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Why involve the public/patients at this stage?

The NIHR and many other research funders now require you to provide details of your public involvement plans and costs when applying for funding. These organisations include members of the public/patients on review boards to give a broader perspective to the review process by considering the issues that are important from the public/patient perspective. 

How your research could benefit

Involving patients or the public in the process of having research funded/commissioned can:

  • Help explore clinically-important research areas
  • Align research with public interest and patient need
  • Speed up the funding process by demonstrating public support for your research proposal
  • Give greater credibility to your research proposal
  • Open-up funding opportunities from patient organisations and charities

How you could benefit

Involving the public in your work at the funding and commissioning stage can have a positive impact on you too:

  • Greater insight into public/patient opinion of your research proposal
  • Better knowledge, understanding of and commitment to those who will benefit from your research
  • Greater focus and clarity on the relevance and aims of your project
  • Greater motivation/momentum to conduct research

Ways to involve the public at this stage

Here are a few ideas on how to involve patients and the public in commissioning research:

  • Involve the public in reviewing research proposals, protocols and methods for sense, ethical considerations and relevance
  • Involve the public in reviewing research grant applications
  • Connect with organisations representing patient groups or conditions who commission research
  • Include a patient/member of the public as a co-applicant who will continue to advise and be involved in your research/project

Here are a few real-life examples for inspiration:

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Next steps

If you're interested in the benefits of public involvement at this stage, here's how to getting going:

Go to the next research stage - Designing and Planning - or use the navigation bar at the top to explore where else public involvement could help.