Bursary Scheme to support service user and carer involvement in Health and Social Care

Closed 31 Mar 2020

Opened 1 Aug 2019


The Bursary Scheme, to support involvement in Health and Social Care, will open for new applications on 1 August 2019 and run to 31 March 2020.

The scheme aims to support service users and carers involved in strategic programmes of work with Health and Social Care (HSC), by helping individuals to develop their knowledge and  skills to enable them to participate in Involvement work.  The contribution that service users and carers made to HSC is well recognised.  The scheme supports these individuals to identify what skills they need to enhance their own contribution to this work.

Applicants must be service users and carers who are based in Northern Ireland and are currently engaged with a Health and Social Care organisation.  A total of £2,500 has been allocated to the bursary with the maximum amount allocated per participant set at £750 and limited to only one application per individual within the financial year (April 2019 - March 2020).

What is involvement work?

Personal and Public Involvement (PPI) is the term used to describe the active and meaningful involvement of service users, carers and the public in the commissioning, design, delivery and evaluation of Health and Social Care services, in ways that are relevant to them.

How can the bursary scheme help me? 

The bursary has been set up to support individual personal development and access training to learn more about becoming involved in improving and transforming health and social services in Northern Ireland.  The bursary can assist individuals to:

  • develop skills in key areas eg understand the use of positive dialogue for productive conversations, how to give presentations and develop confidence in public speaking;
  • understand how to impact others eg how to develop and demonstrate leadership skills;
  • increase awareness and understanding regarding various programmes of involvement work, helping individuals to advance models of care or enhance involvement in contributing to service change;
  • build personal capacity to increase engagement and participation in involvement, co-production or other areas related to Health and Social Care.

 What can the bursary be used for:

  • an activity related to involvement or co-production in Health and Social Care;
  • attendance at conference or masterclass by a recognised body (this can include conference fees, subsistence, accommodation and travel costs);
  • accessing training in an identified area;
  • coaching to support personal development.

What the bursary may not be used for:

How do I apply for the bursary?

  • individual applicants should complete the bursary application form.  The applicant should provide as much information as possible to help us assess your application;
  • identify a HSC member of staff who you have been engaged with and who will agree to confirm what involvement work you have undertaken.  We will contact them to obtain confirmation of this information;
  • if the application is successful and the bursary is awarded, a letter of offer will be sent to you confirming what the bursary will be used for;
  • once you have completed the activities outlined in the bursary application, you will be asked to submit a short report to share your learning and outline how it will help the HSC.  We will also ask about the impact of your involvement, for example social media activity, information sharing etc.

What is the timeframe for use of the funding?

Funding must be spent by end March 2020.

How will the application be assessed:

A panel of service users, carers and HSC staff will assess each application.  We aim to assess applications and inform you of the panel's decision within six weeks.  As noted, a request will also be made to the HSC reference to confirm your details and involvement with HSC.  You will also receive an acknowledgement e-mail upon receipt of submitted application.

What will happen when the funding is awarded?

A letter of offer will be forwarded to the successful applicant to confirm what the bursary will be used for and the timeframe for completion of the outlined activities.

Funding will be paid directly to organisation who will be providing the service. 

What kind of involvement opportunities are available?

To help individual applicants to identify different opportunities in line with their needs, the following organisations below provide a wide range of training/conferences to help support and develop knowledge and skills.  Also check out the Engage website for an up-dated list of forthcoming training  here.



  • Service users/patients
  • Carers
  • General Public
  • Advocate groups
  • Community/Voluntary sector organisations


  • Health and social care policy
  • Health and social care legislation
  • Quality and safety
  • Regulation of health and social care
  • Provision of health and social care services
  • Improvement of health and social care services
  • Patient/service user advocacy