Resources for co-producing research

This list of resources on co-producing research is a work in progress. Let us know of anything you think should be added to it.

When we co-produce research, this means that researchers, healthcare staff and public contributors collaborate to develop research. Everyone works together in more equal partnerships and shares responsibility and power from the start to the end of a research project. This is a small project to help everyone work together in a more equal way in research.

We are inviting public contributors, healthcare staff and researchers to share insights from their own experiences of co-produced research, at workshops that we are running. Through these, we aim to develop and co-produce practical guidance with researchers, public contributors and healthcare staff, to help everyone work together and share power more effectively when co-producing health and social care research. This can sometimes be a challenge, as there are many inequalities that can affect this such as:

  • hierarchical inequalities in university and health systems
  • knowledge hierarchies where some types of evidence are favoured over others
  • social inequalities, which can be rooted in wider economic and societal inequalities

Here are some resources that we are aware of so far, that help us think about power and equality in co-produced research. Please let us know (Michelle Farr, 0117 342 7279 and Rosie Davies 0117 342 1248) of other material that helps people think through and act to change different power inequalities in co-produced research, and we will add these to the list.


NIHR INVOLVE supports active public involvement in NHS, public health and social care research.

National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE)

The NCCPE helps universities engage with the public. One of their projects Ethics in participatory research involved UK community organisations and universities working together to produce resources to help researchers with ethical challenges.

Shaping our Lives

Shaping our Lives is a national network of service users and disabled people. Their resources include:

National Survivor User Network

The National Survivor User Network (NSUN) is a network of people who have experience of mental distress and who want to change things for the better.

  • 4Pi National Involvement Standards Developed by people with lived experience as part of the National Involvement Partnership (NIP) project, the 4Pi National Standards ensure effective co-production, thus really improving experiences of services and support.

Support for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials

The BC SUPPORT (Support for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials) Unit is a multi-partner organization created to support, streamline and increase patient-oriented research throughout British Columbia.

NIHR Mental Health Research Network

The NIHR Mental Health Research Network works with everyone who needs to be involved in research projects – researchers, mental health professionals, people with experience of mental health problems, their families and research and development staff based in NHS trusts.

Christian Aid and the Open University

This was a partnership set within international development, but its resources on research partnerships between Universities and non-government organisations is easily applicable to other areas.

William T Grant Foundation

The William T Grant Foundation invests in research to reduce inequality in youth outcomes and improves the use of research evidence in decisions that affect young people. It has developed resources to ensure effective research partnerships.

The International Collaboration for Participatory Health Research (ICPHR)

The ICPHR aims to maximize the participation of those whose life or work is the subject of the research in all stages of the research process.

Recovery Library, University of Melbourne

The Recovery Library at the University of Melbourne, has a diverse range of resources that support recovery-oriented practice.

Papers and reports on power, co-production and public involvement in research

Please let us know about others.

Using co-inquiry to study co-inquiry : community-university perspectives on research collaboration
Banks S, Armstrong A, Booth M, Brown G, Carter K, Clarkson M, Corner L, Genus A, Gilroy R, Henfrey T, Hudson K, Jenner A, Moss R, Roddy D and Russell, A (2014)
Journal of community engagement and scholarship, 7 (1).

N8/ESRC Research Programme Knowledge That Matters: Realising the Potential of Co-Production
Campbell H, Vanderhoven D (2016)  N8 Research Partnership, Manchester, UK

Creating living knowledge: The connected communities programme, community–university relationships and the participatory turn in the production of knowledge
Facer K and Enright B (2016). Bristol: University of Bristol/AHRC Connected Communities

Power dynamics and collaborative mechanisms in co-production and co-design processes
Farr M (2018) Critical Social Policy 38 (4): 623-644

Survivor research and Mad Studies: the role and value of experiential knowledge in mental health research
Faulkner A (2017)  Disability & Society 32(4): 500-520

Co-production: Power, problems and possibilities
Gordon S and O’Brien A J (2018) International Journal of Mental Health Nursing 27 (4): 1201-1203.

The potential for coproduction to add value to research
Hickey G (2018)  Health Expectations 21 (4): 693-694

Co-production from proposal to paper
Hickey G, Richards T, Sheehy J (2018)  Nature, 562 (7725): 29-31

Delivering research impact that is aligned to social priorities requires public participation throughout the process
Hill S, Morrow E, and Ross F (2016) LSE Impact of Social Sciences Blog 13 Oct 2016.

‘Outside the Original Remit’: Co-production in UK mental health research, lessons from the field
Lambert N. and Carr S (2018) International Journal of Mental Health Nursing 27 (4): 1273-1281.

Handbook of Service User Involvement in Nursing and Healthcare Research
Morrow E, Boaz A, Brearley S, Ross F  (2011)