. There are a number of mini-course starter kits such as the one on protocol design within Clinical Development and Trials. Alternatively, you can just search 'mini-course starter kits' in the keyword seach function. As a note, some aspects are more geared towards commercial research, but many of concepts and processes are also common to publicly-funded research.

  • The ECRAN Project - The European Communication on Research Awareness Needs website provides many tools and resources that can be used to introduce lay members to medical research. For example, here's a short animation introducing clinical research

Related online training

  • Public reviewing with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) - online course made up of 3 modules developed by the NIHR for:
      • Public contributors who have been asked to provide feedback on a research document or sit on committee that assess several research documents.
      • Public contributors who are new to reviewing (research) and those who want to know more.
      • Researchers, research managers and funders who want to understand what makes good Public Involvement and the public perspective.
  • As a member of Imperial, you have unlimited access to lynda.com, which offers a wide variety of courses. Consider ones on Marketing Communication or Social Media, which are both very applicable to public involvement.

  • The short MOOC (massive open online course) 'Citizen Involvement Matters' on Voice is designed to help academics, students and researchers to identify and focus on citizens' needs and priorities for healthy ageing. It's been funded by Voice, EIT Health and Wellcome Trust.

  • FutureLearn provides free online learning to all, which often includes courses hugely relevant to research, public engagement and involvement and the wider field of health and well-being. You can sign-up to get notifications, or keep checking the site for the latest courses.
  • Improving Healthcare Through Clinical Research - appropriate for members of the public - Through case studies and interviews, this online course covers the process of clinical research, its challenges and benefits, and how members of a research team, academics and participants all contribute to the process of discovery.