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There are no prerequisites to become a public contributor. Your local PPI contact might have resources specific to your University, but there are several universal resources available that might help you in your role. The NIHR has also published an online sharing platform where resources are shared which provide support on various elements of patient and public involvement. There are also various training resources available.

Virtual involvement

You might be asked for an involvement meeting to travel to a university building or another commercial or community venue. It can also happen that involvement meetings take place virtually via telephone or video conferencing tools you can access via your computer or mobile device.

The School has produced "how to use" guides for software which might be used to enable virtual involvement. The guides will explain, making use of screenshots, how to join in meetings and participate with their most common features.

version 30/06/2020version 30/06/2020Together with partner NIHR organisations, the SPCR has produced an information flyer on virtual involvmeent, focusing on video calling. The flyer gives you more information on software you might come across and tips and tricks derived from experienced public contributors and PPI coordinators. The flyer can be downloaded here.



Research Cycle

Involvement through the research cycle, produced by NIHR RDS South CentralInvolvement through the research cycle, produced by NIHR RDS South CentralPatient and Public Involvement can happen throughout the research cycle. This image, produced by NIHR RDS South Central, explains how patient and public involvement can occur and make a difference throughout the research cycle.

The EQUIP study published a handbook with further in-depth information on various types of research and how involvement could occur throughout each method. 



Since recent years, public contributors have been asked to become a co-applicant on grant proposals. A co-applicant is involved in the development of the grant application and has some responsibility for the management and/or delivery of the study. This role requires more commitment compared to most other involvement activities and often experienced public contributors are approached for this role. The NIHR published a guidance on the roles and responsibilities of public co-applicants in research.


It could be that you are involved in a project as a co-researcher, working alongside the research team in developing, conducting and delivering the research project. The University of York have developed a guide for co-researchers working on co-produced research projects to support you in this role 


When researchers send you any documents, they are expected to have written these in understandable English. However, sometimes academic language has slipped though which makes the document difficult to read. The NIHR has developed a jargon buster to help you tackle the academic language. It is important to provide feedback to the researcher on their language so they can learn and improve their communication in the future.