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Members of the public

Get involved in community engagement

The engagement and involvement of patients and members of the public in research, teaching and learning is central to our work. You can get involved in a number of ways.

Involving a range of different people provides opportunities for unique, valuable insights, and can lead to more effective, creative and meaningful ways of working for the benefit of everyone involved.

Why get involved?

  • Use your experience as a patient, service user or carer to help train the next generation of medical and health professionals.
  • Help researchers make scientific discoveries which advance our knowledge of biology, medicine and health.
  • Learn more about the science of biology, medicine and health and how it affects your everyday life.

How to get involved

We run a number of community engagement and involvement activities in Manchester across various areas of biology, medicine and health.

You can help us to actively involve patients/carers and service users in our research and teaching and learning, whether you become part of a research user group, take part in a research study, or help shape our teaching.

Below you will find information on specific initiatives involving our staff and students and how to find more information on getting involved. Specific information for schools can also be found in our teachers and advisers section.


Autism is a life-long developmental condition that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people.

Autism@Manchester aims to help academics, clinicians/practitioners and individuals from the autistic community (autistic individuals, their family and carers) come together more easily to work and share knowledge to drive research into autism. View current opportunities to get involved in their research.

Biomedical research

Manchester has recently received a significant investment in its healthcare system supporting pioneering work into cancer, dermatology, hearing, musculoskeletal and respiratory research.

The Public Programmes team at the Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) help patients and the public to have their say on the health research that affects them. People's involvement in research is essential to ensures it remains relevant and of high quality.

From attending a public event and being a member of a patient panel to working on a creative project related to research, there are lots of ways you can get involved, and no experience is necessary.

Visit the Manchester BRC website for more information.

Britain Breathing

Britain Breathing is an exciting new citizen science project that involves the UK population in the research by acting as 'citizen sensors' to help scientists understand more about seasonal allergies such as hay fever or asthma. Allergies are increasing in the west, but it isn't known why, although the environment is involved.

To answer this question, we need wide scale human data about when and where symptoms develop that we can use to link to other data such as weather and pollution.

It is free to take part and very easy to do. Visit the Britain Breathing website to find out how to download the app from the Google Play Store or Apple Store and join our project. 

Twitter: @BritBreathing

Community Liaison Group (CLG)

The CLG provides community perspectives to trainee clinical psychologists. CLG members work together with staff and trainees to ensure the views of people who use, or have used, psychological services inform the training of clinical psychologists of the future.


Community open days

Each year, we hold a community open day with family-friendly activities including Mad Science workshops, face painting, encounters with live animals and insects, laboratory tours and more. 


Dementia@Manchester is a multidisciplinary, university-wide dementia research network that aims to help tackle dementia and bring forward real benefits for those living with dementia and their carers.

The network is informed and underpinned by the involvement of people living with dementia and their support networks. Find out how you can get involved by joining the dementia research user group.


Our dentistry students are involved in a number of community involvement initiatives, including helping provide dental services in community clinics around Manchester and a sedation clinic to help anxious teenagers cope with dental treatment.

Find out more about the Manchester Community Dental Service (PDF, 1.3MB).

Digital health

The Health eResearch Centre (HeRC) at Manchester is part of a world leading digital-health network to improve public health and healthcare services through the secure, controlled use of clinical, biological and population data.

We value patient and public involvement in all areas of our research, delivered through our dedicated patient forum. Find out more about how to get involved on the HeRC website.


Division of Pharmacy and Optometry: Patient and Public Advisory board (PPAB)

The University hosts one of the UK’s leading schools of pharmacy that trains and educates current and future pharmacists, and carries out world-leading research in pharmaceutical science and pharmacy practice. Our Patient and Public Advisory Board (PPAB) advises on the content of our teaching programmes and research. If you live in Greater Manchester, use pharmacy services and want to help shape our pharmacy workforce and help improve the quality and relevance of pharmacy research, please contact us.


Tel +44 (0)161 306 0602

Doubleday Centre for Patient Experience

The Doubleday Centre involves patients and the public in training doctors. Our aim is for students to learn in partnership with patients and carers to better understand their health needs and feelings, ensuring care, compassion, respect and openness are at the heart of medical education.


engagement@manchester is a network of practicing 'engagers' who provide support and resources for public engagement at The University of Manchester.

For further information, visit the engagement@manchester website.

Twitter: @UoMEngage


Health Innovation Manchester

Health Innovation Manchester is a partnership between universities, NHS trusts, local government and industry. Their collective ambition is to make Greater Manchester one of the best places to grow up, get on and grow old through innovation in healthcare. Their patient experience group enables them to ground their programmes and projects in the lived experience.

Twitter: @healthinnovmcr

Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing (MICRA)

MICRA is a leading research centre which addresses questions about how and why we age across research disciplines in biological and clinical sciences, social sciences and the arts. They hold a number of free public events and have members of the public involved in different projects.

Twitter: @MICRA_Ageing

Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre Advisory Group

The MFHRC is one of Europe's largest pregnancy research centres finding 'solutions to pregnancy problems'.

The Advisory Group is for women and men in Greater Manchester who have experienced IVF and/or pregnancy complications or loss (as well as healthy pregnancy). The group will use their experiences to help improve the research carried out by the MFHRC. No experience of research is needed and you can contribute in person or online.


tel +44 (0)161 276 8943.


Our medical students, staff and medical education partners are involved in patient and public involvement.

The Edwin Doubleday Centre for Patient Experience allows medical students to work with and be assessed by patients and carers to better understand their needs and feelings, ensuring care, compassion, respect and openness are at the heart of medical education.

Medical students are encouraged to act as social responsibility ambassadors during their studies as they undertake placements in hospitals, GP practices, pharmacies, hospices, opticians and nursing homes. 

Musculoskeletal research

The Musculoskeletal Research User Group (RUG) is made up of people with an active interest in musculoskeletal health, either patients who are living with a musculoskeletal condition such as arthritis, lupus or fibromyalgia or carers for someone who does.

They advise the University's Centre for Musculoskeletal Research in all aspects of their research, including musculoskeletal research in the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre. With patients as experts in their condition, the RUG provides invaluable input on research studies, patient information sheets, lay summaries and much more.

The RUG meets quarterly, usually on a Friday, in Manchester. Refreshments are provided and travel expenses are reimbursed. We are also looking for virtual members who can comment online.

For further information, please contact Holly Hope at or phone +44 (0)161 275 1671.

Parkinson's disease

We are investigating how Parkinson's disease affects the way people represent movement in the mind. Observing, copying and imagining actions can facilitate movement in healthy people, and we are exploring whether these processes may be beneficial in Parkinson's.

Our research team includes people with Parkinson's, and we also engage with people with Parkinson's through focus groups, workshops and visits to local groups. Working with people with Parkinson's and their families helps us to design more appropriate and relevant studies.

We also involve people with Parkinson's in teaching undergraduate psychology students about the condition and how we control our movements.

For further information, visit the Body Eyes and Movement (BEAM) Lab website.

Twitter: @BEAM_Manchester 

Primary care

The Primary Care Research in Manchester Engagement Resource (PRIMER) is a patient-led group working with researchers at The University of Manchester and beyond to help promote the involvement of the public in shaping research.

We are always looking for enthusiastic volunteers with an interest in primary care research - no research expertise is needed to get involved. For further information, visit the PRIMER website.

Twitter: @PrimaryCareMcr

Public Programmes Team: Involving and Engaging People in Health research

Listening to the views of patients and the public is vital to ensure research is relevant. Public Programmes helps to create opportunities for people to have their say and influence health research.

From taking part in online discussions to attending patient panels or working on projects to help raise awareness of research, there are many ways you can make a difference.

Opportunities include joining a patient panel to share experiences of cancer, hearing health, respiratory disease, pregnancy complications, dementia and sensory impairments; becoming a member of ‘voice up’- the people’s voice in research group for 11-24 year olds; and working with the Manchester Clinical Research Facility to help ensure patient and public involvement is at the heart of their work.


Facebook: @PublicProgrammesTeam



Our psychology staff link their research and expertise with the wider world by running public engagement events and involving the local community.

These include events for schools such as the Psychology Research Experience Programme, student mentoring programmes, Nuffield Research placements and What Do Psychological Scientists Do?, which asks our psychology researchers to present aspects of their working life to children aged 14+.

Our Clinical Psychology Community Liaison Group brings together patients, carers and community members to contribute to all aspects of clinical psychology training.

Shaping Research: the Centre for Musculoskeletal Research User Group (RUG)

The RUG includes people with an active interest in musculoskeletal health, either patients who are living with a musculoskeletal condition, such as arthritis, lupus or fibromyalgia, or their carer.

As experts in their own condition, patients advice our Centre for Musculoskeletal Research in different aspects of research, and the RUG shares research studies, lay summaries and much more.

The RUG meets quarterly in Manchester. Refreshments are provided and travel expenses paid.

We are also seeking volunteers to become virtual members and get involved via email.


Tel +44 (0)161 306 0539

Speech and hearing

We run the Discover Audiology annual event for secondary students who want to learn more about studying audiology at university level, as well as the I'm All Ears workshop. Find out more about the University's Discover Days.

Our Speech and Language Therapy Service User Group offers speech and language therapy service users the chance to help shape our research and training in this field.

Training Healthcare Scientists: Manchester Academy for Healthcare Scientist Education (MAHSE)

MAHSE provides the best educational experience for Healthcare Scientist trainees in the NHS and works with several universities. Healthcare Scientists play a vital role in investigation, diagnosis treatment and aftercare of patients. Patients and members of the public involved in training healthcare scientists help the NHS to improve the patient experience.


Visit the MAHSE website to find out more about how to get involved.

Find out more

If you want to keep up to date with the latest opportunities to get involved, get in touch and ask to join the mailing list for our monthly newsletter.

You can also attend any of the public events that we hold for communities throughout the year.