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Personal and Public Involvement (PPI) in Research

Personal and Public Involvement (PPI)

  • Within Northern Ireland, organisations have a statutory duty to involve service users, carers and the public in the commissioning, planning and delivery of all Health and Social Care (HSC). This process is known as Personal and Public Involvement (PPI).  It means including individuals in decisions about their specific care or treatment and consulting members of the public and the wider community on the design, delivery and location of services. For more information see the Department of Health's PPI Guidance.

What does PPI mean for research?
  • In research, PPI means involving people in all aspects of the research process as partners rather than as research participants. This is also referred to as 'Patient and Public Involvement'.

  • PPI partners are part of the research team and can help shape all stages of the research cycle such as the research topic or question, how the research is carried out, and how the results are shared and applied in practice. 

How does HSC R&D Division promote PPI in research?
  • HSC R&D Division provides funding to support Health and Social Care research. This is used to build research infrastructure (networks, facilities etc), train health and social care researchers, and support research studies and clinical trials. We want to ensure that PPI is integrated into all stages of the research cycle in the projects that we fund. 

  • PPI helps researchers ask the right questions, prioritise topics that are important to patients and carers, and ultimately achieve outcomes which are meaningful to people. We also know that PPI can encourage more people to take part in research studies or clinical trials, help ensure research findings are heard and reported in an easily understandable way, and improve care in the future.

  • To find out more, please read:

  1. Our Strategy for Personal and Public Involvement in HSC Research.

  2. Our Commitment to Public Involvement in Research.

  • We also actively promote the UK Standards for Public involvement which have been designed to improve the quality and consistency of public involvement in research.

  • To help support and encourage innovative practice in the delivery of PPI, we have a PPI in Research Small Grant Scheme. This Scheme is open to researchers, health professionals or patient and public representatives working in the field of Health and Social Care Research in Northern Ireland.

  • HSC R&D Division has also established a group of PPI representatives who support it in its activities. The name of this group is PIER which stands for ‘Public Involvement Enhancing Research’. You can find out more here.


Support for researchers


Support for patients, carers and members of the public