December 18, 2023, by School of Medicine

Networking with other citizen science teams

Kim Thomas presenting at networking eventIn October, Kim Thomas and myself (Rapid Eczema Trials co-leads) attended a networking event and workshop for recently funded NIHR Programme Development Grants in Birmingham. The NIHR is the National Institute for Health and Care Research, which is the NHS research funder.  The NIHR are the people funding our Rapid Eczema Trials. All the attendees had just been successful in getting funding for their ideas for developing innovative public partnerships.

Rapid Eczema Trials was invited to participate in the day, because we too are pioneering public partnership working (citizen science) for high quality randomised control trials.  Kim and I shared the learning from one year into our full NIHR programme grant.  It was truly inspirational to meet up with 16 teams who are starting out on their journey to engage with local communities.

Here are some case studies of a selection of other teams which gave brief introductions at the meeting:

Mind map of from a networking group on sustaining partnershipsTake-homes from the day included:

  • Co-production (patients, carers and the public working in partnership with researchers and clinicians to produce agreed outcomes is like a marriage – it is a partnership of equals with transparency and flexibility, and a common goal.  But sometimes one person takes a lead and other times another will.
  • Co-production is messy and if it is not, you are not doing right.
  • Co-production teams need to be intimate and share a common language.

If you are interested in citizen science research you might want to follow these links for more information:

UKRI blog on how to fund community for community led innovations

Join the Young Foundation Peer Research Network

Written by Amanda Roberts

Amanda Roberts smiling at the camera

If you would like to find out more about Rapid Eczema Trials, please visit our website or email us on

The Rapid Eczema Trials project involves researchers, healthcare professionals and citizen scientists (people with eczema and parents of children with eczema) working together to answer important questions about eczema by designing and running clinical trials together.

The Rapid Eczema Trials programme is sponsored by Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and is funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) under its Programme Grants for Applied Research programme (PGfAR NIHR203279). The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.

Funded by NIHR: National Institute for Health and Care Research

Posted in Medicine