You can get involved in a variety of roles in carrying out the research such as:

  • gathering and reviewing documentary evidence;
  • undertaking library-based research;
  • carrying out interviews;
  • running focus groups;
  • developing research tools and information;
  • analysing and interpreting the results of research.

Gathering and reviewing documentary evidence and undertaking library-based research

You can help by looking at different types of evidence and in interpreting the literature from a public perspective.

Example: A systematic review of research into sexual health promotion involved representatives from organisations providing services and campaigning on behalf of men who have sex with men in reviewing the literature. They were involved in recommending priority areas for study and in deciding which sexual health outcomes were to be prioritised in the review. (Rees and Oliver 2007)

Interviewing and running focus groups

You can get involved as peer interviewers (people who have direct experience of the topic being researched and who carry out interviews with other members of the public) or in helping to run focus groups. There should be training and support available for this role. 

In a project assessing the accommodation and health and social care needs of Gypsies and Travellers local gypsies and travellers were recruited as peer interviewers:

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