Read about NIHR (Public) Research Champion, Geoff’s experience of being a co-applicant for a health research study.
"In June 2019 and following an enquiry regarding interest, I put my name forward to become a Co-applicant for a research funding submission in respect of the parkrun project, a study aimed at getting registered GP patients more active and improving fitness where they can take part in local running events over medium distances.
"A Co-applicant is generally a lay person - someone not directly associated with the project - who can review the submission and ultimately endorse it as suitable to be submitted to an expert panel for final scrutiny and approval.
"Having been accepted for this role I had to first register through a research website. This website requests, among other information, details of your suitability for the role. This does not necessarily mean that a co-applicant needs to be qualified to degree standard or have a background in the NHS or subject matter, but that their general education and vocational experience would enable them to understand the aims of the submission and to pass comment on the contents.
"The review of the proposal paper was somewhat challenging as it did contain some terminology which I was not familiar with, but generally it was understandable and stretched me sufficiently to be a rewarding experience.
"I would like to add that you need to be computer literate if you are invited to be a co-applicant and to be flexible in terms of availability to review documents, as there may be quick turn round times to ensure that papers are submitted on time."