Making the Most of Writing Week: Research grant applications – not THAT PPI

Remember, there are members of the BU Clinical Research Unit team available during the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences Writing Week to help you (you don’t need to be FHSS to speak to us, we’re here to help anyone doing health research) along the way. Today we’ll focus on Helen Allen.

Once you have decided on a funder, an important (but sometimes overlooked) aspect of working up a grant application is the planning and documenting of the involvement of service users/patients/relevant groups or organisations (Public Patient Involvement or PPI) ie the people most likely to have a vested interest in the research you are intending to do. Indeed, many major national funders, including the NIHR, require detailed evidence of how service users have been involved. But do you know who to approach?  When?  How?  What can service users be involved with? What can they add? Sometimes it’s relatively straightforward to identify appropriate individuals and organisations. Other occasions can call for more creativity. Hot tip: everything takes longer to arrange than you might think. Allow a minimum of 6 weeks to plan, consult service users and feedback from the PPI consultation to your colleagues.

If you’d like some advice about planning PPI and conducting service user consultations for a project Helen Allen will be pleased to advise you. Helen is available on Tuesday 3rd and Thursday 5th January.