Public Involvement Fund (PIF)

It is considered good practice to involve members of the public and people with lived experience as early as possible in the research design process. Funding public involvement at the application stage can be challenging. The RDS Public Involvement Funds (PIF) aim to bridge that gap. Funds are available to help facilitate public involvement in the development of research ideas and research applications.

Where funding is not available from other sources, researchers receiving support from the RDS SC can apply for funding to carry out PPI activity that will assist in the development of a research grant application.

A PIF can support a wide range of PPI activity, but is generally used to fund two distinct types of project:

  1.  Standalone public involvement activities (e.g. meetings or events) which will inform the development of a specific research grant application.
  2.  The awards can also be used to establish a longer-term PPI panel where the need for this has been identified.

What can the PIF cover?

Expense type:Amount that can be requested:
Payment in recognition of people's time preparing for and attending meetings.This is based on the Centre for Dissemination’s recommendations (see section 6.1).
Reimbursing out of pocket expenses, e.g. public members travelling to a meeting.‘Reasonable’ travel expenses within RDS SC region should be estimated.
Hiring a venue if one isn’t freely available.Where possible, applicants are encouraged to use free venues within their organisation or the community. If this is not possible, applicants may apply for funds to pay for an economical venue.
Payment for light refreshments.Applicants are encouraged to seek the most economical options for providing refreshments

Expenses not covered by the PIF

  • Researcher travel costs
  • Paying for a consultant to run the meeting
  • Cost of transcription
  • Printing and stationery costs
  • PPI activity taking place after a grant has been awarded (PIFs can only be used while developing a grant application)


PIF awards are to support the involvement of the public in developing grant applications for projects that will lead to submissions to NIHR or other national, peer-reviewed funding competitions. The maximum amount offered will vary and will be considered on a per project basis.

Process for applying for PIF funds

To be considered for the PIF, you must have submitted a request for support and have been assigned an RDS adviser. If eligible, your RDS adviser will ask you to complete a PIF application form. We recommend you submit a completed PIF application form at least 8 weeks in advance of your funding application deadline. If approved, the fund should be claimed within three months of receiving the approval email (within the stipulated start and end date of the fund). If funds are not claimed within 3 months, applicants will need to reapply.