The Public Involvement (PI) Strategy Group supports public and community involvement, engagement, and participation in our research. Members of the group have been involved in developing the Public Involvement (PI) Strategy which details our public involvement plans from 2020-25. This has provided our public contributors with opportunities to gain insight into the way our Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) is structured, its themes and its vision.

We are exploring new ways of working and inviting staff to join the PI Strategy group to promote a collaborative approach and shared vision of public involvement across the HPRU.

The PI Strategy Group is co-chaired by a public contributor and our Research Fellow in Public Involvement.

Who are the group?

There are currently 11 members of the group, all from different walks of life and with a variety of backgrounds, work history, interests and public involvement experience.  

They each bring unique insight but also share a commitment and enthusiasm for the development of research and the place of PI within that process.

What is the purpose of the PI Strategy Group?

The purpose of the PI Strategy group is to ensure good public involvement practices are being undertaken across and at all levels of the HPRU. More specifically, the group has four main functions:

  1. To review our PI Strategy.
  2. To provide opportunities for HPRU senior management and staff to review progress and monitor public involvement activities against agreed resources and capacity.
  3. To ensure quality assurance of our public involvement activities.
  4. Reporting to and from the HPRU Executive Group and Scientific Advisory Board.

Researchers from each theme will be invited to join the group to discuss projects that require public involvement. Meetings continue to be held on a quarterly basis.

Public contributors who are members of the PI Strategy Group are also members of the Public Contributor Database.

The Public Involvement team and Programme Manager oversee the operation of the PI Strategy Group, working with its members to ensure that they are supported and receive training or guidance as needed, so that they can confidently carry out their role.

What’s it like to be part of the PI Strategy Group?

PI Strategy group member, Mina Tanna shares her experience:

Mina Tanna

As a PI Strategy group member, I have a number of roles, including reviewing and implementing the PI strategy. As part of this role, I am involved in providing training in public involvement for researchers across the HPRU.

I was asked to co-deliver training to researchers who were undertaking research in Infectious Disease and Epidemiology which involves quantitative research.

During the session, we talked to the researchers about some of the examples I could bring in as a public contributor and how they could be relevant for different activities across the research cycle. I also adapted these activities to quantitative research. The researchers found the training useful as I could give them practical examples of how, as a public contributor, I could ask questions about their work, help to interpret data, and provide a different perspective on the project and findings.

The researchers provided feedback that they found the training useful and would now consider public involvement for their research. Another stated: “I really liked the fact that a public contributor was involved in the session, and it felt very much like a collaborative effort.”