Research News

PPI Ignite Network at UCD launches

  • 08 December, 2021


The Public and Patient Involvement (PPI) Ignite Network at UCD has officially launched. Led from UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems by Professor Thilo Kroll, in collaboration with Dr Emma Dorris, Public and Patient Involvement and Engagement, UCD Research and Innovation, the new centre joins the PPI Ignite Network which spans seven universities and 10 national partners across the whole island of Ireland. The first of its kind in Ireland, jointly funded by the Health Research Board and Irish Research Council, the initiative supports the universities to catalyse change in Irish research culture by providing support for researchers to involve people in every stage of their research.


Public and Patient Involvement is the term for public involvement and co-production frequently used within the disciplines of health and social care research. The research practice involves the public and patients in decision-making, prioritising, planning, conducting and communicating research with the overall goal of improving research relevance and impact.


UCD has nine local partners as part of the PPI Ignite Network at UCD: Family Carers Ireland, Spinal Injuries Ireland, PKU Association of Ireland, the Dublin Simon Community, Transgender Equality Network of Ireland, the Disability Federation of Ireland, Sage Advocacy, the Ireland East Hospital Group and Dr Éidín Ní Shé. Together, they are developing support to involve people from all backgrounds in research and education, with a vision to make involvement in health and social care research meaningful and effective.


Speaking on the occasion of the launch in UCD, Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact, Professor Orla Feely said: “We are very pleased to announce the launch of the PPI Ignite Network centre at UCD. This marks an important milestone on our journey towards further embedding patient and public engagement in our research community. We aim to engender a culture of engaged research across all disciplines and sectors, in order to achieve real impact for the intended beneficiaries of our work." 


PPI Ignite Network a UCD centre lead, Professor Thilo Kroll said: “UCD has a long tradition of working with diverse communities locally and globally. Engaging people from diverse backgrounds in the planning, conduct and dissemination of research ensures that we acknowledge what matters to people, helps us make research better and strengthens its impact. We are on a learning journey across Ireland on how we best involve people from diverse communities in research that has maximum societal benefits.

"UCD has been instrumental in advancing the agenda of engaged and impactful research for many years. The National Network on Public and Patient Involvement brings together an unprecedented number of HEIs, public sector and non-governmental organizations and members to embark on this journey together. We are preparing the next generation of researchers, from undergraduate to postgraduate level to position public and patient involvement and community engagement at the centre of their work".


Commenting on the launch of the PPI Ignite Network earlier this year, CEO of the Health Research Board Dr Mairead O’Driscoll said: “Involving people in the work we do and the work we fund leads to improved research, improved outcomes and improved lives. People’s insights and life experience can inform that work in ways researchers operating in isolation can’t.”

Director of the Irish Research Council, Peter Brown said: “The exchange of knowledge and innovation is a key action in the IRC’s strategy, so I am delighted to further support this award announced today. This programme seeks to embed a culture of public and patient engagement in research across our higher education institutions and promotes richer, more meaningful research outcomes. Following recent joint initiatives such as the COVID-19 Rapid response call, the IRC are pleased to again be partnering with the HRB in support of research for societal benefit.”


New resources for PPI and engaged research have been created on the UCD Research and Innovation Services Portal, including those from the national PPI Ignite Network and PPI Ignite Network at UCD. You can find infomration on general supports, training and events from PPI Ignite Network at UCD specifically on this page.


Recordings from the launch events (below) are now available online:


A Practical Guide to Public & Patient Involvement (PPI) for Researchers (YouTube)

Local, national and international colleagues highlight resources, practicalities, funder requirements and the value of PPI.


Fireside Chat: Public and Patient Involvement at UCD – the next chapter (YouTube)

PPI Ignite Network's UCD site lead, Professor Thilo Kroll, and a panel of distinguished guests as they discuss the values underpinning PPI, the ethos of involved research, reflect on past learning and discuss their aspirations for what’s to come.