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RDF19 Poster Details

RDF19 Poster Detail

Poster Title 
Improving the involvement of Public Contributors in diabetes research


Diabetes Research is most effective when people living with diabetes are involved in all stages of its design and conduct. The Diabetes Research Unit Cymru facilitates public involvement in diabetes research across Wales through its Public Reference Panel. The panel consists of 12 people from across Wales with experience of diabetes. Their knowledge and experience of the issues faced by people living with diabetes is invaluable in shaping diabetes research.

The challenge

One role of our public contributors is to review research documents such as grant applications and lay summaries. However, we were increasingly receiving requests from researchers for reviews and public contributor input requiring a very quick turn around. This was sometimes the only public input into the research and although it was well meant, perhaps not well considered. Not allowing time for meaningful involvement meant a less considered review of the research and also limited the number of reviewers who could be involved as most have other commitments in addition to this voluntary role.

Improving quality

In order to address this we developed guidance for researchers on how to include members of the public in their research. It included advice on planning ahead, for example, costing in public involvement on research proposals, involving public members as early as possible and considering public involvement in prioritising research topics.

We gave examples of where public involvement could benefit research for example including public members on research groups and committees and guidance for structuring the groups.

We also documented examples where adequate payment and expenses would be required for public involvement and finally the importance of evaluating your public involvement model.


By highlighting best practice and putting in times scales for research reviews we have improved the quality of our review process and helped produce more meaningful research.



  • Morgan, Moira, Engagement Officer, Diabetes Research Unit Cymru
  • Parsons, Sharon, Operational Manager, Diabetes Research Unit Cymru
  • Luzio, Steve, Operational Manager, Diabetes Research Unit Cymru
Diabetes Research Unit Cymru