Patient and Public Involvement in your research

We can help researchers with PPI

The NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) team are available to give advice and support for researchers who want to involve patients and the public in their research. We also coordinate the Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) PPI panel, which has more than 70 members of the public from around Cambridge, with and without health conditions, who are interested in getting involved in health research. The CUH PPI panel can review research documents and funding proposals, participate in discussion groups with researchers and many are also interested in ongoing involvement with research teams.

Here’s what research colleagues have said:

  • ‘I went through all the suggestions one by one and systematically applied changes to the documents. The documents read a lot better after the edits.’ Dr Gaby Captur, Clinical Lecturer and NIHR Rare Diseases Translational Research Fellow
  • ‘Your comments have been incredibly useful – in particular pointing out parts of the summary that are confusing. I have now extensively revised this based on your advice, and the advice of other groups. Many thanks to all of you.’ Mr Stephen Price, Consultant Neurosurgeon NIHR Applied Research Collaborations (ARC) Fellow
  • ‘All the feedback was very helpful and I expect it to impact positively on the study.’ Dr Audrey Melvin, Clinical Research Fellow University of Cambridge

The NIHR Cambridge BRC PPI team run regular training sessions for researchers who are new to PPI or who want to build their skills. These are currently held online but when lockdown restrictions ease will resume in our offices on the Cambridge Biomedical Research Campus.

Researchers’ PPI pack

We have put a Researchers’ Patient and Public Information pack together for researchers working on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus to help build PPI into their research. The information in the pack above is also available as text only on the following page of our website: Researchers’ PPI information pack

At NIHR Cambridge BRC, we aim to involve the public in all our research by providing a range of options so that you can find one that suits you. Read more about our PPI Strategy here.

The NIHR Clinical Research Network have made available a Participant in Research Experience Survey (PRES) Recruitment Enhancement Tool to help researchers, this is available on our useful links and documents page.

Top tip for researchers

One of our Patient and Public Involvement panel members has put together a list of top tips to help develop your patient information documents

  • Titles that go on-and-on-becoming-incomprehensible
  • Assuming we already know or don’t know things (ask us!)
  • Too much use of jargon and technical language
  • Not enough use of pictures and diagrams
  • Inviting comments and then [seeming to] ignore them
  • Lack of openness / honesty / transparency
  • Only half-explaining a process:
  • “A sample will be collected…”  How?!
  • Asking us to comment on things that can’t be changed
  • No (or meaningless) Feedback
  • Unrealistic timescales

Meet some of our panel members

PPI Panel member Barbara

Being part of the PPI group has proved an extremely rewarding experience and provided a sense of contributing something of real value, no matter how small that might be. It is a very positive and socially stimulating experience.

Barbara, PPI member

PPI Panel member Charles

I joined because of my long-term interest in health.

If you think you might enjoy expressing your opinions on health research you should join the panel.

Charles, PPI member

PPI Panel member Karen

The CUH PPI panel is a great opportunity to get a broader feel for what’s happening in health research in Cambridge – and to have a say in that research – especially after my several experiences as a patient.

Karen, PPI member

Meet our Patient and Public Involvement team

Dr Amanda Stranks

Dr Amanda Stranks, PPI/E and Communications
Strategy Lead

Georgina Norris, Patient and Public Involvement Coordinator

Gail Holloway, Patient and Public Involvement Coordinator


If you would like to get in touch with the PPI team, please complete the enquiry form below:

Enquiry form

Discover more about the NIHR Cambridge BRC

Contact us by phone, email or web for more information.

Events Calendar

Listing relevant events and training sessions for researchers and members of the public.