Public Involvement groups and networks

Public Involvement groups and networks

The East of England region is well served by a number of well established research advisory groups involving members of the public and people with lived experience of health and social care services.  The members of these groups are very keen to be involved in various stages of research design and delivery and have often received some basic research training. It is possible to send research plans and information to these groups for review, and also invite relevant members of these groups to be involved in your project team e.g. as a member of your project steering committee. Please open the relevant tab below to find the groups nearest to you.

Below are also tabs signposting to our regional NIHR and partner public involvement in research voice networks. These involve many regional public involvement leads and public partners and have a wealth of knowledge and experience. They are also linked to NIHR Centre for Engagement and Dissemination (previously INVOLVE).

Finally there is a link to some useful national public involvement communities which you may find useful.

For further information please contact the group co-ordinator as listed or Tracey Johns.

CambridgeshireEssexHertfordshireNorfolk & SuffolkRegionalNational

NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre

Coordinators are available to give advice and support for researchers engaging with Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) and to help researchers develop PPI strategies for their research projects. They can also assist with access to a panel of public volunteers (the Cambridge University Hospitals Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) Panel), with and without health conditions, who will share insight into their lived experiences, provide a public interest view point, review documents, join focus groups or comment on research proposals. The ‘Young People in Research Programme’ has concluded in its current format, following our wrap-up event in June. We are currently reviewing feedback from this years’ cohort and working with collaborators to redevelop the structure of the program. Interest from local young people remains strong, and we hope to be able to reopen this resource in the autumn term. If you have a project that is relevant to young people, please get in touch.


Telephone: 01223 254620

The Cambridge Patient Led Research Hub (PLRH)

The Hub supports patient-led research, working in partnership with patient groups to deliver clinical studies based on their own research questions. The PLRH was established in 2015 by members of the Cambridge Clinical Trials Unit (CCTU) from the University of Cambridge and the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. We have expertise in the design and delivery of large and complex national and international clinical trials. Importantly, we do not have a specific research focus, allowing us to support research proposals from any patient group, on any topic.


Telephone: 01223 274570

The Cambridge and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust(CPFT) Service User and Carer Research Group (SUCRG)

Involving service users and families with lived experience of mental health in developing research alongside researchers and clinicians. For further information please contact: Iliana Rokkou – User and Carer R&D Manager.


Tel: 01223 465182

University of Essex School of Health and Social Care, Service User Reference Group (SURG)

SURG supports the teaching and governance arrangements at the school. Members consist of a diverse group of individuals. Members have expressed an interest in providing PPI input for research.


University of Hertfordshire Centre for Research in Public Health and Community Care (CRIPACC)
Public Involvement in Research Group  (PIRg)

PIRg adopts a ‘hub and spoke’ approach to membership and involvement.  The ‘hub’ is a permanent, centralised group with a core membership of around 15 people.  The ‘spokes’ utilise local users of services, and existing PPI groups and networks for specific projects.

Contact: Sonya Prime


Young People’s Advisory Group

A young people’s research advisory group for children and young people aged 8-18 who live in Hertfordshire.

Group Facilitator: Dr Louca-Mai Brady


The Public & Patient Involvement in Research (PPIRes)

This project is a local initiative to enable and encourage volunteer members of the public (through support and training) to collaborate with researchers in developing research in primary and secondary care, through Trusts and Universities in Norfolk and Suffolk. The PPIRes group is part of the Norfolk & Suffolk Primary and Community Care Research Office, hosted by NHS South Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). PPIRes has a panel of approximately 60 lay members from Norfolk and Suffolk and works closely with researchers and volunteers to develop proposals from initial idea through to dissemination.

Visit our website or follow us on Twitter @NHS_NSResearch

Contact: Jacqueline Romero


Citizens Academy

The academy seeks to work collaboratively with existing structures for patient and public engagement and involvement (PPIE) not just across the faculty, but also beyond, by collaborating and supporting the work of PPIE within trusts, voluntary organisations and charities that we regularly partner with. The Citizens Academy aims to provide a central ‘hub’ to bring together PPIE activities including recruitment of members, training resources, mentorship, and also taking a coordinated approach to aspects such as payment policy and good practice guidelines.


East of England NIHR Public Involvement Collaborative

Members are Public Involvement Leads and public partners with strategic responsibility for regional working from NIHR infrastructure organisations including: Local Clinical Research Network (LCRN), Applied Research Collaboration (ARC), Reserach Design Service (RDS), Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), Brain Injury MedTech Co-operative (MIC) plus the Eastern Academic Health Science Network (EAHSN) and Citizen Senate. The remit of this group is to align regional public involvement strategies and to provide joint resources to deliver regional priorities.

Contact: Holly Westgarth CRN East of England Administrator


NIHR Centre for Engagement and Dissemination

The Centre brings together activities in patient and public involvement, engagement and participation with research dissemination. The aim is to further enhance the strong collaborative culture already established in involvement, engagement across the NIHR. Making health and care research findings informative, accessible, relevant and ready for use for all.

NIHR People in Research

Opportunities for public involvement in NHS, public health and social care research

Charity Involvement Directory

This includes links to the key contacts for the national charities who are members of the Shared Learning Group on Involvement in research ( These charities all support the active involvement of patients and carers in research.