Researchers and involving consumers


As a cancer researcher, there are various ways you can involve consumers in your work. Consumers can be involved throughout the research process, including in the design of clinical trials. This is different to being involved as participants in research or randomised control trials trials.

When consumers are involved in the design of tools for research and data collection – such as surveys and questionnaires – the tools are better received by the participants and you’ll collect more meaningful data. Involving consumers also:

  • ensures that issues important to consumers are identified and prioritised
  • supports the communication of research results to the wider community
  • helps to translate research findings into clinical practice and implement it within health service delivery
  • identifies research priorities and places consumer needs at the centre of cancer research
  • protects against money and resources being wasted on research that has little or no benefit or impact for consumers.

More specifically, consumers have helped to:

  • design research methodologies
  • advise about ethics
  • interview other consumers
  • review draft questionnaires
  • participate in pilot stages
  • consult with consumer organisations about research priorities.

Make a start

To start involving consumers in your work, ask yourself: why do I want to engage consumers in my research? Then you can identify the type of consumers who will contribute to your research team.

You’ll also need to make sure you have the systems and structures in place to engage consumers. Your organisation may be able to assist with these aspects.

Also see About consumer involvement and Getting started.