Patient and public involvement in research: from tokenistic box ticking to valued team members.

13 Apr 2020


Patient and public involvement (PPI) in research envisages a relationship built throughout the lifespan of a research project between academics, clinicians and PPI colleagues in order to inform, plan, execute and, in due course, disseminate and translate research. To be meaningful, all stakeholders need to actively engage in this exchange of expertise. However, despite some funders requiring PPI plans to be included in grant applications, there remains a gap between what is expected and what is delivered.


As an exemplar, we reflect on how, in the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research (AUKCAR), we set out to create a supportive, organised environment with the overarching value of 'keeping patients at the heart of everything we do'. The key has been in planning and creating a suitably funded organisational infrastructure with dedicated PPI researchers along with the development of and expectation to abide by an agreed set of norms and values. Specifically, expecting AUKCAR PhD students and early career researchers to engage with PPI has established a working mode that we hope will last. Regular interactions and proactive Patient Leads increase PPI network cohesion.


With adaptation, the AUKCAR PPI model can be translated to international contexts.

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Resource information

Type of resource
Peer-reviewed article
Jackson T, Pinnock H, Liew SM, Horne E, Ehrlich E, Fulton O, Worth A, Sheikh A, De Simoni A