Public involvement in research

Read our national leaflet:  ‘Getting involved in research applications’

Public involvement funds

It is considered good practice to involve members of the public as early as possible in the research design process. Funding public involvement at the grant application stage can be challenging. Our ‘Public Involvement Funds’ aim to bridge that gap. Funds are available to researchers to help facilitate public involvement in the development of research ideas and research grant applications.


Under our PPI grant scheme:

  • up to £300 can be requested
  • one payment can be awarded per study
  • Applications can be made throughout the year.
  • Applicants are given a decision within three weeks of confirmed receipt of your application.

Please speak to your lead RDS adviser or contact the PPI team direct to discuss.

PPI application form Example 1
PPI application form Example 2 Successfully secured HS &DR funding, May 2015


To be eligible to apply you must:

  • be in receipt of advice from the RDS SE
  • gain the support from your host Trust for the study
  • gain the support for a PPI Grant application from your RDS Adviser
  • declare whether you have access to alternative sources of pre-design consultation PPI funds
  • intend to submit your research proposal to an NIHR funding stream, or other funding stream supported by the RDS SE, within 12 months
  • submit a funding application at least eight weeks prior to the relevant NIHR funding application deadline
  • submit a funding application to cover costs for lay/service user involvement
  • agree to provide an ‘end of activity report’ (including final expense summary and receipts)
  • agree to provide feedback on the small grants process
  • if successful, agree to claim the PPI grant within 6 months of any award being made

Assessment criteria

Applications will be assessed by the RDS peer review panel and an academic member of staff. Under the scheme, funds can be sought to offset the costs of involvement, such as:

  • travel to meetings for lay people
  • subsistence for lay people
  • carer costs for lay people
  • attendance by lay people at relevant meetings or conferences
  • training which cannot be provided by the RDS
  • postage and publicity for PPI
  • venue hire to hold PPI meetings
  • Funds cannot be used to reimburse an NHS or academic researcher’s time or expenses

Guidance for payment

INVOLVE and the Mental Health Research Network have produced a new online resource to help with budgeting for the costs of public involvement in research. It can be used for everything from putting together an involvement budget for an entire study to working out how much it will cost to run a one-off consultation event.

The first part of the resource is a guide which:

  • provides practical advice on what costs are associated with involvement in research
  • includes a step-by-step process for identifying the associated costs and planning the budget
  • presents examples of research projects with well-developed budgets for involvement work
  • contains tips, links to useful websites, and references

The second part of the resource is an online ‘involvement cost calculator’ to work out the costs for your research study.

PLEASE NOTE: Payment for involvement may jeopardise receipt of benefits or create legal problems where lay people are in receipt of means-tested benefits. Further advice and information about this can be found here.

How to apply for funds

For an application form, please contact:

Louise Hinman
Room 361, Westlain House
University of Brighton
Village Way
Falmer BN1 9PH

T: 01273 643952