Resources for the Public
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. INVOLVE 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.
Patient and Public Involvement can happen throughout the research cycle. The NIHR explain on their website 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.
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.
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. INVOLVE published a guidance on the roles and responsibilities of public co-applicants in research.
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. INVOLVE 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.