User involvement in research – “Bruker-elf”

Do you have experience as a user of public health services? Do you work as a Peer Support Specialist?

Then you have the knowledge and background that can be useful in research projects.

The Ministry of Health and Care Services has laid down guidelines for user representatives to be involved in all research projects in which the Health Trusts are involved. The purpose of this course is to give an introduction that provides insight into what it means to participate in research, and to prepare you for this role.

If you think this sounds interesting, keep reading.

Target group

People with user experience

User representatives who are curious about what medical research and health research is about

People who consider qualifying to participate as user representatives in research projects


This course will give you a basic introduction in health research as well as training in the process of a research project. Furthermore, there is an extra focus on the user perspective and how to give user experiences useful value in research.                            

Themes that will be reviewed:

  • What is good knowledge in mental health?
  • What requirements should be made for research, and what can be sources of error (bias)?
  • What are good research questions and how do you read and evaluate research articles?
  • What is a research protocol?
  • Where can you find good articles?
  • How can user experience contribute to quality in research?
  • How to promote user experience in research and evaluation?

Learning outcome

After completing the course, you will have basic knowledge about health research and increased knowledge of user involvement in research.

This course is part of a strategy for qualifying user representatives in research, and will make you better equipped to participate in research projects as representative of the user perspective.


This course consists of four-hour sessions once a week and has a total of four sessions.

The course is dialogue-based and consists of lectures from researchers at NTNU/AFFU and a senior advisor from KBT. Some parts consist of active participation through dialogue and reflection in a group.

For the second session, all course participants prepare a short description of a relevant research project they would like to proceed with. Participants are encouraged to present the description through a ten-minute informal presentation.

NTNU/AFFU is responsible for two sessions about research, and KBT contributes with experience from working to promote user experiences in research the third session. The fourth session we gather to evaluate the course.

Prerequisite skills

No prior knowledge required.

Course leaders

This course is carried out by course leaders from KBT and AFFU/NTNU.

Course leaders from AFFU: Researchers Cuneyt Guzey and Einar Vedul-Kjelsås.

Course leaders from KBT: Heidi Westerlund and Karl Johan Johansen, both with long experience from user involvement in research and research in general.

Course certificate and material

You will  receive a course certificate.


Karl-Johan Johansen


About Anne B. Plathe

Project team member in KBT. Works with Canada-Norway research collaboration, User Interviews User, web page and social media.