Patient and public involvement in research: the need for budgeting PPI staff costs in funding applications

Anna De Simoni*, Tracy Jackson, Wendy Inglis Humphrey, Jennifer Preston, Heather Mah, Helen E Wood, Emma Kinley, Laura Gonzalez Rienda, Carol Porteous

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

BACKGROUND: Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) groups are becoming more established as collaborators with academic researchers and institutions to ensure that research is important and relevant to end users, and to identify areas that might have ethical considerations, as well as to advise on solutions. The National Institute for Health and Care Research UK Standards for Public Involvement in Research embody best practice for PPI, including support and learning opportunities that build confidence and skills for members of the public to play an invaluable and mutually productive role in research. However, the pivotal role of research and professional services (management and administrative) staff within academic institutions for sustaining and making this involvement successful is often overlooked.

MAIN BODY: It takes significant effort to develop and sustain effective PPI in research. The six UK Standards for Public Involvement highlight the need for consistent, inclusive, well-governed and mutually respectful working relationships to sustain effective PPI contributions in health research. Productivity across a team of lay and academic members requires organisation and experience of implementing these standards by a dedicated PPI team, yet advice on PPI finances is usually focused on costs for patient panel members, and budgets in funding applications rarely consider the wider PPI team behind this involvement. As an exemplar, we reflect on how the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research (AUKCAR) has developed a dedicated PPI Platform, with guidance for how PPI should be embedded throughout the research lifecycle, and detailed information to support the costing of PPI in funding applications. AUKCAR's work with established researchers, as well as Early Career Researchers and PhD students, is at the heart of a campaign to raise awareness of the importance of PPI in effective research planning.

CONCLUSION: Focusing attention on the staff behind best practice involvement in health research may stimulate a much-needed discussion to ensure flourishing PPI capacity, with significant patient and public benefit. With adaptation, the PPI expertise within AUKCAR can be translated more widely.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16
JournalResearch Involvement and Engagement
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Community engagement
  • Health
  • Patient and public involvement
  • Research


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