Job opportunity working with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)



Public Representative Member – Research Design Service Management Board



Public/Patient Representative Member to the Management Board



The usual term is 2 years (but new members may use their first meeting as an opportunity to decide whether they wish to commit themselves to the full 2-year term of office)


Payment of fees & expenses

A casual contract will be offered as a visiting external contributor with University of Essex. This includes a payment based on number of hours agreed paid monthly in arrears (Rate = Academic Grade 7/spine point 27).  In addition travel expenses will be paid and you will have access to University of Essex facilities including the library and an email account. Further details on request.


Alternatively a Community Fellow contract may be offered which provides travel expenses but no fee for those who would prefer to contribute on a voluntary basis. Community Fellows will also have access to University of Essex facilities.


* Kindly note that accepting payments may affect any state benefits you may be receiving and may also be liable to income tax. INVOLVE are available on 02380 651088 to provide advice about involvement and benefits.


The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research Design Service for East of England (RDS-EoE) aims to work with health and social care professionals; researchers and service users who want to obtain funding for research to improve health and social care.  The RDS offers research design advice and assistance in building collaborative research teams in order to develop research projects targeted at sourcing funding from the NIHR. Patient and public involvement (PPI) in health research is actively pursued and supported in the NIHR and RDS. The RDS Director, Site Leads of the five RDS sites across the region, the Public Involvement Regional Lead, public representatives and representatives from key research active organisations compose the RDS Management Board. The Terms of Reference of the Management Board are available on request.


Principal responsibilities

To attend 3 Management Board meetings a year: Meetings usually take place in Cambridge. We understand that sometimes people may be unable to attend some of these meetings due to health or caring commitments.


To deal with the associated paperwork: You will be required to read paperwork before meetings to enable exchange of views between Board members.


Participating in meetings: You are encouraged to actively contribute to the discussion to ensure that regional patient and public interests, rather than individual priorities, are reflected, and to ensure that the final decisions take into account issues of concern to patients and the public overall.



The Regional Public Involvement Lead will provide support (e.g. for pre-meeting preparation/act in a buddy role and be the primary contact person for the Public /Patient Representative.)


The Central Coordinator will provide administrative support to the Public/Patient Representative (e.g. provision of hard copy versions of documents and handling of expenses).


The Regional Public Involvement Lead will help you identify and access relevant training needed to positively contribute to your personal development and role on the Management Board. You will be offered an induction meeting and be invited to at least one skills update workshop annually along with specialist public involvement research advisers.


You will have access to online resources and information and be kept up to date with the latest best practice and information.


Person Specification
Factor Essential attributes Desired attributes
Qualifications None  
Experience Ability to contribute to meetings constructively and appropriately.


Ability to think strategically.

Linked to NHS/social care patient, carer, and community networks/groups in region.


We would particularly welcome people who are new to the NIHR.

Special skills Willingness to familiarise yourself with health and social research language To keep up to date with current public and patient health care related issues via public and patient groups or the media
Specialist knowledge Understanding of what a patient and public perspective means To have an understanding of research
Personal qualities Good communicator


Ability to listen to others and express own views in discussion


Self confidence to interact with a group of people from diverse professional and public backgrounds


Experience of receiving fairly complex agenda papers and preparing for meetings


For further information please contact:


Tracey Johns, Public Involvement Lead, Research Design Service East of England

Email:  Phone: 01206 874856




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