Consumer & community involvement at opus

What is the CCIP?

The Consumer and Community Involvement Program (CCIP) offers consumers the opportunity to participate in research programs. It’s about partnering with researchers to improve health care. 

In turn, researchers receive an invaluable fresh perspective on the appropriateness, relevance and applicability of their research program. By engaging consumers throughout the research project cycle, we ensure our research outcomes meet community expectations.

OPUS welcomes interested members of the public with little-to-no scientific background, of any age or gender, to participate in osteoarthritis-related research projects.

The OPUS CCIP framework. Click to enlarge.

CCIP: A year in review

Consumer involvement has always been a highly desirable complementary program to research groups. A small working group within OPUS was established to create this program a working reality and by March 2020, OPUS had assigned a Consumer and Community Liaison Officer to drive our concepts to implementation. Our framework has now been published as a protocol in Research Involvement and Engagement, which outlines how to embed consumer and community involvement within an established research centre. It details an actionable framework that moved beyond the current NHMRC general recommendations, so that other research centres can adapt the approach and learnings of the OPUS CCIP to their own research practices. The protocol also garnered significant interest online and across social media platforms, being picked up by Twitter users from Australia, France, Canada, Serbia and Pakistan.

Advertisement through word of mouth, social media, St Vincent’s Hospital outpatient clinics and the MSK newsletter has enabled us to welcome a total of nine consumers to the program, with more expected to join in 2021.

What to expect for 2021

Our CCI Pilot Program is set to commence in early 2021, starting with orientation and training for our newest members. These will bring consumers up to scratch with our work here at OPUS, share the opportunities available for them and provide a platform for networking between consumers and researchers alike.

Following orientation and training, consumers in the program will be matched with researchers dependent on their level of involvement within the four Tiers.

We have several other exciting consumer engagement events on the horizon for 2021, including a webinar with the Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education as a part of the ‘Spotlight on Engagement’ series. We also have plans to host a ‘Consumers and Researchers: In Conversation’ event and an entire segment of the 2021 OPUS Forum will be dedicated to showcasing the CCIP.

After a year of meticulous planning and dedicated work, the CCIP is officially coming to the fore.

We are incredibly excited for the year ahead and we hope you are too!

Get in touch with our Consumer and Community Liaison Officer Dr Tilini Gunatillake if you have any questions about the program or fill out an expression of interest if you or someone you know would like to join the program.

Click the button below and scroll down to the ‘Expression of Interest’ form.