Patient, Public Involvement and Engagement

Hands reaching out symbolising engagement

At the MCRC, patient public involvement and engagement (PPIE) represents an important and active partnership between researchers and patients and members of the public. We consider PPIE an essential two-way process that helps us to drive novel cancer research that has been developed together with patients or members of our community.

Because cancer affects people from across the world, we strive to involve and engage patients, members of the public, or community representatives in our research projects to ensure we accommodate their voices and stories into our research. Through our various PPIE activities, we aim to:

  • Share how our research is performed with the public
  • Engage the public around specific areas of cancer research, including prevention and early detection
  • Involve patients or members of the public in order to co-create research projects


STEM Bee in the City 2018

Collaboration and Co-Creation

At its essence, PPIE is about collaboration, co-creation, and conversation. That’s why the MCRC collaborates on all its PPIE activities with colleagues from across our partnership, including The University of Manchester, The Christie, and Cancer Research UK (CRUK). In addition, we work closely with the PPIE team at the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), now called Vocal.

Within the CRUK Manchester Institute and the CRUK Manchester Centre, we work with our committed Research Engagement Manager as well as the wider CRUK Engagement Team to coordinate activities and represent CRUK’s contribution to our world-leading cancer research activities.

Laboratory Open Days

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the MCRC and our various partners including The University of Manchester, CRUK Manchester Institute and CRUK Manchester Centre held biannual open days and laboratory tours to allow supporters, fundraisers, and members of the public to get first-hand experience of our cutting-edge research.

This included work with local primary and secondary schools giving children hands-on experience of laboratory science, as well as tours of the facilities available to researchers.

Read more about our engagement day organised to mark World Cancer Day 4th February 2020 in this blog written by Dr Suzanne Johnson DCS Social Responsibility Lead.

Sam Littler showing laboratory equipment during a lab tour at the OCRB

Science Festivals

Away from the laboratory, we also engage with science festivals, including Pint of Science, The University of Manchester Community Festival, British Science Week as well as activities through the Museum of Science and Industry. These activities allow our PhD and Postdoctoral researchers to engage directly with the public.

Public engagement event at Whitworth Hall

Virtual Engagement Sessions

In order to drive engagement with our public supporters during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have sought new ways to engage and involve the public in our research. This has included running virtual engagement sessions involving talks and panel Q&As with some of our academic researchers.

Watch the engagement session ‘How can we predict and prevent breast cancer now?‘ organised by the Manchester Breast Centre to raise awareness about how to prevent and predict breast cancer held on the 23rd October.

Our Patient and Research Data Statement: How the MCRC partners collect and use patient data for research purposes. (co-created on 01.09.2021)

Radiotherapy and Me

Radiotherapy & Me was developed to raise awareness of radiotherapy and research taking place in Greater Manchester. Researchers and patients felt that there was low public awareness about radiotherapy compared to other treatments for cancer.

Vocal splash screen with logo

Do you want to get involved?

Whether you’re a patient, member of the public, healthcare worker or scientist, our teams always want to hear from you.

Please use our Contact Page, or visit any of our partners which have further information on how you can engage with us.

The Christie - Patient Public Involvement and Engagement

Discover more about PPIE at The Christie

Vocal - Radiotherapy and Me

Discover more about Radiotherapy and Me including other videos from patients and researchers on the Vocal website

NIHR Manchester BRC - Patient Public Involvement and Engagement

Discover more about PPIE at the NIHR Manchester BRC

CRUK - PPIE toolkit for Researchers

Discover a CRUK toolkit providing guidance, tips and templates to help you plan, deliver and evaluate your patient involvement.