PSSRU involvement


Putting service users, carers and practitioners at the centre of our research

Involvement in our research of users, carers, and practitioners is integral to our social care and other studies. 

Our strategic objectives for user, carer and practitioner involvement and engagement are to:

  • understand best practice around involvement and engagement
  • develop comprehensive approaches to the engagement of users, carers and professionals (and the wider public)
  • support their capacity development to engage meaningfully with research.  

We involve users, carers and practitioners throughout our research. These and other members of the ‘public’ play key roles through active involvement in research projects and the Centre's organisation. 

Involving service users and carers in project teams

Almost all of our research studies have individual research advisory groups which include users and carers, and often also practitioners, to ensure that we can gain from their expertise in ways that are specific to the research questions being investigated. Examples include:

MODEM: Costs and outcomes of dementia

Our MODEM study's Research Involvement Manager is a carer of her partner who has dementia. She was involved in the proposal to ESRC which lead to the establishment of the MODEM project, of which she is a co-investigator. The study has a specific Reference Group of Users and Carers

Public Involvement Implementation Group (PIIG) 

We benefit from the expertise of the PII Group set up by the DHSC-funded Quality and Outcomes of person-centre Research Unit, of which we are a founding partner.

STRiDE: Strengthening responses to dementia in developing countries

The STRiDE study is working with Alzheimer's associations in seven developing countries as well as Dementia Alliance International, a collaboration of like-minded individuals diagnosed with dementia. 

The role of social care in supporting young adult carers 

Our study on young adult carers includes a Young Adult Carer Research Group which advises on all aspects of the study. 

NIHR School for Social Care Research

The NIHR School for Social Care Research established it’s User, Carer, Practitioner Reference Group  in 2009 to hear and learn from the experiences, expectations and aspirations of people's real world experience of adult social care. 

Many of our research projects will also involve people who use services, carers or practitioners in other ways. 

Involvement in Advisory Boards

Service users, carers and professionals are active members of our Advisory Boards for the Centre, and NIHR SSCR.


Involvement with external organisations

We have developed substantial links with key stakeholders in the social care, mental health and (increasingly) health sectors, including the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (nationally ad through regional groups), the Care Quality Commission, Local Government Associations, NICENHS Confederation and a number of local authorities.

The Centre also has close links with many NHS Trusts and have growing links with Clinical Commissioning Groups and Health and Wellbeing Boards. Many third sector bodies have approached the Centre for direct support.

Many of these links are long-term and multi-faceted, and many have led to new approaches to policy analysis, new activities in practice evaluation, and a considerable amount of knowledge exchange, both to identify key (unanswered) research questions and to share and translate new research evidence.