Welsh Government

What is public involvement in research?

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

You can make a real difference.

“I have found that my varied life experiences have been used by the project to enhance the final outcome.”
Member of the public

Read one of our research stories to find out how members of the public can get involved in research or click on the links below for more information:

Are there different ways to get involved in research?

Why involve the public in research?

How is public involvement supported in Wales?

Are there different ways to get involved in research?

People can get involved in research in a variety of ways and in different settings, including:

  • helping to decide which problems are most important to answer through research;
  • reading information for patients about a research study and checking it is easy to understand;
  • becoming a public representative on a group running a research study;
  • helping to decide which research studies should be funded.

There are lots of other ways you can make a difference, read one of our Research Stories or watch the Cardiff University School of Medicine 'Why get involved in Research?' film to find out more.

If you live in Wales, you can register with the public involvement community and receive information about the latest opportunities to get involved in research.


Why involve the public in research?

By involving members of the public in research, it becomes more relevant to people’s needs and concerns, and is more likely to be used to improve health and social care treatments and services.

Benefits to research include making sure research is asking the questions that are important to people who live with an illness or chronic condition. 

Benefits to members of the public include making use of their experience to help develop research that may benefit them, their family or friends. It can also be a great way to meet people and develop new skills.

“Feeling part of a group that respects your involvement is very empowering” 
Member of the Public


How is public involvement supported in Wales?

Health and Care Research Wales funds a public involvement and engagement team, whose role is to support researchers to involve the public in their work and to help members of the public to get involved in research.