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The Great Minds Participation Panel is made up of members who have agreed to support Great Minds with extra research such as focus groups around a particular topic for a research proposal, or input into how we communicate with members via our emails, website, newsletter and events.

Participants in a focus group

If you would be interested in supporting Great Minds in this way, we are looking for members to join our participation panel. Members will take part in selected focus groups around research, our events, newsletter and other interesting topics to do with our research and project. Before you decide, it is important for you to understand what this will involve.

What is the purpose of a focus group?

Most focus groups are interested in feedback about our studies, our events, our mailings and other topics that may arise.

What will happen to me if I take part?

If you decide to take part you will be asked to attend a focus group to discuss particular topics alongside other participants. We will have around 3-4 groups a year. At the start of the focus group, you will be asked to complete and sign an informed consent form. Following this, we will be talking about your experiences of dementia research, Great Minds and our work. Focus groups may be virtual over Zoom or face to face (where refreshments will be provided).

The focus group will be supported by facilitators and will be digitally recorded. The focus groups will last around 1-2 hours. All information gathered in the focus group will be treated confidentially and is anonymised.

We may also send you short online surveys from time to time.

Do I have to take part?

No. It is entirely up to you whether to take part or not. Neither do you need to attend every focus group we hold. Agreeing to be on the panel means we will contact you inviting you to a group with the specific details.

If you do take part, you are free to withdraw or change your mind up to one month after the focus group has taken place, without giving a reason, and no direct quotations of yours will be used.

How long do I have to be a member for?

We don't expect you to stay a member forever – the length and amount you participate is entirely up to you. Just let us know if you no longer wish to be part of the panel.

What are the possible benefits of taking part?

There are no direct benefits to you as an individual. However, you may enjoy being part of a focus group, meeting other people and listening to their opinions. You will be contributing to development of the Great Minds and helping our longer-term goal of improving dementia research.

Will my taking part in the focus group be kept confidential?

Yes. Any information collected about you during this focus group will remain confidential outside of the focus group discussions. Any discussion you take part in will be digitally recorded so that we can listen to it and analyse it later, but no-one except the facilitators will be able to identify you. Once transcribed and double-checked, all audio files from the focus groups will be destroyed and all data extracts anonymised from that point onwards.

Will I be reimbursed for taking part?

For face to face groups, travel expenses to and from the Medical Research Council will be reimbursed. Certain focus groups may also offer a thank you for your contribution (this is not always the case – you will be notified when the event information is sent to you).

What will happen to the results of my participation?

The results of this focus group will be used to inform change within that particular area of Great Minds, such as our newsletters, the website, how we contact you, or about particular studies. Any quotes used in reports or publications will be anonymised and you will not be identified in any publications or presentations.

What if I would like to volunteer to be a member of the panel?

Please let us know via email: