Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) 

NOTE: The Policy Research Programme has been incorporated into the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). Any new information about the Programme or new calls will be advertised on the NIHR website.

INVOLVE defines public involvement in research as research being carried out ‘with’ or ‘by’ members of the public rather than ‘to’, ‘about’ or ‘for’ them. This includes, for example, working with research funders to prioritise research, offering advice as members of a project steering group, commenting on and developing research materials, undertaking interviews with research participants.

Importance of PPI

Patient and Public Involvement is an important part of the research PRP funds in several ways:

  • Patients and members of the public are actively involved in the research we fund.  
  • Patients and members of the public are involved in reviewing funding applications as well as final reports.
  • Five public members currently serve on our standing Commissioning Panel, which makes recommendations for funding.

INVOLVE is an excellent source of knowledge, learning and information about patient and public involvement in research.

"People-focused research in the NHS simply cannot be delivered without the involvement of patients and the public. No matter how complicated the research or how brilliant the researcher, patients and the public always offer unique, invaluable insight.” 

  - Professor Dame Sally C Davies, Chief Medical Officer for England, Department of Health



For researchers:

An essential aspect of the research application is its Plain English Summary, a brief summary that has been written for members of the public rather than research professionals. A clear concise summary is important in helping members of the public understand the research and is assessed by both public reviewers and panel members. The Plain English Summaries of funded studies are published on the PRP website. For more information and guidance on the purpose of Plain English Summaries, please visit the INVOLVE website: Plain English Summaries.

We recommend the Research Design ServiceINVOLVE, and CCF Resources for Researchers, as sources of information and support for researchers developing PPI in their applications.

For members of the public:

We are always interested to hear from members of the public who would like to get involved as reviewers or as panel members. To find out more about what public reviewers and panel members do please visit our Public involvement at CCF page or contact our PPI team. In addition, we have identified some key PPI resources for patients and the public.            


"I see the 'patient voice' as being central to the research and this must remain active through the whole project. The patients keep the researchers focused on why the research is needed." 

  - Farrah Pradhan, Former PRP Public Panel Member


Case studies

Here are some examples of PRP funded projects which illustrate how researchers involve patients and the public to positively impact their projects.  They are available for download by clicking the photos below:

  • Click here for a case study on using social media to involve young people in research
    • Understanding Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) Adolescents' Suicide, Self-Harm and Help-Seeking Behaviour
  • Click here for a case study on using PPI throughout the research process
    • The RESPONDS Study. Bridging the knowledge and practice gap between domestic violence and child safeguarding: developing policy and training for general practice