Patient and Public Involvement

At the Edinburgh Clinical Research Facility, you can advise us on our research. Patient and public involvement is when members of the public are actively involved in research projects and organisations. This means research is carried out ‘with’ or ‘by’ members of the public rather than ‘to’, ‘about’ or ‘for’ them. Researchers and patients/members of the public work together to design, carry out and report on research.

Patient and Public Involvement

Are you a member of the public?

Are you interested in working with research teams to bring the patient/public view to their research? We can help you to find opportunities to become actively involved in health research. You can also join our Patient Advisory Group to bring the patient view to our research and education programme. Please contact Allison Worth if you want to get involved.

Guide to patient and public involvement in research

Download our guide on public involvement. This guide answers questions such as

  • If I get involved what will I be doing?
  • What can I expect from involvement in research?
  • What questions should I ask a researcher who wants to involve me in their research?
  • What will the researcher expect of me?
  • What skills do I need?
  • Will I be paid or will my expenses be refunded?
  • Advice for people on benefits – who to discuss with

Read more about advising us on research on our Edinburgh CRF Education Programme website .

Why do we do research?

Health research covers a very wide range of activities – generally, it aims to find out new knowledge that could lead to changes to treatments or care. Here are some of the main aims of the research we do:

  • To find out more about the causes of illness
  • To test new treatments
  • To find out the best ways to care for people with illness
  • To find the best ways to provide care and support for people in the normal life course, for example children, older people, women in pregnancy and childbirth
  • To find ways of preventing illness

Common ways of doing research

  • Clinical trials: research studies which compare a new or different type of treatment with the best treatment currently available. They test whether the new treatment is safe, effective and any better than what already exists.
  • Qualitative research: explores people’s beliefs, experiences, views or behaviours. It asks questions about ‘how’ and ‘why’ people view their health and healthcare, using methods such as interviews and focus groups.
  • Systematic reviews: bring together the results of all studies addressing a particular research question that have been carried out around the world. They provide a comprehensive and unbiased summary of the research.
  • Surveys: use questionnaires (a prepared set of written questions) to obtain information. Questionnaires can be completed on paper, using a computer or with an interviewer.