Do I need a role description for public contributors?
Though public contributors are generally not employed by the University, it is highly recommended to create a role description for public contributors. A role description helps to manage expectations upfront and gives you the opportunity to specify any requirements your contributors would need for your study, such as lived experience of a specific condition or profile. The role description can also be used by the public to keep researchers aware of their involvement plans.
Find below a list of elements you would like to include in a role description. This is not an exclusive list and it depends on your study and involvement plan what should be included in the role description.
- Lay summary of your study
- What activities you would like your contributor to be involved in (e.g. panel member, reviewing patient information sheets, dissemination strategy) and what format these activities will be in (e.g. face-to-face, email, phone calls)
- (Time) commitment and expectations you would have from a public contributor
- Support available for the public contributor (a named point of contact, training available)
- Person specification (e.g. specific profile, lived experience or previous involvement experiences required)
- Remuneration and reimbursement
The NIHR created a template role description and published several examples to support researchers.