Getting started: what is PPI?

Watch either of these presentations from our PPI Ignite @ University of Galway team, providing simple overviews of Public and Patient Involvement in Research:

Examples of PPI from University of Galway

PPI can be approached in many different ways. Here are presentations that give a flavour of some of the approaches:

Check out our Case Studies for more examples. 

Planning PPI

Here are some resources to help you plan PPI in your research: 

  • Planning PPI template, where is there scope for involving the public or patients?  
  • Planning PPI- top ten Questions - questions we pose to researchers across University of Galway when beginning to think about involving PPI contributors in their research.   
  • Consider the different levels of involvement – the IHRF model here is a useful model to use; different levels of involvement may be appropriate at different stages within a single study, depending on a number of factors, including the nature of the research, the PPI expertise of the research team and of the PPI partners, and the time and budget available for involvement. 

Many other very useful planning aids are available elsewhere, for example, an Involvement Matrix designed by Smits et al can be found here (ref: Smits, DW., van Meeteren, K., Klem, M. et al. Designing a tool to support patient and public involvement in research projects: the Involvement MatrixRes Involv Engagem 6, 30 (2020)).

In a blog written by Edel Murphy and the HRB 'Finding PPI Contributors - It's Easier Than You Think! One of the most common questions - “But how will I find PPI contributors?" is looked at, with Edel Murphy, National Programme Manager with the PPI Ignite Network, sharing her advice

Budgeting for PPI

Best practice recommends compensating PPI contributors and patient organisations for their time and expenses as PPI research partners. Compensation rates and processes will depend on many issues (for example, total research budget, preferences of the PPI contributors, institutional processes). In this PPI Budget Calculator you will find prompts that may help you develop a budget for PPI in research. We drew on the budget calculator developed by the INVOLVE UK organisation to produce this Excel spreadsheet for researchers at University of Galway/Ireland.     

Setting up a PPI group

Two helpful references on ethical considerations when planning PPI:

You may find these helpful:

Facilitating PPI Groups

We offer a monthly online Shared Learning Group for researchers where attendees can learn more about the key skills to facilitating PPI groups collectively by voicing their opinions and sharing experience to come to collaborative solutions. To join the PPI facilitation skills Shared Learning Group fill out this form

PPI in your PhD

At University of Galway, we offer a 5 ECTS PPI in Research module for postgraduate students. Talk to you PhD supervisor about taking this module. Email us if you for more information.  

Before reading this section we advise PhD students to look at the resources in the Getting started and Planning your PPI (particularly ethical considersations) sections above. 

There are particular challenges to PPI during a PhD.  Our key tip is: "do a small amount of involvement well, rather than attempting to embed PPI across all parts of a PhD research study, if you are faced with limitations on time, resources and support."  

Here are two recent publications on this topic.   

Public & Patient Involvment (PPI) in Research Conference

Every year since 2018, we collaborate with The HRB Primary Care Trials Network Ireland (CTNI) to  host the PPI in Research Conference, where we can connect with PPI contributors, Researchers, Clinicians and interested people to highlight the developing world of Public and Patient Involvement. Click here to see our recordings of the conference.


PPI papers

 Distinctions and blurred boundaries between qualitative approaches and public and patient involvement (PPI) in research - "PPI contributors take an active role at project level, more flexibility in roles is required in PPI research" - Ruth Mc Menamin, Jytte Isaksen, Molly Manning & Edel Tierney

Links to other PPI Ignite programme offices

Seven Universities are currently funded under the HRB-funded PPI Ignite award. You will find useful information at each of these web sites/twitter accounts: