Consultation on MRC's draft public partnerships strategy

Closed 29 Jan 2024

Opened 8 Jan 2024

Feedback updated 23 May 2024

We asked

In January 2024, we asked for feedback on the Medical Research Council’s (MRC's) draft public partnerships strategy. The strategy was drafted following a process of co-development and sets out MRC’s ambition and priorities for effective collaboration and genuine partnerships between the research community and wider society.

You said

We received 354 responses to the consultation. These responses came from a variety of individuals, groups, and organisations from the research community, the voluntary sector and wider society. The consultation responses were overwhelmingly positive. 87% agreed with the strategy overall, and 81% said that the strategy was written in clear language.

Respondents welcomed specific aspects of the strategy, including its inclusiveness, the focus on non-clinical research and the ambition to build long-term sustainable partnerships between the research community and wider society. Respondents highlighted specific initiatives which they considered vital to the success of the strategy such as, having a clear payment policy, appointing a new MRC programme director for public partnerships, and setting up a public advisory group at MRC.

Respondents recommended that MRC publish the new strategy in a variety of formats, alongside clear delivery (action) and evaluation plans.

We did

We used findings from the consultation to inform the final MRC public partnerships strategy. Key changes included:

  • Clearly stating that this strategy is an initial three-year commitment to our long-term ambition
  • Clarifying that the strategy has been co-developed
  • Specifically mentioning the involvement of international researchers, public partners, and public involvement and engagement professionals
  • Making clear that the consultation informed the final strategy
  • Emphasising that this strategy is intended to be inclusive, and will be aligned with MRC’s Embedding Diversity in Research Design policy
  • Acknowledging the importance of sharing power
  • Making clear that we will implement our new payment policy for public partners, and that other rewards and recognition are additional to payment
  • Emphasising that we will support public partners to take on leadership roles and responsibilities, such as chairing groups or co-leading projects
  • Committing to publish our action and evaluation plans

The consultation findings have been summarised in an infographic and are detailed in full in our consultation report. 

Next steps:

The final MRC public partnerships strategy will be published on the MRC website in summer 2024.


The consultation on MRC's draft public partnerships strategy closed on 29 January 2024. If you responded, we thank you for taking the time to share your views.

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