Public involvement

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funds the work of the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Behavioural Science and Evaluation at University of Bristol. The HPRU is a team of researchers who work with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) (formerly Public Health England) to carry out research into the development and evaluation of health interventions - activities aimed at reducing risks or threats to health. We focus on the areas that UKHSA has prioritised and these are mainly in the area of infectious diseases.

To help guide our research, we actively seek the involvement of patients and members of the public - known as patient and public involvement (PPI) - to help us with each stage of the research process. This can include helping decide what research questions to ask through to sharing the results of our research with others. We have established a Public Advisory Group to guide us in this work. See also our PPI strategy.

For more on PPI and the similarities with and differences to communications and knowledge mobilisation, download this table (pdf).

Our research team

Our research team includes specialists from many different areas, including:

  • epidemiology (looking at patterns, causes, and effects of health and disease conditions across populations and specific groups of people)
  • children’s health
  • GP care
  • sexual health
  • behavioural science
  • patient and public involvement. 

Partner organisations

We aim to carry out research that helps to support the development of clinical and public health guidelines and the policy and practice of medical care. To this end we are developing a PPI strategy with our partner organisations in the West of England.

People in Health West of England

We work together with People in Health West of England (PHWE) to ensure that we involve patients and public in our work in the best way possible. Working with PHWE means that our public contributors can access the learning and development programmes PHWE offer. The PHWE website gives further information as well as providing a portal for other useful resources.


INVOLVE is funded by the National Institute for Health Research, to support active public involvement in NHS, public health and social care research. Their website provides guidance and other resources for public contributors as well as literature developed for researchers looking to involve PPI in their own work.

Other partners

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) West

West of England Academic Health Science Network (WEAHSN)

Bristol Health Partners (BHP)

NIHR Bristol Biomedical Research Centre 

NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN)