The NIHR HPRU in Behavioural Science and Evaluation‘s virtual patient and public involvement (PPI) panel is made up of a group of PPI contributors who are based around the UK but work with us from a distance. 

Panel members have been involved in a variety of work with us, including:

  • developing funding bids
  • working as co-applicants on grant applications
  • reviewing research documents and summaries 
  • co-authoring academic papers. 

The benefits of working virtually are most notable in the speed with which the group has been able to respond to ‘rapid response’ PPI, when calls for research funding are announced at short notice and deadlines for grant applications are tight. We are lucky to have members who are able to contribute at short notice, ensuring that PPI can be a part of the work we do, regardless of the time-frame we may be working to.

What’s it like to be part of the HPRU’s virtual PPI panel?

Panel member, Jean Elliott, shares her experience

“I was approached to review some research documents to make sure that they would be understood by the general public who are not from an academic or medical background. I am passionate about the use of plain English so that no-one is excluded from understanding published documents. 

“I read over a document sent to me and I give my feedback on the parts I am not able to easily understand or that I think others may not understand. You don’t need any technical knowledge or an academic background. You just need to give your feedback on how well you understood a document sent to you. Academics and medical professionals become used to writing  with certain technical or professional terms that are familiar and second nature to them but that would make the document inaccessible to some members of the public. 

“I’ve found the tasks I have completed very fulfilling and the authors have always been very grateful for my input so I feel that my contribution is valued. I would definitely recommend getting involved if you have a chance.”