Dr Tracy Jackson appointed Centre PPI Co-lead
We interviewed Dr Tracy Jackson on her passion for Patient and Public Involvement and her appointment as Centre PPI Co-lead
Dr Tracy Jackson was appointed as Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) Co-lead in May 2021. We spoke to her about her progression from PhD student with the Centre to her new role and what draws her to PPI work.
How did you first discover PPI within research?
Before joining the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research (AUKCAR), I’d never heard of PPI. During my PhD, I worked closely with Elisabeth Ehrlich (Centre PPI Patient Lead) which really opened my eyes to this new world of PPI members as colleagues. I have a lot of respect for what she is doing and how passionate she is about PPI. It’s great that I get to work with her in my career post-PhD. After being introduced to PPI, it totally made sense to me! I believe it should be a part of all healthcare research – why wouldn’t we involve the people impacted by our research?
You clearly have a passion for PPI work – what draws you to it?
I genuinely enjoy my job working with the PPI members – they’re a really great bunch of people and it’s lots of fun. No two days are the same, I’m always working with different people, on different projects doing different activities. For example, one day I can be working with the IMP2ART team to create videos with PPI members of what it’s like to live with asthma, the next I’m co-producing research with Elisabeth on older adults with asthma.
Another great aspect of working in PPI is I get to hear about all the new research ideas in the Centre at the very start when they are being developed which is really exciting!
What do you hope to bring to your PPI Co-lead role?
I want to help move PPI from being seen as a box to tick on an application form, to being something people are enthusiastic about including in their research projects. Both researchers and PPI should benefit from working together. Researchers benefit from improved research and we need to make sure that our PPI members also benefit – whether that’s learning new skills, seeing their ideas turn into research projects, opportunities to attend conferences or be authors on research papers.
I believe that working together with PPI members as colleagues in research helps us become better researchers and produce better research, which is what we should all be aiming for.
Tell us about your work towards making AUKCAR a centre of excellence for PPI in the UK
Our team was one of the 10 pilot sites for NIHR when they were developing the UK Standards for Public Involvement in Research. We use these standards to guide all the PPI work we do here at the Centre and we were invited to share our experiences and lead a workshop on the Governance standard at the Pioneering Partnership 2020 event. I’m looking forward to working with the rest of the PPI team to continue meaningfully involving patient and public members in our research, creating resources for researchers and PPI members to support their PPI activities and sharing our experience and knowledge as we go along.
We’ve also started co-producing research with PPI members and we won "Most Patient-Centred Poster" award at the 2020 Primary Care Respiratory Society (PCRS) UK conference for our project exploring the experiences of older adults with asthma. This highlights the value of researchers and PPI members working together and collaborating on projects to produce high-quality research that benefits people living with asthma.
We wish Tracy the best of luck in her new role!
Public Involvement at the Centre
Find out about how we involve people affected by asthma in our research
Tracy was a PhD student with the Centre before she joined as PPI Research Fellow and progressed to her new role. Read about her PhD study: