Welsh Government

Involving the public in your research

Public involvement is where people are not just the subjects of research but are working with researchers to plan, manage, carry out and present research. 

We believe that public involvement makes research more relevant, more reliable and more likely to change practice.

Find out more about public involvement in research.

If you are a researcher working in health and social care research in Wales, Health and Care Research Wales can:

  • help you to find members of the public to be involved in your research study through the Involving People Network. The Network currently has over 150 members with a wide range of interests within health and social care;
  • give you information and guidance on how to involve the public in your research. 

Definitions of involvement, engagement and participation

Involvement
Where members of the public are actively involved in research projects and research organisations.  The research is carried out with or by members of the public, for example, reviewing information given to patients about research.

Engagement
Where information and knowledge about research is provided and shared, for example, at a research conference.

Participation
Where people take part in a research study, for example by giving a blood sample or completing a questionnaire.

How to access support

To find out more about involving the public in your research or to discuss your requirements, contact the Public Involvement and Engagement Team: 02920 230457 / research-involvement@wales.nhs.uk

You may also find our ‘Public involvement resources for researchers’ page useful.

Cardiff University School of Medicine have produced a film aimed at researchers which highlights some of the many benefits of involving the public in research. It describes ways in which you can involve the public in the research cycle and effectively signposts researchers to the support, guidance and resources available in Wales - watch the Public Involvement in Research film.

If you are a member of the public interested in getting involved in research, there is information on joining the Involving People Network in our Public section.