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Learn about the Small Grants Scheme

Supporting Innovation in Practice: Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement in Research

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The Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement in Research Small Grants Scheme supports innovative practice in patient and public involvement in health and social care research. It helps patient and public involvement become mainstream with grants typically between £500 - £1000. The scheme is funded and managed by the NIHR Clinical Research Network and has supported emerging practice since 2017.

In 2019, the Scheme set a focus on applications that supported diverse and inclusive public involvement in research and/or supported co-production in research. These areas of focus were based on recommendations from an NIHR report, Going the Extra Mile, which identified that:

  • A diverse and inclusive public involvement community is essential if research is to be relevant to population needs and provide better health outcomes for all (recommendation 10)
  • The public, researchers and health professionals should be empowered and supported better to work together (recommendation 6)

We are delighted to announce the Scheme winners below: 

These projects will progress their work from August 2019, with impact and learning shared by March 2020.  For more information contact: 

Clinical Research Network areaProject summary
Eastern The Diverse Voices Project will contribute to the creation of a diverse and inclusive community-led midwifery research network in North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust (NWAFT) Maternity Services (Peterborough area). The project will explore the views of gatekeepers and community leaders in an effort to find out how to involve women from under-served communities in the design, development and delivery of research in midwifery.
East Midlands The project aims to improve the participation of migrant communities in health research. It will co-produce plans for educational resources  promoting health research for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) learners. A series of focus workshops will develop themes in preparation for future development of a culture-appropriate, bilingual Open Educational Resource (OER) module on public participation in research.
North East and North Cumbria The project will explore methods and approaches to widen the reach of a maternity research group across the North East and North Cumbria region. This will make the group more accessible to underrepresented groups such as pregnant teenagers and migrant populations, and develop a model to encourage all women to engage in research.
North East and North Cumbria The project aims to establish effective health improvement interventions for men who have sex with men (MSM) as a priority for the NIHR Public Health Research (PHR) programme. The project will deliver community engagement work with gay, bisexual, transgender (GBT)  or other MSM to involve them in defining priorities for health research relevant to them.
North East and North Cumbria The project aims to increase participation of black and minority ethnic communities with a focus on those more likely to be at risk of cardiovascular disease from African Caribbean and South Asian communities. The project will work with these communities to establish barriers and enablers to taking part in cardiovascular research.
South West Peninsula The project aims to increase involvement of individuals with psychosis in research, recognising this group are less likely to engage than groups with other mental health conditions. It will explore:
  • preferred method(s) by which patients with psychosis would like to be contacted about research
  • psychosis patients’ attitudes to texting as a proposed method for informing them about research
  • attitudes of psychosis population in relation to being contacted from a withheld number
The project will deliver a co-produced toolkit on preferred methods of being contacted about research for this group.
Thames Valley and South Midlands The project will work with an Asian Cultural Centre community in the region to co-develop and deliver a community event to raise greater awareness of dementia, mental health and wider health research. It will produce a case study report  sharing  lessons learned around challenges and barriers that exist for the community in getting involved with mental health and dementia research. 
Wessex The project will facilitate community engagement with families experiencing deprivation in oral health research, a key area of health inequality. It will engage children and parents at local family hubs to identify acceptable ways to work with families from a range of socio-economic backgrounds in research related to children’s oral
health. Outputs will include a co-produced guide for researchers to help better engage families in future oral health research.
Yorkshire and the Humber The project will develop a partnership with an identified local school to recruit and train young women from black and minority ethnic communities as Research Champions, engaging them with a local Trust to support growth of a more diverse and inclusive public involvement community in health research.
Yorkshire and the Humber The project will reach out to demographic groups identified in the Clinical Research Network’s 2018/19 Research Participant Experience Survey as having low rates of participation in research. It will help the network to develop and test culturally appropriate involvement and engagement materials and pathways, for use by staff and partners to raise awareness of research across these groups. The project will use survey data to engage more effectively with black and minority ethnic communities to increase research awareness and improve the delivery of future health research.

Here are some resources to help you develop innovative practice in your local area:

1. Being inclusive in Public Involvement in Health Research

2. Guidance on Co-producing a Research Project

3. Toolkit for Increasing Participation of Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Groups in Health and Social Care Research

4. Involving Children and Young People