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.

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

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.


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.

Digital health

The University’s world leading digital-health research centre improves health and social care services through the secure, controlled use of clinical, biological and population data. We value patient and public involvement in all areas of our research and promote our work on social media.  

Find out more about how to get involved on the HeRC website.

Twitter@HeRC_Tweets #DataSavesLives

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 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 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.

Contact: Karen Cotterill


Tel: +44 (0)161 275 7792


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 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: @healthinnovmc

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.



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. To find out more, expand the Doubleday Centre for Patient Experience item above.

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:


Tel: +44 (0)161 275 1671

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

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


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. We help 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 young 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: @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.