Public and Patient Involvement in Research

Funded by the Health Research Board, the PPI Ignite Programme aims to bring about a culture change in how healthcare research is conducted across the University. 

The PPI Ignite @ NUI Galway programme office:

  • Supports health and social care researchers to involve members of the public in meaningful ways across the full research cycle
  • Connects the public and patient and community organisations to researchers who are seeking PPI partners
  • Delivers PPI training and education to researchers and to the public
  • Runs PPI clinics that provide advice on how to get started with PPI
  • Connects researchers to other researchers with relevant PPI experience
  • Helps researchers to evaluate the impact of their PPI activities

The PPI Ignite @ NUI Galway programme is led by Prof Sean Dinneen. View a short video about PPI Ignite @ NUI Galway  here.

Public and Patient Involvement Training day for Researchers Feb 27th 

We are organizing a PPI training day on Wednesday 27 February, this event supported by the HRB, has two streams:

Stream 1: Introduction to PPI for researchers – for researchers, academic staff and PhD students who have little or no prior knowledge or experience of PPI

Stream 2: Communication skills in PPI – forresearchers, academic staff and PhD students who already have a knowledge of PPI and have some practical experience working with PPI contributors in research

The day will be led by research staff from NUI Galway and University of Manchester (PRIMER group) and by PPI contributors who partner with researchers at both universities.  

Further information and booking details can be found here.


Read the Winter Newsletter to see a range of the activities we have been involed in.

If you would like to join our email distribution list so that you will receive occasional updates from us, follow this link.

PPI Strategy

You can read the NUI Galway PPI Strategy.

Community Engaged Scholars (CES-P) Programme

The PPI Ignite @ NUI Galway programme is offering a new education and training initiative, the Community Engaged Scholars Programme (CES-P), to develop, support and foster academic and community partnerships interested in patient and public involvement (PPI) in health and social care research.  The CES-P was developed initially by PPI Ignite @ NUI Galway partners at the South Carolina Clinical & Translational Research Institute, the Medical University of South Carolina . The programme is currently being delivered to the tenth cohort of academic-community partners in South Carolina. Thanks to funding from the HRB under the Knowledge Exchange and Dissemination Scheme (KEDS), we are now piloting the CES-P in Ireland.

The aim of the CES-P is to strengthen capacity for collaborative research relationships among academic investigators and community members, community organisations, community-based clinicians, local health care centres and/or charitable organizations.

The purpose of the Community-Engaged Scholars Program (CES-P) is to increase the capacity of community-academic partnerships to conduct research with mutual ownership of the research processes and products, and to ultimately improve the health of our communities in Galway and beyond.

 Through the CES Programme, the PPI Ignite @ NUI Galway team will:

  • Deliver a 10-week group learning curriculum centred on PPI, consisting of face-to-face classroom sessions and self-paced online materials
  • Foster equitable partnerships between public and patients/patient organisations /community groups, researchers and other stakeholders (e.g. health care professionals), where partners work together to make joint decisions across the full spectrum of research i.e. from collaborative identification of health research questions and priorities to dissemination of research results
  • Provide up to €5,000 to each of three community-academic partnerships to conduct a small research study and collect pilot data, which will be used to inform a larger grant for future submission
  • Support the community-academic partnerships to jointly draft a grant application for an appropriate funding call, addressing a research question identified by and of interest to all in the partnership
  • Follow-up with community-academic partnerships and evaluate outcomes of the CES Programme

Support from PPI Ignite @ NUI Galway during grant application writing

The PPI Ignite @ NUI Galway programme office provides supports to Principal Investigators/researchers across NUI Galway  when planning for or when drafting a grant application. Support is provided to researchers from any discipline where the research includes outcomes that impact human health.  We encourage  researchers to email us (ppi at early in the planning process and when appropriate, we will schedule a PPI clinic to provide support on PPI aspects of the research.

EMPOWER workshops - a PPI education day for the public

On Saturday 6 October, NUI Galway hosted an information and education day, for the public, with a series of free workshops introducing PPI and developing skills useful to enable the public to partner with researchers, guiding and influencing their research. The workshops were very well attended, with attendees travelling from far and wide, and an excellent exchange of information ensued.  Funded by the Health Research Board (HRB), those attending came with very different backgrounds and experiences and there was information sharing and learning for all. A big thank you to all who attended, a number of whom expressed an interest in getting involved with researchers at NUI Galway. We will hold other public events in the future. 

What is PPI (Public and Patient Involvement) in research?

PPI in research means research carried out ‘with’ or ‘by’ members of the public rather than ‘to’, ‘about’ or ‘for’ them.  Involvement in research means, for example, activities where patients and members of the public:
•    help to decide what will be researched
•    provide early input into the design of research studies
•    are members of a research study steering committee
•    work with researchers to develop clear, understandable, patient information material  
These activities are distinct from work that is done to raise public awareness of research or to increase participation in research. PPI is also distinct from qualitative research.

Public and patient involvement in research can be described across a spectrum of involvement. At the lowest end of the spectrum, researchers inform the public about their research – this is called engagement rather than involvement.

The degree of involvement rises when researchers consult with the public about research, to more active involvement of the public and patients in research decision making. In PPI, the ultimate goal is to develop equal partnerships between public and patients, researchers and other stakeholders (eg health care professionals), with the partners working together with joint decision-making on all aspects of research, from setting research questions to dissemination of research results and impacting policy. 

What does PPI not include?

PPI does not include:
•    the recruitment of study participants. This is participation in research.
•    work aimed at raising awareness among the public around research, such as open days, public lectures or education events with schools. This is engagement with research.

Why is PPI important?

Patients draw on their lived experience and make judgements based on their understanding of their condition. The contributions of patients, carers or other members of the public provide alternative views from those of the research team, doctors or other healthcare professionals. Patients are experts by experience, living with a condition: she who wears the shoes, know where they pinch.  They may have different aspirations and thoughts about health outcomes that healthcare professionals and researchers may not have considered.  

For more information about PPI, who do I contact?

Edel Murphy
PPI Ignite Programme Office
Room 1037
Institute for Lifecourse and Society (ILAS)
NUI Galway

T: 353 (0)91 495743
 Twitter @PPI_NUIG


NUI Galway Conference Puts the Voice of Patient First in Healthcare Research

In April 2018, the HRB Primary Care CTNI, led from NUI Galway, held the third annual PPI in healthcare research conference, focusing on the theme, ‘Every Voice Matters’. Check out the HRB Primary Care CTNI web site for the presentations from the conference.