INVOLVE (est. 1996) is part of, and funded by, the National Institute for Health Research, to support active public involvement in NHS, public health and social care research. It is one of the few government funded programmes of its kind in the world.

As a national advisory group INVOLVE’s role is to bring together expertise, insight and experience in the field of public involvement in research. Their aim is to advance public involvement as an essential part of the process by which research is identified, prioritised, designed, conducted and disseminated.

INVOLVE defines public involvement in research as research being carried out ‘with’ or ‘by’ members of the public rather than ‘to’‘about’ or ‘for’ them. This includes, for example:

  • working with research funders to prioritise research;
  • offering advice as members of a project steering group;
  • commenting on and developing research materials;
  • undertaking interviews with research participants.

When using the term ‘public’ they include:

  • patients
  • potential patients
  • carers
  • people who use health and social care services as well as people from organisations that represent people who use services.

INVOLVE publicly advertises for members for its advisory group every few years. They last recruited in 2012 and normally recruit every two to three years. A new recruitment round will begin in the autumn of 2016. They currently have 12 advisory group members.

How are INVOLVE advisory group members recruited? New members are recruited through public advertisements and interviews. Advisory group members are invited to join the INVOLVE Group on the basis of their ability to provide personal and/or professional expertise that will be valuable in moving INVOLVE’s work forward. Main Group members are appointed by the Director of Research and Development, Department of Health, England, often following a recommendation from the Chair of INVOLVE.

If you have any questions about membership, please contact INVOLVE on membership@invo.org.uk or call them on 02380 595628.