Initial awareness or scoping meeting

Some PSPs hold an initial awareness or launch meeting to raise the profile of the PSP among patient and clinician groups and to encourage their interest and participation. While this meeting is not essential and may be dependent on the resources available to the PSP, it can present the potential priority setting exercise to a wider audience.  It can be helpful for topic areas that do not have established networks or communication channels.  It is an opportunity to explain the idea of research priority setting, gauge interest, answer questions and secure involvement as partners.  Some PSPs have also used this meeting as an opportunity to gather thoughts from stakeholders on the potential scope of the PSP, or even to identify potential Steering Group members. 

This is also a useful opportunity for the PSP to consider what will happen once the Top 10 is agreed, how they will work with the priorities, which researchers and funders they are hoping to influence with the priorities and what impact they want to achieve.

Potential attendees are usually identified through the Steering Group members' networks and contacts, or through the PSP Lead’s networks if the Steering Group has not yet been recruited.

While the format of the meeting may vary depending on the nature and number of attendees, the key elements to include on the agenda are:

  • information about the JLA and its aims, process and outcomes
  • why a PSP on this particular topic is relevant and important
  • feedback, including anticipated challenges, opportunities and how to engage with relevant communities
  • what happens next, including getting involved, commitment and timescales.

The format should also include time for questions and discussion.

Numbers permitting, it may also be helpful to break into small groups to discuss who the stakeholders of the PSP are and what its scope should be.  These groups should be identified in advance and delegates should be asked to indicate where their interests lie, to ensure that everyone can take part in a discussion that is relevant to them.  This will give people the opportunity to put their points across and serve as a rough indicator of the areas and focus of uncertainties that the PSP is likely to uncover.  It will also ensure delegates begin to understand their practical role as partners within the JLA process.  Some PSPs make available videos and other materials from the awareness meeting for those unable to attend.