Many people affected by addiction want to use their personal experience to help bring about improvements for others, or have an interest in making research better.

The UEA Addiction Research Public Involvement Panel gives people the opportunity to do this by ensuring researchers take into account people’s first-hand experiences when designing and carrying our research.

The Panel operates on a virtual basis; meaning you will be invited to be involved in research that is relevant to your experience as and when opportunities come up. You will be contacted either by email or telephone when they do. You may be asked to:

  • Suggest ideas for future research or help to choose topics

  • Review research proposals

  • Review and comment on funding applications and/or ethics applications

  • Advise on the design of research studies

  • Assist in developing participant documents and research tools

  • Advise on the best ways to recruit participants

  • Advise on best practice when involving the public

  • Assist in managing and carrying out research

  • Help review and present research findings to public audiences

The nature and extent of active involvement will vary depending on the context of each research study and how much you want to be involved.

You will also be invited to attend an annual meeting (held in Norwich) to share experiences and/or receive training.

What sort of experience or background should I have?

  • You don't need to have any expertise in research to get involved but if you do want to learn more about research, this is a great opportunity to do so!

  • You will have personal experience or an interest in smoking, vaping, or alcohol/ substance misuse issues. For example, you are a current or ex-smoker, current or ex drug and alcohol service user, a carer, partner or relative of someone who has had problems with addiction. 

  • You will be given induction training as well as ongoing training and support if required.

  • Most importantly, you will have an enthusiasm and a willingness to take part in discussions.

Will I get paid?

The role is voluntary, though we offer payment for people’s time and expenses if we can. The rate will depend on the nature of the task and the amount of funding the research study has available to support involvement.

Who do I contact for further information?

If you are interested in becoming a member of the UEA Addiction Research Public Involvement Panel or want to find out more, please get in touch with Lisa McDaid (, tel: +44 (0)1603 597766).

Download our public involvement newsletter