Get Involved

There are lots of ways you can join our patient and public community.

Why should I get involved?

There are many different reasons that people get involved in research. Perhaps you have lived experience of a certain health condition that you are keen to share, whether this is as a patient, carer or relative. You may have a special interest in a particular illness and wish to learn more. You may be keen to make a difference to future treatment options and choices for patients.

Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE) is an opportunity to meet new people, learn new skills and develop your understanding of health and social care research.

Working with public contributors brings huge benefits to research, such as making sure research topics are relevant and that studies are designed and innovations shared in a way that will be welcomed by the patient community.

Here are some quotes from our current contributors about why they choose to be involved in research:

“Listening to patients and families can provide a real springboard for ideas… If patients don’t talk to researchers and clinicians about what is important to them, then treatments don’t improve quickly. It is sometimes the smallest of changes to a piece of research that can make a huge impact on patient outcomes and no one had thought to ask.”

- AF, Public contributor


“If I can help to make some small contributions for health and social care professionals by sharing our everyday life challenges and experiences of patients and their families, I will feel truly blessed on this small contributions on improving health and wellbeing of our communities.”

- RK, Public contributor


“Sometimes we think only ill people think about their health in the future and ageing. I find it’s not like that anymore, people are health conscious, but they want to live better lives, not just live longer, because we know living longer isn’t always synonymous with living well.”

- CB, Public contributor

What can I do?

There are many different ways the public can get involved in our research. You don’t need any qualifications or previous experience, just willingness to share your thoughts and to work as part of a team to help shape research.

Involvement opportunities vary in terms of commitment. Examples include:

  • One-off workshop attendance
  • Joining an advisory group
  • Working in partnership with researchers

Some of our activities will give you chance to meet in person, others can be done from the comfort of your own home.

Before you get involved with any activity you will be told what to expect, i.e. how long it will take, what tasks you need to do, support or training available and any payment offered.

How will I be supported?

We offer dedicated support and training for people who are actively involved in our research projects. No prior knowledge is needed but to carry out a role appropriately you may need to learn new things, for example:

  • How to use video call software
  • Skills for reviewing documents
  • How to handle confidential information.

We value your time and commitment to our research. As a general principle, nobody should be out of pocket for being involved in research. We will cover all reasonable expenses (e.g. costs for travel to meetings). Before you choose to become involved in any project, we will be clear about what is involved and whether you will be offered an honorarium (payment to value your time and expertise). To find out more about payments, please see NIHR Payment guidance for members of the public.

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact

Involvement opportunities

There are lots of opportunities to get involved with research conducted by the College of Medical and Dental Sciences, many of which can be found here.

You can find opportunities to get involved with research elsewhere at ‘People in research’.

Our groups

We have many established patient and public advisory groups associated with specific health conditions. Find out more by visiting the pages below.

Stay in touch

If you would like to find out more about opportunities to get involved please email

Events and activities

Upcoming events

The University of Birmingham holds hundreds of events about our research every year and gets involved in many events hosted by others. Many of these are open to the public.

Past events