Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


What is PPIE?

PPIE stands for Public and Patient Involvement and Engagement.

Instead of just doing research on people, public involvement means doing research with them. It's about working together and sharing decision-making. Public engagement focuses on raising awareness and sharing research knowledge and findings.

"Research done with the public, not for them" in white text in a blue box

People who might be affected by the research get to team up with researchers to make sure the work is as good as possible. This means using everyone's ideas and experiences to come up with the best questions to ask, ways to test things out, and how to share what we learn. Basically, everyone works together to make the research the best it can be!

In this video, people involved in PPI talk about their experiences.

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In PPI, research is like a team project, but instead of just researchers working on it, people who might be affected by the research get to join in as well.

What is public engagement?

Public engagement is a little different to public involvement and focuses more on raising research awareness and sharing knowledge and findings. Public engagement includes a wide range of activities or ways for researchers to share and discuss their research design, methods or early findings to get feedback from the public.  There are three main categories of public engagement: collaborating, consulting, and informing. Different public engagement activities will fit into the different categories. The Wellcome Trust developed a helpful image below, showing some examples of activities:

The Public Engagement ‘Onion’

Figure 1: The Public Engagement ‘Onion’, developed by the Wellcome Trust. The Mathematical, Physical, and Life Sciences (MPLS) Division, the University of Oxford, digital image, accessed 01 03 2024, https://www.mpls.ox.ac.uk/public-engagement/what-is-public-engagement

"Ways PPI can help research" infographic

When considering PPI, it is important to keep in mind why you are doing the research and who it is you want to involve. By working together, everyone's voice gets heard, and the research is more likely to be useful and relevant to the people who matter most.

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