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The University of Southampton
Interdisciplinary Research Excellence

University of Southampton to advance public involvement in health research

Published: 20 August 2015

The University of Southampton has been awarded a four year contract worth £3.2 million to deliver the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Centre for Patient and Public Involvement, Participation and Engagement, (INVOLVE Coordinating Centre).

As a national advisory group, INVOLVE brings together expertise, insight and experience of public involvement in research, with the aim of advancing it as an essential part of research process. The INVOLVE Coordinating Centre will support this by providing programme management and support for on-going work.

To date, INVOLVE has delivered knowledge, guidance and support that is respected and valued by the public and researchers alike. It has established an international reputation for excellence and leadership in public involvement in research.

Based in the Wessex Institute at the University of Southampton, the new contract will start on 1 February 2016. INVOLVE will build on its strong foundations of providing support and expertise, whilst evolving the way it delivers its services. Through a new partnership with the NIHR Research Design Service, INVOLVE will provide leadership in public involvement in research at national, local and regional levels.

Professor Dame Sally C. Davies, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department of Health, said: “INVOLVE represents our core values, with patients and the public being at the heart of everything that we do . This new contract will provide continuity for the superb work already underway, with new and greatly improved links to the regional and local expertise of the NIHR Research Design Service and across the NIHR.”

Simon Denegri, Chair of INVOLVE, comments: “This is great news for the public and for research. The 'Going the Extra Mile' report underlined that, as the NIHR community of patients, carers and the public grows, we must work differently to better support their contribution to research.

“The Wessex Institute will provide a strong foundation for the work of INVOLVE, enabling it to build upon its success while ensuring it continues to innovate and think strategically about advancing public involvement across the NIHR. The partnership with the NIHR's Research Design Service means we can strengthen the practical support and advice available to colleagues locally, and better assure its quality. I am excited about these new arrangements and look forward to judging their success on whether they have resulted in a stronger patient voice in NIHR research in five years’ time.”

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