Patient Experience Research Centre

The NIHR Imperial Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) encourages the participation of patients in biomedical research studies, involves patients and the public in the design and review of research projects, and advocates the value of clinical research.

Patient and public involvement and engagement (PPIE) is central to the Imperial BRC’s PPIE Strategy. We coordinate these activities through the NIHR Imperial BRC  Patient Experience Research Centre (PERC).

PERC is a multidisciplinary group of clinicians, public health specialists, social scientists and public involvement practitioners, with strengths in quantitative and qualitative research methods. PERC promotes participatory approaches to improving healthcare and biomedical research and builds on over 25 years of collaborative research by clinical epidemiologist Helen Ward and anthropologist Sophie Day.

Patient and Public Involvement & Engagement (PPIE)
PERC aims to embed patient and public involvement in the work of the Imperial BRC, including by:

  • Utilising the NIHR Imperial BRC Public Advisory Panel to act as a critical friend to the Imperial BRC and to PERC
  • Piloting a ‘Champion Pairs’ scheme where a PPIE Public Champion is paired with a PPIE Theme Champion for each of the Imperial BRC’s 12 research themes to offer advice and encouragement to the theme on PPIE (supported by PERC)
  • Offering advice and support to researchers on patient and public involvement in research
  • Co-delivering PPI training workshops with members of the public to a mixed audience of both researchers and the members of the public involved in research.
  • Maintaining a PPI Resource Hub aimed at researchers and designed to provide PPI guidance and further resource.
  • Motivating and inspiring researchers with PPIE case studies on the PERC blog
  • Identifying and developing innovative ways to get the public interested and involved in research e.g. PPI Cafés, LOL Labs
  • Running an annual PPI grant scheme for BRC researchers undertaking innovative and meaningful PPI in their projects
  • Showcasing research, PPI projects and activities regularly through symposiums and showcase events
  • Supporting public engagement events, including the Imperial Festival
  • Co-chairing and hosting the Imperial and Partners Patient and Public Involvement in Research Forum attended by other PPI practitioners and contributors from across North West London

PERC’s Resources

PPI Resource Hub and PPI Training: The PPI Resource Hub has been developed for researchers to provide step-by-step guidance and useful resources for PPI. We also periodically run PPI training sessions for clinicians, researchers and members of the public so check our website for dates.
PERC Blog: The PERC Blog posts learnings and news from the PPI community. This includes novel methods, good practice, and opinion pieces on participatory approaches. We want to hear from you – if you have an idea for a blog, get in touch to showcase your stories and experiences.

Work with PERC

Researchers: PERC is always interested in collaborating on new projects related to their areas of expertise. If you have a research idea you would like to discuss, please get in touch.
Healthcare professionals: PERC is also interested in supporting quality improvement projects and service evaluations which involve patients, carers, and public groups.
Students: If you would like to carry out a research project or discuss a PhD idea, please contact PERC. PERC runs training sessions in PPI and other approaches.
Patients and public: Get in touch if you are interested in getting involved with any of PERC’s current projects as a public contributor or hearing about our forthcoming opportunities.

To contact PERC about research enquiries, email
To contact PERC about PPIE enquiries, email