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Supporting patient and public involvement in research


Patient and public involvement in research is often defined as doing research ‘with’ or ‘by’ people who use services rather than ‘to’, ‘about’ or ‘for’ them.  This is an active partnership between patients and the public and researchers in the research process, and is different to taking part in a study.

How is the NIHR supporting patient and public involvement?

NIHR has re-launched key resources and guidance that support patient and public involvement in health and social care research. The resources help patients and the public learn more about the benefits of involvement and how to get involved, and also provide advice for researchers and professionals on involving patients and the public in their research projects.

The resources were originally produced by INVOLVE and have been brought up-to-date, made accessible and rehomed. As the INVOLVE website is due to be retired, this means  everyone can have continued access to key guidance on involvement.

All of the updated resources can be found on Learning for Involvement. In addition, many of the resources have also been embedded in the NIHR website to provide essential guidance to people applying for funding, managing projects or looking to get involved with research. Take a look at the options below.

For researchers - I’m interested in involving the public in my research

Involving patients and the public is a critical part of  making a strong application when applying for funding from the NIHR. We’ve included more resources on this section of the website to help you when applying for funding and filling out the standard application form.

Take a look at advice on making a strong application.

In addition, we’ve updated the information around managing your project, and you can take a look at the additional advice here.

For patients, carers and the public - I’m interested in getting involved in research

Your knowledge from having experienced your own care, or the care of others, is of great value to researchers. You can get involved at every stage of research, from the design of a project to sharing the results. Find out more about involvement, what you can contribute and how to find opportunities both within and outside of NIHR here.

For professionals - I have a professional role in patient and public involvement

You might find the guidance embedded in the NIHR website helpful for advising researchers or public contributors. But if you want to learn more about specific areas of  involvement, for example involving children and young people or co-producing a research project, take a look at our full suite of resources on Learning for Involvement.

Browse our full range of resources

These resources are living documents, do get in touch if you have comments or feedback about the resources.

A note on INVOLVE

INVOLVE was superseded by the establishment of a new NIHR centre in April 2020, and therefore does not exist anymore. As a result, the INVOLVE website will be retired by June 2021, and the content on the  website will no longer be updated or actively supported.

Although we are going to retire the INVOLVE website, we still very much acknowledge the INVOLVE legacy and history, for example through these re-launched resources.