It all started with a question: What makes you feel alive?

Imperial’s Cancer Research UK Centre and the Patient Experience Research Centre designed a feedback wall to engage and involve members of the public in cancer research. The Feedback Wall is a conversation starter - It allows researchers to engage individuals with their research in an enjoyable and anonymous way. It can also open conversations around decision-making in healthcare, inform research priorities and give people a voice in every part of the research cycle.
The feedback wall is one method to engage and involve the public. It can be used as a standalone tool or as an ice-breaker to invite people to other activities.

It all started with a question: What makes you feel alive?

Video clip promoting the importance of public and patient engagement and use of a feedback wall
*Supported by the Wellcome Trust, People Like You, NIHR Imperial Biomedical Research Centre, Imperial College Experimental Cancer Medicine, CRUK Imperial Centre.

Why do we work with patients and the public?

Patient and public involvement in health research has been recognised by Higher Education Institutions, Research Organisations and the Government (NHS) as having valuable impact on research outcomes, clinical trials and precision treatments.

There are many terms associated with the inclusion of patients and the public in health research, and it is important to understand the difference between them. Predominantly, you will see the terms Involvement, Engagement and Participation. Cancer Research UK defines these terms as follows:

Involvement, engagement and participation


Involvement is when patients use their experience of cancer to help shape research. You can consult, collaborate or partner with patients. Involvement can add value at all stages of the research cycle.


Engagement is where information and knowledge about research are shared with the public.


Participation is where patients or healthy volunteers take part in research as the subject of the study. This is where research is being done to them, not with them.

Our PPI Champion, Kelly Gleason (CRUK Senior Research Nurse), has been working closely with CRUK Imperial Centre researchers to bridge the gap between patient and public participation in cancer research and patient and public involvement with cancer research at Imperial for over a decade.

Kelly GleasonThrough Kelly’s award-winning work with the CRUK Imperial Centre PPI Group, our researchers, nurses, patients and staff collectively advocate for a culture of involvement with patients and the public at Imperial. We champion patient-led projects and activities through the:

 - CRUK Imperial Centre PPI Group
 - Imperial Science Cafes
 - Public engagement (we are actively involved in Lab tours, Research open days, Public talks and lectures and the annual Imperial Festival).

If you would like further information on how to get involved with PPI as a researcher, patient or member of the public, please contact Kelly (

Opportunities for PPIE

 The Imperial Patient & Public Involvement Group for Cancer

Funding bodies are increasingly expecting patient and public involvement in your research activities. By involving patient and pubic groups in your research, you can ensure that your research plans remain relevant to patient/public interest, that they are feasible and acceptable to patients if involving clinical trials and that you can communicate and disseminate your research to the general public. 

The Imperial Patient & Public Involvement Group for Cancer is meeting on 22 October 2020 between 13:00-15:00. The Imperial PPI-E group for can cancer can help you to:

- Review a lay summary
- Review a Patient Information Sheet
- Prepare a grant application
- Disseminate results
- Find a patient representative for your study management committee?

 If you would like to access the meeting and the patient group for this, or any future date,  please contact Kelly Gleason.

Imperial Science Cafe Poster

Imperial Science Cafes

The Imperial Science Cafés are a unique opportunity for cancer researchers to present and discuss their research projects with individuals affected by cancer in a relaxed, open and informal setting. These events are not only important for educating and engaging with the public/patients, but it can also provide researchers with valuable patient perspectives on their work through sharing their personal experiences.

Usually the Science Cafés are hosted at the Maggie’s Centre at Charing Cross Hospital. However, due to the current COVID pandemic, the Science cafe's will be moving to an online format for the time being.

Please connect to the live webinar through the Imperial Events wesbsite

If you are an Imperial Scientist and would like to present your research at a future Imperial Science cafe, please contact Kelly Gleason.

Are you a researcher at Imperial, a patient or member of the public? Are you thinking about getting involved in PPI? See what advice our patients and researchers have to offer in the following videos