Public involvement and engagement – MRC


MRC public involvement review

This is a review into public involvement in research with a specific focus on non-clinical health and biomedical research. It explores public involvement culture and practice within MRC and the external research landscape.

We commissioned Vocal to conduct the review. The team included:

  • researchers
  • public involvement practitioners
  • public partners

Vocal worked with an external advisory group including:

  • public partners
  • involvement practitioners
  • scientists and researchers
  • representatives of research organisations

Summary of review findings

The findings show that there is a significant amount of active public involvement taking place across the wider landscape of non-clinical research and within MRC.

To enable and achieve the potential of public involvement, we need to develop our culture, within head office and in the MRC-funded research community. Research environments should enable person-focused, inclusive, reciprocal and valued relationships with people, patients and communities.

The review provides:

  • recommendations to support the development of a new MRC public involvement and engagement strategy
  • knowledge and evidence to support the growing community of practice in public involvement with non-clinical health research

Read a personal perspective on the benefits of taking public involvement into the research lab, by Rachel Knowles, Lead for Clinical Research Policy, Ethics and Governance at MRC.

Co-developing our public partnerships strategy

With Vocal and the external advisory group we ran a series of workshops (June to July 2023).

In the workshops we explored:

  • what people would like to see in the MRC public involvement and engagement vision and priorities
  • what would be needed to deliver it in practice

Attendees included:

  • MRC staff
  • researchers
  • funders
  • public involvement and public engagement professionals
  • public or community contributors

Following the co-development workshops, we continued to work with our external advisory group and sought input from other stakeholders.

The consultation on the draft MRC public partnerships strategy ran from 8 to 29 January 2024. The results are being reviewed and will inform the final strategy due to be published in spring to summer 2024.

Last updated: 22 April 2024

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