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Getting Involved in Research

Four members of the DRN (Gavin Davidson, Paul Best, Berni Kelly and Lorna Montgomery) were involved in an innovative new project on ‘Getting Involved in Research’. The project was a partnership between Disability Research on Independent Living and Learning, the Health and Social Care Board, the Mental Health Foundation, Praxis Care, Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University. The aim of this project was to co-produce a course that could be used as a general introduction for anyone who might be interested in getting involved in research, but could also be adapted by any new research projects using a participatory approach. The co-production process involved researchers with lived experience and representatives from different organisations involved from the beginning of the project to: develop the idea; design the content; deliver the course; and evaluate the process. Improved quality and accessibility of the course content was a key benefit of the coproduction process. The involvement of lived experience researchers in the delivery of the course also demonstrated that people with lived experience, who may have had little or no previous research experience, can make a positive and important contribution to research in a variety of ways. The course was run for the first time, through Open Learning at Queen’s, in May 2021. We took the opportunity to conduct an in-depth evaluation of the process of developing the course and of the course itself. Further details about the course and a related journal article are available on the following links: