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 provides a platform for autistic individuals and their family and carers to meet with academics and practitioners to collaborate on research projects. The network organises activities, including newsletters, ‘Expert by Experience’ advisory groups, workshops, talks, and development of educational resources. View current opportunities to get involved in their research.

For further information, see the Autism@Manchester website or please contact Emma Gowen.

NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC)

The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) transforms scientific breakthroughs into diagnostic tests and life-saving treatments for patients.

Manchester BRC is driving forward cutting-edge research in the areas of:

  • cancer (prevention and early detection, advanced radiotherapy, precision medicine, living with and beyond cancer)
  • inflammation (rheumatic and musculoskeletal disease, respiratory medicine, dermatology, integrative cardiovascular medicine)
  • high-burden under-researched conditions (hearing health, mental health, rare conditions)
  • disease complexity and multimorbidity (next generation phenotyping and diagnostics, next generation therapeutics).

There are many ways that you can help to shape research and make a difference for patients in the future. If you're a patient, carer or just interested in having a say in research, you can take part in friendly discussion groups, online surveys, creative projects and more.

Visit Vocal to find current opportunities, as well as videos and stories about the different ways that people get involved in research.

Britain Breathing

Allergies are increasing and although it isn’t known why, it is believed the environment is a factor. To answer this question we need wide- scale human data about when and where symptoms develop that we can link to other data, such as weather and pollution.

#BritainBreathing is a ‘citizen science’ project that involves the UK population in research by acting as ‘citizen sensors’ to help scientists understand more about seasonal allergies such as hay fever or asthma. Volunteers also learn more about their own allergies.

It is free to take part. Please download the app at the Google Store or Apple Store and join in our project!

Watch the video: App launched to help track symptoms of hay fever and asthma

Watch the video: Britain Breathing and citizen science

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 and practice of clinical psychologists of the future.

For more information, visit their webpage or contact:

James Lea

Yvonne Awenat

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.

Learn more about the Community Festival.


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.

Visit the Division of Dentistry pages.

Doubleday Centre for Patient Experience

The Doubleday Centre involves patients and the public in training doctors. Our aim is for our 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.



A network of practising ‘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 (HInM) is an academic health science and innovation system at the forefront of transforming the health and wellbeing of Greater Manchester's 2.8 million citizens.

HInM has developed over the last five years to create a world-leading integrated health science and innovation system. Formed in October 2017, HInM brought together the former Greater Manchester academic health science network (GM AHSN) and Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC) under a single umbrella.

HInM's mission is to become a recognised international leader in accelerating innovation that transforms the health and wellbeing of our citizens. They work with innovators to discover, develop and deploy new solutions, harnessing the transformative power of health and care, industry and academia working together to address major challenges and tackle inequalities.

Learn more about public and community involvement and engagement on the HInM website.

X (formerly Twitter): @HealthInnovMcr

Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing (MICRA)

MICRA addresses questions about how and why we age across research disciplines in biological and clinical sciences, social sciences, and the Arts.

A number of our studies are supported through collaboration with local communities, charities, and policymakers, to deliver change in policy and practice. A recent study of ‘age-friendliness’ in Manchester, involving older people as co-researchers, won a National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement Award.

MICRA hosts free public seminars and a specialist PhD network. Membership is free and open to all with an interest in research on ageing.

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 use their experiences to help improve the research carried out by the MFHRC. No experience of research is needed and you can link with us in person or online.


Movement in Mind in Parkinson’s

We investigate 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 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 relevant studies. We involve people with Parkinson’s in teaching Psychology students about the condition and how we control our movements.

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

Twitter: @BEAM_Manchester

MSK Research User Network

If you're an adult affected by rheumatic or musculoskeletal disease, or care for someone who has a condition, you can join the MSK Research User Network and help to shape new research into diagnoses and treatments.

The Network is friendly and welcoming, and is a chance for members of the public to have their say in the rheumatic and musculoskeletal research carried out by the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre and the University's Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.

With patients as experts in their condition, the Network provides invaluable input on research studies, patient information sheets, lay summaries and much more.

The Network meets every two months, either face-to-face in Manchester or online. Honorarium payments for your time and travel expenses are provided.

For further information, visit the Vocal website or email

Mutual Support for Mental Health Research (MS4MH-R)

Mutual Support for Mental Health-Research (MS4MH-R) is a group of people who have personal experience of self-harm, and/or suicidal thinking/behaviour and attending healthcare services as either patients or carers.

The group uses their perspectives, insights and experience to help researchers at The University of Manchester in the design, delivery, and sharing of mental health research. The group helps to ensure that the research is relevant, focused and has a positive impact.

The group works with researchers from the National Institute of Health Research Greater Manchester Patient Safety Research Collaboration (NIHR GM PSRC) and the Centre for Mental Health and Safety. Members of the group are involved in many self-harm and suicide prevention mixed-methods studies, including with NCISH, the mental health epidemiology research group, and the NIHR GM PSRC.

To find out more, visit the MS4MH-R website or contact Dr Leah Quinlivan.


Patient Safety Translational Research Centre (PSTRC)

The PSTRC works to improve the quality of care and patient safety in primary and transitional (where people move from one care setting to another) care.

For further information, visit the GM PSRC website or email

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.

Please contact:

Sally Giles
Telephone: +44 (0)161 306 8020

Twitter: @PrimaryCareMcr


Vocal – Bringing people and health research together

Vocal creates opportunities for people to have a say in health research. Based in Greater Manchester, we work locally, nationally and internationally to make a real difference to the future of health and research.

There are many ways that you can help to shape research and make a difference for patients in the future. If you’re a patient, carer or are just interested in having a say in research, you can take part in friendly discussion groups, online surveys, creative projects and more.

To find more or join one of our Get Vocal Networks visit our opportunities page.

How to contact us



Phone: 0161276614

Facebook: @letsgetvocal

X (formerly Twitter): @letsgetvocal


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.

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 based 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. 

For more information, please visit the MAHSE website or email

Understanding Everyday Participation (UEP) – Articulating Cultural Values

The UEP is pioneering a new vision of the relationship between participation and cultural value.  Using research we challenge traditional boundaries of 'culture', exposing the role these play in economic, social and geographical inequalities, and revealing the value of everyday cultural participation.

We work with local and national communities to ensure our research findings are accessible. Activities include community engagement workshops, sustainable management of public parks, and discussions on barriers and opportunities to cultural and leisure participation of young people in care. 

Follow us on Twitter: @ueparticipation

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.