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We are passionate about engaging members of the public and our partners in all stages of our research.

We are passionate about engaging members of the public and our partners in all stages of our research.  Our researchers are regularly involved in public outreach initiatives and patient involvement. We engage with communities, schools, charities, support groups and companies across many different sectors. You can see a range of examples of our engagement activities below. 


Research from our Institute contributed to new play ‘Credit’. Looking at the impact of the Universal Credit (UC) benefit payment. Introduced in 2013, Universal Credit is the biggest change to the UK’s social security system since its inception. UC was ‘rolled out’ at different times across the UK and the North East was one of the early areas. Concerns raised by claimants and local partner organisations led to Gateshead Council Public Health commissioning research into the impact of UC on claimants. 

‘Credit’ combines research findings with stories from people receiving universal credit as well as those working on the frontline within local authorities and support organisations. The play uses the issues connected with UC to provoke a wider discussion about the welfare system.  

Credit is written by Laura Lindow and produced by theatre company Cap-a-pie. Collaborators include Newcastle University, Teesside University, Gateshead Council, Newcastle Council, Citizens Advice Gateshead, Your Voice Counts, Oasis Community Housing, Women’s Health in South Tyneside, Changing Lives and Larkspur House and Fuse.  

"It's never been more important to be informed about Universal Credit. Creating a play based on research is a powerful way to enable people to access the findings."
Professor Suzanne Moffatt, Population Health Sciences Institute. 

Read the original research about the impact of UC on the BMJ Open website: Impact of Universal Credit in North East England: a qualitative study of claimants and support staff.

Find out more about the making of Credit on the Cap-a-pie website



Nutrition Coffee Mornings

In collaboration with VOICE, researchers in the institute have held a series of virtual coffee mornings with members of the public to discuss topical issues in diet and nutrition. This has provided an opportunity to share some of our research projects, encourage participation in our research and also provide members of the public with an opportunity to ask questions related to diet and nutrition. Recent topics of discussion have included nutrition and immune function and nutrition for healthy brain ageing.


Working in partnership with autistic people, relatives and clinicians

The Newcastle University multidisciplinary autism research group have worked in partnership with families of children with autism, and autistic adults for more than 15 years. This has led to co-designed research, delivered together with autistic co-investigators. Over the years, the engagement and partnership with relatives and autistic people led to the inclusion of more than 8000 participants in research. Participants can be contacted again about key research aiming improve the lives of autistic people and families. Research has been led by Newcastle based researchers, and also UK researchers based elsewhere.

Recently, we have pioneered research that has been co-designed and co-delivered with autistic people. For example at a Newcastle hosted international workshop, research priorities were identified by autistic people, and outlines of possible projects were created. Find out more in the workshop report


Some workshop participants, including autistic co-investigators, clinicians and researchers went on to make successful funding applications. Those teams of international researchers are now undertaking high profile research aiming to improve the physical and mental health of autistic people, and their quality of life. Find out more on the project website