Organisations that fund research often require patient and public involvement (PPI) to be part of the projects they choose to fund. This requirement is based on the knowledge that PPI is key to ensuring the right research questions are being asked; that the conduct of research is patient-focused and that the results of research are communicated to the public and patients in an understandable way.
PPI has become increasingly popular within both medical and social research. The key principle is that the general public and/or people affected by the research topic are involved throughout the research, ensuring it is appropriate and acceptable.
The first stage of the research process is to develop a research proposal and bid for funding. It is important that PPI is included at this stage, as this can help ensure that the research design is relevant to the target population and that the researcher is able to communicate their ideas and intentions in a way that is meaningful to the general population. However, finding individuals to be involved at this stage can be a challenge in the sexual health research field. This is why BASHH and THT are setting up this lay research panel, made up of members of the general public, who will review research proposals and feedback to the researchers on their proposals.
I get to see research proposals in their infancy and in a small way help shape them into reality. I've been able to review projects about antimicrobial resistance in disadvantaged groups, HIV testing in a novel setting, a computerised program to help people seek treatment, and an interesting method to treat infection in the comfort of one's home. In all instances, I've felt valued and taken seriously by scientists far more experienced than myself. Patients should be a part of the research that affects them, and I get a huge sense of accomplishment and achievement every time I'm able to take part. -
Jessica, panel member
The process was very helpful in terms of us clarifying why and how we plan to involve patients/public in our research. The panels suggestions altered our research plans, and helped to confirm our general direction of travel with our research design. -
Julia, Researcher from UCL
From my perspective it is a wonderful resource to be able to go through BASSH to ask for some feedback on the proposal as because I’m not working in a clinical setting or organisation with members potentially relevant to the research, I would otherwise have struggled to access these of views. Appreciated also the fact that you had a well thought through process, paperwork and people ready to engage with more unusual projects -
Catherine, Research from Sussex
Information for Researchers
Please find information about the panel below. If you would like to apply for a lay review of your project, then please download the application form, complete and send to firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information please click here
To download the application form please click here