Involving the public in your research

We believe that public involvement makes research more relevant, more reliable and more likely to change practice.

Health and Care Research Wales has a mission to support and develop excellent research which has a positive impact on the health, wellbeing and prosperity of the people in Wales.

In 2019-20 researchers, research managers and members of the public collectively agreed the vision and practical actions that should form our joint approach to public involvement and engagement which can be read in the Discover your role report.

Members of the public can help you choose relevant research topics and make sure you’re asking the right questions; help you to decide how a study is run, using their experience as someone who lives with an illness or condition; and, they can also help you once your study is complete by evaluating or sharing your research results.

How to access support

Health and Care Research Wales has a dedicated team who provide support and resources to help you involve members of the public in your research. The team has an enabling involvement fund to support you with public involvement at the development stage before your research is funded.

As part of a UK-wide partnership, we have helped to develop the UK Standards for Public Involvement, which aim to improve the quality and consistency of public involvement in research.

If you want to involve patients, service users, carers or members of the public in your research, please complete our request for public involvement support form or contact the team.

Getting started

Appointing members of the public

Once you have appointed members of the public to get involved in your research, the following tools and templates will be useful:

  • Appointment checklist for researchers - a checklist to assist in progressing with the next steps for meaningful public involvement.
  • Code of conduct template - this template can be adapted and populated to meet the needs of your organisation.
  • Problem solving procedure - involvement of the public is not employment and usually it is a positive experience for all concerned. Sometimes things go wrong, this procedure should help and is based on advice from the Wales Centre for Voluntary Action (WCVA).
  • Benefits Advice Service for involvement - a service that can provide advice about the impact of receiving payment for time on members of the public who are in receipt of benefits. NB due to the coronavirus outbreak contact for the benefits advice service has changed to: tel 07377 232240 or email 

Training and support

We provide training and support to make sure you can get the most out of involving the public in your research.

We are not currently holding face to face public involvement in research training and we are working to  extend the library of e-learning available. An NIHR library of useful public involvement courses can be found here which will eventually include those developed in and for Wales 

Other courses can be found on our training page.

For further support or information please contact the Health and Care Research Wales support and delivery service.