NUI Galway to host conference for public and patient involvement in research

Quadrangle Building, NUI Galway
Apr 21 2021 Posted: 10:41 IST

NUI Galway is extending an invitation to the public, patients, carers, and the wider research community to attend the Sixth National Public and Patient Involvement in Research Conference on Wednesday, 28 April. The Conference will be an online event, running from 10am-1.45pm.

Patrick Murphy, Network Manager at the Primary Care Clinical Trials Network Ireland at NUI Galway, and one of the event organisers said: “Public and Patient Involvement (PPI) helps ensure that health and social care research is more relevant to patients and their needs, and that research is focused on what matters most to patients. It can also help ensure that the results of research are shared with the public and with patients in a way that is accessible to everyone.”

Martha Killilea, from the PPI Ignite Network at NUI Galway, co-organisers of the conference, added: “Patients, and indeed their carers, are experts in the reality of living with an illness. Researchers bring their own expertise, including in-depth research skills and a knowledge of existing research evidence, but often do not have personal, lived experience of the topic they are researching. Patients and researchers can therefore collaborate together to conduct research that is of high-quality and also focused on patient needs.”

The theme for this year’s conference is ‘PPI: Creating the New Normal in Research’ and will celebrate the successful integration of PPI into research in recent years, and will include two keynote presentations from:

  • Embedded Patient Researcher Robert Joyce, who is the first person to be employed in NUI Galway in a PPI role, will speak about bringing his 28 years of lived experience with secondary progressive Multiple Sclerosis to a research team.
  • Dr Martin O’Halloran, Techrete Professor of Medical Electronics at NUI Galway, will focus on embedding PPI in medical device development in Ireland, for example women with lived experience of cancer treatment working with researchers for a solution for hair loss.

The conference will include interactive sessions, where attendees will have the opportunity to hear from PPI contributors, and to speak with contributors in current research. Attendees will be able to choose from sessions focused on three different topics:

  • PPI Contributors: My Voice Shaping Research
  • Public and Patient Involvement Around the World
  • Including the Excluded

Wendy Costello, a PPI contributor on the conference organising committee, and co-chair of the interactive session’ PPI Contributors: My Voice Shaping Research’ said: “The interactive sessions will be a great opportunity to network virtually and feel part of the global discussion on PPI. The planning by a diverse committee has made this overall programme the most exciting yet.”

The conference will close with presentations from the 2021 NUI Galway PPI Ignite award winners and from Professor Sean Dinneen who is leading the newly established national PPI Ignite Network. Speaking about the Conference, Professor Dinneen said: “It is great to see the National Public and Patient Involvement in Research Conference entering its sixth year and going from strength to strength. Meaningful involvement of the public and patients in health and social care research is becoming a feature of the Irish (and international) research landscape and this is reflected in the content of this year’s conference programme.” 

Registration for the conference is free, but those wishing to attend must register in advance. Full details are at or email


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