PERC team smiling

The Patient Experience Research Centre (PERC) is a multidisciplinary group of clinicians, public health specialists and social scientists combining strengths in quantitative and qualitative research methods. We aim to promote active communication between patients, researchers and clinical staff to address real problems, and through this improve the quality of healthcare and the impact of translational research.

PERC was set up in 2011 with start-up funding from the NIHR Imperial Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) and project funds from the Imperial College Healthcare Charity. We are building on over 25 years of collaborative research by clinical epidemiologist Prof. Helen Ward and anthropologist Sophie Day.

About PERC


The Patient Experience Research Centre provides support, advice and education and training to a variety of organisations and individuals.

Support and advice

We offer the following advice and support for researchers and clinical teams:

  • Qualitative research methods
  • Public involvement for research funding applications and projects
  • Policies for public involvement including payment, confidentiality etc.
  • Involving patients and staff in co-design projects
  • Focus groups
  • Analysis of patient surveys and comments

If you would like to contact us about involving patients in your research, please do so at

Education and training

Short courses and workshops on public and patient involvement for laboratory and clinical researchers. Lectures and practical sessions about qualitative and mixed methods research for undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses

Research project supervision

  • BSc
  • MRes
  • MSc/MPH
  • PhD

If you would like to contact us about research projects supervision, please do so at or


We welcome collaborations with a wide range of groups and individuals. Please see below for a list of current and past collaborators. If you would like to get in touch about working with us, please contact

Cancer Research UK Imperial Centre

The Centre brings together scientists working across different areas of biomedical research to find innovative new ways to tackle cancer. The Cancer Research UK Imperial Centre integrates core biological cancer expertise with surgical technology, imaging, engineering, chemistry, computing and physics to evaluate new technologies.

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Northwest London (ARC NWL)

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Applied Research Collaboration Northwest London was established in July 20019 to support applied health and care research that responds to, and meets, the needs of local populations and local health and care systems. The ARC NWL's broad research priorities are:

  1. Child population health
  2. Multimorbidity
  3. Digital health
  4. Innovation and evaluation
  5. Information and intelligence
  6. Patient, public, community engagement and involvement
  7. Collaborative learning and capacity building

NIHR Health Protection Research Units (HPRUs)

We provide public involvement support to a number of HPRUs across Imperial College and the Imperial BRC.

Helix Centre

HELIX is a design team embedded in St Mary's hospital, set up by Royal College of Art and Imperial College to solve unsolved medical problems. We have worked with the HELIX team in developing a care map that helps breast cancer patients at the point of diagnosis to understand and navigate the care they receive.

Imperial College Health Partners (ICHP)

Imperial College Health Partners is a partnership organisation bringing together NHS providers of healthcare services, clinical commissioning groups and leading universities across North West London.

Nursing Directorate, Imperial Healthcare NHS Trust

The Nursing Directorate at Imperial is responsible for developing a strategic approach to ensuring people have a positive experience of care and treatment and that people are cared for in a safe environment. In partnership with the directorate, we worked on a nurse handover project aimed at improving the handover process for both nurses and patients.

Patient Safety Translational Research Centre (PSTRC)

NIHR Patient Safety Translational Research Centres work to pull advances in basic research with potential relevance to patient safety into an applied research setting. Combining a range of research disciplines from the NHS and universities, they undertake research to drive forward improvements in patient safety and safety of NHS services in hospitals and GP surgeries. This research has the potential to translate into real benefits for patients, such as reducing prescription errors, improving diagnosis of cancer and rare diseases and reducing accidents during surgery.

Public Health England (PHE)

We collaborate with the National HIV Reporting team at Public Health England on the Positive Voices survey for HIV patients. As part of this collaboration, we have facilitated the involvement of patient groups, such as Positively UK, in the design and analysis of research questions that will provide data of use to their service users. 

Royal College of Psychiatrists

The Royal College of Psychiatrists is the professional body responsible for education and training, and setting and raising standards in psychiatry. We were commissioned by the Royal College of Psychiatrists to design a questionnaire for dementia carers to help determine the quality of care that their charges are receiving.