Get involved in the work of the HRA: help us improve how the public involvement team works to deliver the HRA strategy

Last updated on 5 Feb 2024

The Health Research Authority's (HRA) core purpose is to protect and promote the interests of patients and the public in health and social care research.

The HRA’s public involvement team works to champion and support meaningful public involvement throughout the work of the HRA and across the wider health and social care research system. Below, the team shares information about an exciting involvement opportunity.


Every year, we write a short plan to organise our work for the year ahead. Writing the team plan helps us achieve the objectives set out in the HRA’s strategy - we make it easy to do research that people can trust. It supports us to:

  • decide which activities are most likely to achieve the change we want to see
  • describe how we, and others, will know if we have been successful

We're inviting members of the public we have never worked with before, as well as people already familiar with our work, to give feedback on our draft plan. This will help us improve the way that we work.

What’s the activity?

We are looking for six members of the public to discuss our draft team plan by taking part in an online workshop on Wednesday 6 March from 10am to 12pm.

The draft plan has three objectives that help us deliver the HRA’s mission and strategy:

  • recruit to and support a diverse HRA involvement community
  • increase meaningful public involvement within the HRA
  • provide research system leadership – use our influence to support and enable increased involvement in health and social care

What will be involved?

One week before the workshop we will send you:

  • the latest draft of the public involvement team’s work plan (April 2024 to March 2025)
  • a document that gives more background on our work, and key questions to think about
  • any presentations that we plan to use

The workshop will take place on Zoom. Captions will be enabled, and we will have one ten-minute break.

We will break into smaller groups for some parts of the discussion. There will be facilitators and note-takers in each group.

We will do our best to avoid jargon and use plain language in the documents and in the workshop. We will ask for everyone’s support with this.

What difference will it make and how will I know?

The public involvement team will listen carefully to your feedback and suggestions, whilst also considering:

  • feedback received from other people we work with
  • the time, money, skills and experience we have

We do not anticipate changing our three strategic objectives. These objectives are from the HRA’s strategy and business plan, both of which were developed with input from members of the public.

We are very keen to hear different perspectives on how we work. And whether the activities described in the plan are likely to contribute to our three strategic objectives. We would also like to know your views on if and how we should share the plan publicly. This is not something we have done before.

After the workshop, we will send you:

  • the updated plan
  • notes from the workshop, summarising what we heard and learnt; what we changed as a result; what couldn’t be changed and why

When we are part-way through delivering our plan, we will arrange an online meeting to update you on our progress and to invite feedback on your experience of getting involved in our work. This will help us to decide if and how to involve people in developing public involvement team plans in the future.

What support will I receive?

Jane Oakley, the HRA’s Head of Public Involvement, will be your main point of contact for this activity. She will provide the information you need to work with us and will update you on the impact of your involvement.

Kat Evans, our Public Involvement Officer, will also be available to answer your questions or respond to any concerns.

If you are invited to take part in this activity, we will ask you to share your access and support needs, and any reasonable adjustments required. We will keep this information confidential. With your permission, we will share it with the HRA staff facilitating the workshop.

What skills or experience do I need to take part?

You do not need experience of managing a team or writing plans or similar documents. However, we think it’s important that you meet these criteria:

  1. interested in how public involvement can improve health and social care research
  2. able to read and understand two long documents (around five to seven pages each) and think about whether and how the activities described will lead to the change we want to see
  3. able to give clear and helpful feedback, whilst respecting different views and experiences
  4. able to attend a workshop on Zoom on Wednesday 6 March from 10am to 12pm

We are committed to creating an inclusive workplace that promotes and values diversity. We know from experience that different ideas, perspectives and backgrounds create stronger, more creative ways of working, that help us to achieve the ambitions in our strategy.

We welcome applications which represent the rich diversity of our community: age, disability, gender identity and expression, ethnicity, impairment, neurodiversity, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation and other diverse life experience such as being a carer, level of education, living in a deprived and / or rural area, and socio-economic background.

How do I apply?

To apply, please tell us how you meet the criteria above by noon on Friday 16 February 2024. You can either:

  • complete our short application form, or
  • write up to 400 words in total, or
  • record a video or voice recording of no more than three minutes

Please email this to, using ‘get involved’ in the email subject line.

If you have any questions, or anything is unclear, you can call the public involvement team on 020 7104 8161.

How will you decide who will be involved?

We will remove your name from your application and transcribe any recordings and videos we receive into text documents. Two members of HRA staff will score against the criteria above. We will shortlist people who have met the criteria to join the group. If we receive many applications that meet the criteria, we will select at random.

Will I receive payment?

Yes. In line with our payments policy, we can offer £150 to cover:

  • attending the two-hour workshop, to include preparation and reading the workshop notes
  • attending an update and feedback meeting, to include preparation and reading the meeting notes

Will my expenses be covered?

Yes. It is our policy to cover reasonable expenses, if agreed in advance. For example travel, additional childcare, or for a carer or personal assistant. We offer a £5 contribution towards any incidental expenses incurred by attending online meetings.

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