Many people describe public involvement in research as research that is done with or by the public and not to, about or for them.
Public involvement in research is what happens when members of the public get actively involved in research, such as helping to decide what is researched, how the research should be carried out and what should be done afterwards.
This active involvement is different to being a participant in research such as taking part in a clinical trial.
When we talk about members of the public this phrase describes a broad range of individuals and groups and includes patients, carers, people who use health and social care services and organisations that represent people who use services.
A growing number of organisations have opportunities for public involvement in their research activities. For example, they could be looking for people with personal knowledge of an illness that they want to research or for members of the public with some previous experience of involvement in research.