Arthritis Research UK Medical Research Council

CIMA Engagement

Our vision

People with musculoskeletal disorders, carers and the wider public are an integral part of CIMA.

We want to ensure that our research is relevant and has maximum impact for people with musculoskeletal disorders and the wider general public. 

To achieve this people with musculoskeletal disorders, carers and the wider public are valued partners in what we do. 

Together we want to create a research environment that has a shared commitment to the importance and value of research, that engages with people affected by musculoskeletal disorders and with the wider public, and which will facilitate the effective and timely translation of evidence into practice.

We are keen to involve people with musculoskeletal disorders and members of the public in all stages of our research and we are continuously developing ways to improve the closer partnership between patients and public and researchers. Currently, patients and public are involved in a wide range of ways. They have an especially important role in helping us to question how and why we do certain activities - for example, helping us to:

  • set priorities for research;
  • decide on what the research is setting out to achieve and understanding what the research findings mean to patients and members of the public;
  • plan and design studies that are relevant to patients and in a way that that patients want to and are able to take part;
  • recruit people to take part in research studies, particularly by helping to ensure the information we give to patients is co-developed and is clear and understandable;
  • understand how the findings can be applied in practice through a strong programme of knowledge translation for maximum impact;
  • communicate and share study findings and wider CIMA activity with a wide range of patients and the wider public, using a range of mechanisms such as web sites, newsletters and social media, as well as health and social care organisations and health professionals.

If you are interested in getting involved with CIMA, or would like more information on any aspect of patient/ public engagement, please contact our Public Engagement Officer, Dr Lynne Corner -

Working in Partnership

CIMA works closely with other organisations to support public engagement in our research. Examples of the infrastructure and organisations currently in place within CIMA that facilitate engagement with the public, businesses, statutory agencies, private and voluntary organisations are:

VOICENorth - a Research and Engagement Panel established by Newcastle’s Initiative for Changing Age to harness the knowledge and experience of the general public. It is demographically representative with over 1000 people of all age groups and backgrounds from an extensive network of community based voluntary sector groups including ‘hard to reach’ groups.

Years Ahead - hosted by the Institute for Health and Ageing at Newcastle University, this brings together key statutory agencies (Department of Health, Local Authorities and Directors of Adult Social Care), voluntary agencies (Age UK, Alzheimer’s Society) and local community groups, and aims to influence local and national strategies and policies concerning demographic change and ageing and share best practice.

Involve - established to promote public involvement in research and acts as a national advisory group to support greater public involvement in NHS, public health and social care research. It is funded by NIHR and helps to ensure that the entire research process is focused on what is important to people and is therefore more relevant and acceptable to the users of services.

Our objectives

We have 2 key objectives: 

  1. involvement with regionally based groups and the sharing of good practice
  2. integration of the importance of engagement and dissemination in training

To achieve our objectives we will:

  • Engage, consult and involve a wide range of people with musculoskeletal disorders and members of the public about the work of the CIMA through a range of methods including questionnaires, surveys, focus groups, events and workshops;
  • Establish a patient and public forum to support active involvement in CIMA research, including early involvement in grant applications, contributing to lay summarys etc., to inform how research is conducted and embed active public and patient involvement in CIMA research;
  • Co-develop training and support for patients, carers and members of the public to have an active role in CIMA;
  • Develop training and support for researchers and students sign post advice and guidance to actively undertake public engagement and patient and public involvement and embed in their research;
  • Develop of a range of resources to support involvement, including concise information leaflets, newsletters, web pages and videos to promote involvement and disseminate CIMA activity through regular feedback, and to facilitate involvement in specific projects;
  • Ensure the public engagement and patient and public involvement programme is effectively resourced to support delivery.