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Research project

Getting Started with Participatory Research

Project overview

Our work in the Faculty of Medicine has provided new structures to support and recognise public-patient engagement and involvement in research. A steering group comprised of staff (from UHS_NHS teams, administrative, clinical academic, research, public engagement-involvement and education backgrounds) and students has established ways to share good engagement-involvement practice such as an ‘Inspiring Stories’ blog series, a Sharepoint site and databases of skills. An accreditation scheme has been set up to recognise staff and student professional development of engagement-involvement skills. Also, a joint scheme with UHS_NHS teams has recognised its first 16 public contributors to research.
These networking and recognition schemes are underpinned by expansion of the Faculty Mentoring scheme to include mentors with skills in PPIE, and the re-booting of a previously piloted ‘Getting Started in Public Engagement’ training course (in collaboration with CHEP and PERu). This training starts to develop skills in two-way conversations with publics. We would like to add to this training and allow Faculty staff and students a deeper exploration of participatory and co-produced research methods.
For an individual researcher at any career stage, getting started in participatory or co-produced research can be daunting. There are several excellent examples of participatory or co-produced research in the Faculty, including in conjunction with UHS_NHS teams, and additional leadership in this sector in the Wessex Institute (now School of Healthcare Enterprise and Innovation - held NIHR INVOLVE contract and currently hold NETSCC contract).
So, the Faculty is rich in participatory research expertise, but there is no formal way to share it and develop these skills in others.
Proposed training event
We have established the Faculty systems, expertise and connections with local and national groups upon which to build this training in participatory and co-produced research. However, we need resources to pilot it in a way that will be sustainable in future years. We will co-produce with the public, and with colleagues in teams from across the Faculty of Medicine and within the UHS_NHS trust a half-day in person training event at which attendees will:
(1) network with others who are interested in participatory and co-produced research;
(2) be introduced to key principles and skills in participatory and co-produced research;
(3) hear about inspiring examples of participatory and co-produced research in talks from the perspective of researchers and public contributors;
(3) see participatory and co-produced research from the perspective of community groups, voluntary sector groups (e.g. Southampton Voluntary Services), local government and Civic University leads;
(4) apply key principles and skills via sharing and kick-start ideas through team exercises to do with setting up participatory research.


Other researchers

Professor Lucy Green

Professorial Fellow-Enterprise

Research interests

  • Fetal physiology and nutrition
  • Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD)
  • Equality and diversity in research, education and public engagement
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