Public and Patient Involvement and Engagement

Carrying out research ‘with’ or ‘by’ contributors of the public rather than ‘to’, ‘about’ or ‘for’ them.

What is Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement?

Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement or ‘PPIE’ has become a wide-spread phenomenon in health and social care research. PPIE is considered the gold standard of research and is typically required by funding bodies (such as the NIHR) to access grant funding.

It is a way in which members of the public and/or patients share their lived experience and ideas in order to help improve research and teaching. Public contributors are not participants in our research, instead they work in collaboration with researchers and teaching teams across a broad range of activities to collaborate and improve the work that is being delivered. Public contributors can be patients, carers, family members, service users, people with lived experience of the topic in question or simply people who are interested in getting involved with the work we are doing.


PPIE at LJMU is crucial as much of the work that we do has the potential to affect the lives of millions of people, both in locally and further afield. By involving a range of partners and sharing experience and knowledge, we obtain unique and valuable insights to achieve more effective, meaningful and inclusive research and teaching. We are committed to finding solutions and improving the lives of our communities and wider society through teaching, research and engagement activities across all our faculties. You can find out more about LJMU’s commitment to improving the lives of our community and further afield in the LJMU Strategy 2030.

Faculty of Health

Meeting the demands of health and the community, we work collaboratively across a range of health disciplines from Nursing and Allied Health to Public Health and Psychology. We work closely with both public and private sector organisations to ensure we have access to the best knowledge, skills and expertise to meet the demands of the increasingly challenging health sector. Public advisors are embedded in teaching and research activities across the faculty and we regularly engage experts-by experience to lead experience-informed teaching sessions.

Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies

From Architecture to Film, Criminal Justice to Sociology and Policy, we deliver collaborative, supportive and challenging environment to achieve research excellence. We work closely with public advisors from third sector organisations on a wide range of projects including participatory and collective urban practices, and arts in health, the Littlewoods Heritage Project. Types of activities range from art making workshops and gallery discussions to co-developing research training.

Faculty of Science

Encompassing life sciences from sport and exercise science to biological and chemical sciences, we work hard to deliver an innovative approach and passion for scientific advancements. Public advisors are involved in projects in a variety of ways including renewable energy, obesity, nutrition and physical activity, immunology, cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Faculty of Engineering and Technology

We are dedicated to providing a creative, enterprising and dynamic faculty with expertise from our leading academics and industry professionals. From sensor technologies to maritime logistics, sustainability and infrastructure, our teams of researchers have achieved excellence in their fields, producing high-quality, high-impact work; work that not only has commercial application, but also has a positive impact on both economic and social wellbeing. We work collaboratively across a number of health disciplines from biohazard detection, through health monitoring to clinical images toward understanding of diseases. Our research has been funded by many funding bodies including Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), EU and UK research councils.

Faculty of Business and Law

Encouraging practical application of theory and knowledge to produce graduates with the skills to succeed in the business and law sectors. Our teaching staff engage with business and law organisations and professional bodies to ensure that teaching responds to sector needs and reflects current practice. Public contributors have been involved in projects related to health messaging, health statistics, social change and human rights and justice.

Where is PPIE used?


  1. As a member of a Steering Committee or an Advisory Board.
  2. Being part of a Research User Group/Patient Advisory Group.
  3. Reviewing grant proposals/research methodologies.
  4. Consulting on research funding proposals.
  5. Advising on research documentation (e.g., participant information sheets, consent forms, advertising material).
  6. Being an active partner in research (a ‘co-researcher’, “peer researcher” or “co-trainer”).
  7. Involvement in data analysis.
  8. Involvement in preparation of dissemination materials and dissemination events.

Teaching and Learning

  1. Bringing patient and public experience to learning groups of established professionals or to in-service training.
  2. Advising on course development and learning materials from a patient perspective.
  3. Sharing their stories and lived experiences with learners in the classroom including professionals/in-service training.
  4. As simulated and/or volunteer patients involved in assessment and feeding back to tutors and students.
  5. Leading or co-producing lectures, workshops, seminars and tutorials.
  6. Peer reviewing academic lectures.
  7. As teachers/assessors/evaluators of student clinical skills.
  8. As equal partners in student education, assessment and curriculum development (e.g., patient educators collaborate in setting curriculum objectives, assessment criteria).

Organisations we work with

There are many ways in which we involve public and patients in our research and teaching activities. We work with a range of external collaborators including other academic institutions, healthcare providers and industry.


The NIHR Applied Research Collaboration ARC NWC is part of the NIHR and hosted by the NHS Cheshire and Merseyside ICB in partnership with the University of Liverpool. ARCs support applied health and care research that responds to the needs of local populations and health and care systems. Support provided include biopharmaceuticals, MedTech, genomics, diagnostics and digital health and many more.

Changes Plus 

Changes Plus Ltd involves its associate members with lived experience at the heart of contributing to educating healthcare professionals. They aim to bring together the unique experience of service users and carers so they can enhance the learning outcomes of students within the faculties of education healthcare and well-being including nursing and midwifery, social work and psychology.

Focus on Involvement

Focus On Involvement use their experiences as service users and carers to provide students with lived knowledge, which can help them to develop greater understanding and insight of living with illness, disability, mental illness and caring for others. Students currently benefit from their knowledge are nursing, social work, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, radiotherapy, dietetics and medicine.

Get in touch

If you would like support with including PPIE in your research and teaching projects and activities, please email Claire Adshead, Patient and Public Involvement Coordinator.

Relevant resources