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Imperial College London

Public Involvement in Research

Imperial College London via Coursera

Overview

This course focuses on participatory approaches in research, known as 'public involvement' in the UK. You'll specifically, consider why citizens and patients would be involved in research and explore participatory approaches across and within the research cycle in more detail, diving into questions such as:
- what kinds of participation can be undertaken at each of the 7 stages of the cycle?
- how can you utilise participation in research?
- what examples of using participatory approaches exist in research?

While this course, as with the rest of the specialisation, focuses on public health and ways of involving citizens and patients across and within the research cycle, these concepts apply to other disciplines and kinds of research too. So, you don't have to be a public health specialist or work in healthcare to gain insight from this course.

If you would like to learn more about the theories and core principles of participation within a public health context, we suggest taking Introduction to Participatory Approaches in Public Health. If you're planning a research project and want to include participatory approaches, explore our course Applying Participatory Approaches in Public Health Settings.

Syllabus

  • Differentiating Public Involvement and Co-production in Health Research
    • Welcome to Module 1! Over the next 4 modules, you'll focus on how citizens and patients can be involved in research from the research side. You'll explore participation across and within the research cycle (as we refer to it) in more detail, specifically, what kinds of participation can be undertaken at each of the 7 stages of the research cycle. Although these modules have a public health focus, the methodologies and ways of involving citizens and patients across and within the research cycle apply to other disciplines and kinds of research too (even basic research – although it can be slightly more challenging!). First, you need to be clear about the definitions we use, so let’s start there.
  • Role of Public Involvement and Co-production Throughout the Research Cycle
    • Welcome to Module 2. You will now dive down into participatory approaches taken in the UK in publicly funded health research which are framed around the 7 stages of the ‘research cycle’ (as we call it). You will learn why involving citizens and patients in research is valuable, how you might go about involving people at the different stages of the research cycle and hear about case studies and examples of how this has been done in the real world. In Lesson 1, you will look at the role of public involvement and co-production throughout the first stage of the research cycle (Identifying and Prioritising), review some methodologies which can be used to identify and prioritise research topics and hear about some examples. In Lesson 2, you will look at the role of public involvement and co-production throughout the second stage (Designing and Managing) and third stage (Funding and Commissioning) of the research cycle and hear about how citizens and patients have been involved at these stages.
  • What Is the Role of Public Involvement and Co-production Throughout the Stages of the Research Cycle? (Covering Stage 4 (Undertaking and Analysing), Stage 5 (Disseminating) and Stage 6 (Implementing))
    • Welcome to Module 3! In Lesson 1, you'll look at the role of public involvement and co-production throughout the fourth stage of the research cycle (Undertaking and Analysing). Qualitative research might seem the most obvious kind of research in which to involve citizens and patients as co-researchers - e.g. in interviews and surveys. However, you're going to study some other examples where citizens and patients can inform the “doing” of research - for example, systematic reviews. In Lesson 2, you'll look at the role of public involvement and co-production throughout the fifth stage and the sixth stages of the research cycle (Disseminating) and (Implementing) respectively. You'll also hear about how citizens have been involved at these stages.
  • How can you evaluate public involvement and co-production in health research (stage 7 of the research cycle)?
    • In this module, you will learn about the ways to evaluate public involvement and co-production in health research (stage 7 of the research cycle). Jack Jacques gives an interview in which he talks about his experience with evaluating the impact of public involvement - we encourage you to listen to this. You also have the opportunity to decide on an evaluation tool which can be applied to your own setting - you'll write a short summary justifying why you'd choose the tool and evaluating its strengths and limitations.

Taught by

Maria Piggin and Helen Ward

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