Patient Experience Research Centre

PERC was started by Professor Helen Ward (an epidemiologist) and Professor Sophie Day (an anthropologist) in 2011 and since then has been undertaking social research in translational medicine investigating inequalities in research participation focusing on underrepresented and under-served communities, the impact of research on patient experience, and how precision medicine affects care pathways.

What is the Imperial Biomedical Research Centre Patient Experience Research Centre (PERC)?

PERC is a core facility of the NIHR Imperial BRC and its role is to:

  • Provide day-to-day advice and support on inclusive and accessible public involvement, engagement and participation (PPIEP) in health research to BRC Themes. They do this by working with two nominated PPIEP leads and a group of Community Partners in each Theme to implement the Imperial PPIEP BRC Strategy 2022 to 2027
  • Support Community Partners making up steering groups for each BRC Theme and PERC
  • Support and study processes of translational research with a focus on Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI) and the impact on patient experience including using qualitative and participatory research methods e.g. HIV, Long COVID, frailty
  • Advise on recruitment of research participants from underrepresented communities
  • Offer PPIE-coproduced training and evaluation tools for researchers and members of the public
  • Provide advice to researchers on participatory research methods
  • Host secondments for Imperial clinical and research staff on participatory research methods and public involvement in research.

Alongside Professors Ward and Day, PERC comprises a group of multi-disciplinary staff including clinical research fellows, qualitative researchers, research nurses and public involvement practitioners. Please see our website to meet our team.

PERC’s PPIEP Resources

PERC has extensive online PPIEP resources to support and guide public involvement in research including:

a group of patients having a discussion around a table with a clinician
If you are an Imperial BRC researcher and want:

  • advice or support with public involvement, email us on or call us on 0207 594 9774.
  • to find out more about PERC’s research please email:
  • handwritten notes of questions from patients

    Our Community Partners

    PERC, like each BRC Theme, has its own group of Community Partners who act as critical friends in order to provide strategic advice and influence health research conducted by PERC and across the Imperial BRC. This includes:

      • sharing their views and those of their wider communities on research priorities for health and wellbeing
      • advising on the design and communication of research so it is both accessible and acceptable
      • providing and/or supporting opportunities for researchers and clinicians to engage and involve communities and organisations across Northwest London (and more widely) about health and health research.
      • advising on social research undertaken by PERC including qualitative and participatory research methods

    a lecture room with patients listening to an update on diabetes research from a researcher

    PERC has a group of Community Partners who act as our advisors and critical friends. Below is a list of PERC’s Community Partners who were happy to be included on this page and a little about them

    Shailesh Malde
    Shailesh Malde
    “I am a Yoga Coach and Personal Trainer and I volunteer for Brent Health Matters, British Heart Foundation and London Ambulance Service focusing on educating the community on healthy lifestyle” Shailesh Malde
  • Mr Bipin Dattani Chairman of Enderley Road Patients’ Association, serving the needs of 12,500 patients.Alexandra Brown “As a Civil servant I contribute to improving the lives of marginalized communities by advocating, advising and consulting in my area of expertise. As a Community Partner, I provide strategic advice from a patient and public perspective to shape and influence health research being conducted across Imperial College London Biomedical Research Centre.”
  • Key Individuals
    • Professor Helen Ward
      Professor Helen Ward
      Theme Lead, SGE, Professor of Public Health and Director, PERC
    • Ms Maria Piggin
      Ms Maria Piggin
      PERC Partnerships & Training Manager
    • Professor Sophie Day
      Professor Sophie Day
      Visiting Professor of Anthropology
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