Funding body requirements: NIHR, UKRI and Wellcome
Medical and social care research funders increasingly have an expectation of meaningful PPI in grant funding applications. PPI contributors are members of NIHR funding boards and commissioning panels, and they are highly unlikely to fund research which does not have PPI embedded throughout.
UKRI and Wellcome are also committed to PPI that is inclusive and diverse, and accessible to people from all backgrounds. Smaller charity funders usually require statements on PPI impact and dissemination, even if detailed PPI is not requested throughout the research proposal.
Researchers are strongly advised to check the PPI requirements of the specific funder they are applying to before submitting a grant application. For example, the NIHR asks applicants to describe PPI in the design and planning of their study as well as their plans for further involvement throughout the research, and if not, to explain why not.
For NIHR applications it is mandatory that there is a budgeted and resourced PPI lead role.
‘There should be a named person with appropriate skills and experience who is responsible for leading the PPI element within the project. The role of the PPI lead can be undertaken by any of the co-applicants within the research team (or a named member of the team), who has the relevant skills, experience, and authority to be accountable, represent, manage and embed patient and public involvement in all aspects of the research study/programme. This role should be a budgeted and resourced research team member.’
Assessment of PPI work in a funding application
The quality of PPI involvement in the research funding application both prior to, and during the research, will be examined by the funder. Most panels, including those of the NIHR, include PPI contributors who provide guidance to the panel on the quality of the PPI input. The following key aspects are considered.
a. PPI contributors’ involvement in the research to date, including:
b. The quality of the PPI arrangements in the project, including:
c. The quality of the Plain English summary:
d. Other aspects of the proposal from a PPI perspective, including: