Webinar Report: Public involvement in research

Explore how you can involve patients and the public in basic and applied life sciences research.

In this #ECRWednesday webinar the speakers discussed why and how public involvement can benefit both researchers and research. Watch the recording to learn about tools and training available for public engagement and how institutions can support researchers looking to involve the public in their research practices.

The public fund research in the hope it will improve the public good. Fundamentally, can you really improve the public good if you don’t account for the public experience? – Emma Dorris

A shift towards public involvement

Research funders and ethical approvals are increasingly requiring that the public be more involved in scientific research, particularly in health research. Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) in research is defined as research carried out with or by patients and those who have experience of a condition, rather than for, to, or about them. More researchers are becoming aware of the importance of public involvement. Indeed, in the biomedical community, public involvement is recognised as beneficial to all stakeholders and hence is considered a cornerstone of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI). However, progress towards the incorporation of meaningful involvement as standard research practice remains slow.

Practicing public involvement or engagement in research helps early career researchers develop diverse skills useful for a future career outside academia – Diogo Gomes

Moderator: Vinodh Ilangovan, Postdoctoral Researcher, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Germany, and member of the eLife Early-Career Advisory Group (ECAG).


  • Dr. Emma Dorris, Centre for Arthritis Research, University College Dublin, Ireland.
  • Prof. Gail Davies, Animal Research Nexus, University of Exeter, UK.
  • Dr. Rich Gorman, Animal Research Nexus, University of Exeter, UK.
  • Dr. Diogo Gomes, Public Engagement Coordinator, School of Clinical Medicine and Biological Sciences, University of Cambridge, UK.

We welcome comments, questions and feedback. Please annotate publicly on the article or contact us at hello [at] elifesciences [dot] org.

Interested in our full selection of #ECRWednesday webinars, on topics such as preprints, finding funding and more? Take a look at the collection of past reports and recordings.