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Community Outreach: creating an online space about health research on a university webpage

Higher educational institutes have a crucial role to play in improving participation in health research, fostering involvement and engagement with the public and sharing results of findings from health research studies. Creating an environment that makes research results available to the public and provides opportunities for involvement in shaping research priorities leads to transparency and more effective use of research funding, wasting less public money. The Healthcare Improvement Studies (THIS) Institute list recommends that one way of enabling patient and public involvement is through creating user-friendly online spaces that are relevant and have been designed well. Creating an online Patient and Public Community Hub within the Unit of Academic Primary Care webpage at Warwick Medical School will provide a digital resource for members of the public to find out about opportunities for participating, getting involved and engaging with local health research.

How will the online community space be developed?

A stakeholder group made up of NIHR (Public) Research Champions (public volunteers who raise awareness about health research) have helped to guide the content of the online community space and in order to find out what people think about the usability and accessibility of the online space, Research Champions from around the country are currently taking part in individual think aloud interviews and in-depth interviews. Following analysis of the interviews, recommendations to improve the webpages will be made and implemented, based on the findings. Findings will also be written up and shared locally, on this website, in a scientific journal and with the NIHR and Clinical Research Network.

NIHR Pre-doctoral Clinical Academic Fellow

Eleanor Hoverd


Professor Jeremy Dale, UAPC, WMS, Professor Sophie Staniszewska Warwick Research in Nursing, WMS

Clinical Academic Mentor

Dr Rachel Potter, Clinical Trials Unit, WMS

Partner Organisation

NIHR Clinical Research Network West Midlands


Supported by Health Education England and the National Institute for Health Research (HEE/ NIHR ICA Programme HEE/NIHR Pre-doctoral Clinical Academic Fellowships) with additional funding from the NIHR CRN West Midlands


September 2019 to end April 2022

Enquiries: Please contact Eleanor Hoverd