Public Involvement Fund

Public Involvement Fund

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It is best practice to involve members of the public as early as possible in the research design process and meaningful patient and public involvement is key to obtaining National Institute for Health Research grant funding.

The Public Involvement Fund supports researchers with meaningful public involvement and the costs involved, at the design stage of research. Researchers may apply for up to £300. However, in exceptional circumstances, the RDS-SE will consider applications up to £400.  Funds can be sought for costs such as postage and publicity of PPI events as well as for lay members costs such as travel, light refreshments, carer /childcare, and training which cannot be provided by RDS. Venue hire will also be considered but we encourage finding a room free to book where possible. Staff time or travel is not covered by this fund.

We welcome applications throughout the year and we have at least one lay reviewer and one RDS PPI core team member reviewer for all applications. Please allow plenty of time for our review process when planning your Public Involvement Fund application. We aim to respond to applicants within 3 to 4 weeks with a decision and feedback on the application. The reviewers consider how realistic and how well thought through the proposed PPI activities are. This includes how clearly using plain language throughout the applicant has written about:

  • the purpose of the PPI,
  • the intended population,
  • the planned activities,
  • who will lead the PPI activities,
  • how the activities will be coordinated,
  • how public contributors will be supported,
  • and the appropriateness of the budget.

When thinking through the application, consideration should be given to the National Standards for PPI.

How to apply for funds

Speak to your RDS SE lead adviser in the first instance. If you are applying for funding from a national, peer reviewed funding programme and they feel you would benefit from a Public Involvement Fund, they will arrange for you to be issued with an application form and researcher checklist with details on how to return the completed application.  Successful applicants are expected to carry out the planned PPI activity within 3 months of being awarded the fund, and where possible, this includes the invoicing of costs incurred (including receipts).

For further information or to talk through with a member of the PPI team please email:

Guidance for payment

INVOLVE and the Mental Health Research Network produced an 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, a step by step guide, examples of successful PPI involvement in research projects and 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 in the INVOLVE ‘Payment for involvement’ leaflet



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