Joint Research Office


Funding for patient involvement

8 June 2020

Researchers can now apply for funding to involve patients and the public in their research.

Four starter grants of up to £500 – and one grant of up to £2,000 to support innovative work – are available from the BRC’s Public and Patient Involvement bursary. The scheme is also offering two grants of up to £300 specifically for PhD students to carry out PPI.

Priority will be given to applications to carry out PPI in COVID-19 research. Extra funding is also available to researchers planning to involve seldom-heard groups.

Researchers are eligible if they – or the lead researcher for their project – are based at UCL. The deadline for applications is Monday 6 July.

Funding bodies like the NIHR, the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust increasingly expect researchers to involve the public in their research.

While there is no set format for public involvement work, previous grant holders have run workshops and focus groups to seek patient views on what to research, how to recruit research participants and how to communicate research findings in accessible ways.

Investigators have also worked with patients to develop apps, and trained up members of the public as peer researchers.

Rosamund Yu, the NIHR University College London Hosptials' Biomedical Research Centre's Head of Patient and Public Involvement, said: “We want to help researchers involve patients and the public in such a way that it is a positive experience for both researchers and patients. This funding is here to enable people to do that and to make sure research is more relevant to patient need and more likely to attract funding.

The BRC is particularly interested to hear from researchers who plan to involve groups who are currently under-represented in research, in order to increase diversity in public involvement. The BRC will consider providing additional ‘top up’ funding for work which does this.

Researchers interested in applying for a grant, but who don’t know how to get started in public involvement, are encouraged to contact Patient Renias-Zuva on p.renias-zuva@ucl.ac.uk

Visit the BRC’s bursary funding page for more information.