Public Involvement Impact Assessment Framework

image representing an element piece for Values Part 1: Values associated with public involvement in research

  • Summary
  • Issues
  • Questions
  • Record Card
  • Resources


A number of different ways of defining values are used in research and everyday conversations

Values associated with public involvement might relate to inter-personal issues (e.g. relationships between researchers and the public based on respect and trust), organisational (e.g. public involvement leading to research of greater quality and relevance to the healthcare system) or societal (e.g. accountability and transparency of research processes to the wider community)

Using our definition of values we have identified three broad categories of values that are associated with public involvement:

  • Ethical and/or political concerns associated with public involvement in research – we call these normative values
  • Concern with the consequences of public involvement in research – we call these substantive values
  • Issues associated with the conduct of public involvement in research – we call these process values


Public involvement in research can challenge many of the values and assumptions that academic researchers hold. These may be values about what constitutes research quality or about the appropriate role of lay people in the research process.

The scientific values underpinning research may have positive and/or negative impacts on the processes of public involvement and the people who are involved. For example, academic values may conflict with the needs and aspirations of members of the public involved in research. This may lead to negative experiences of PI and reduce its beneficial impact. Tensions between different values might disrupt relationships during the research process and affect the impacts of PI and the outcomes of the research itself

It is very likely that research teams including members of the public involved in your research, will hold different values about public involvement in research. It is important to acknowledge these values as they will shape the impacts that people anticipate from the public involvement. It is also important to acknowledge values as early as possible in the research process - ideally when the research is being designed so that strategies for managing potentially conflicting values both within the project team and the wider organisational or funding context can be developed. Values associated with PI operating in the personal, organisational and societal domains may impact differently and/or cumulatively on the PI process and the impacts PI may have.


What values about PI are held by you and other members of your research team?

What values about PI can you identify in the organisation(s) in which your research will be based?

How might these values shape your approach to public involvement, the involvement processes and the impacts public involvement can have?

Do you think there is any potential for conflict over the values associated with public involvement in your team and/or the organisation(s) in which the research will be based?

What processes can you put in place to manage divergent values

  • Within your team
  • In the organisation(s) where public involvement will take place
  • In the organisation funding your research or from which you intend to apply for funding

How might an impact assessment be designed to take into account the values you have identified in your team and the potential for conflict between values?

Record Card

Record card example


Table of resources for this element
Resource No.DescriptionDownload
#1Summary of findings from a review on values and public involvement in researchdownload icon
#2Cards on the Table discussion resource: a game based on findings from our evidence review that aims to promote discussion of values associated with public involvement in researchdownload icon
#11Gradinger, F, Britten, N, Wyatt, K, Froggatt, K, Gibson, A, Jacoby, A, Lobban, F, Mayes, D, Snape, D, Rawcliffe, T and Popay, J. ‘Values associated with public involvement in health and social care research: a narrative review.’ Health Expectations 2013 Dec 10. doi: 10.1111/hex.12158