• Mar 18 2024

New PEER Program Connects Researchers with Patients, Caregivers for Feedback on Studies

Two older women, one Black and one white, sit beside one another in a discussion circle in an office. The Black woman has short cropped hair and is holding her cane. The white woman has chin-length white hair and is holding a glass of water. We see the shoulders and hands of other members of the group discussion who are out of frame.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 18, 2024) – A new program from the UK Center for Clinical and Translational Science will connect researchers with patients and caregivers whose perspectives can help ensure that health studies and clinical trials are designed to address real-life needs.

The Participant Engagement for Equitable Research (PEER) Program will build a network of PEER Experts consisting of patients and caregivers who have had significant experience with a health condition or represent a specific population within the healthcare system. After a short orientation process, these Experts will meet with researchers in facilitated conversations sessions called PEER Studios, which are either in-person or virtual.

We are now inviting patients and caregivers who might be interested in serving as a PEER Expert to complete a brief interest form. Please note that we cannot guarantee that everyone who expresses interest will be asked to participate in the program.

Researchers who are interested in hosting a PEER Studio for their study are invited to submit a CCTS service request form; please select PEER Studio from the menu.

» What’s the goal of the PEER Program?

Involving patients and caregivers in the research process is crucial to guarantee that the needs of people impacted by health conditions and the healthcare system are prioritized within efforts to improve care and wellbeing. 

» What are the benefits of being a PEER Expert?

While serving as a PEER Expert is not an avenue to seek medical advice, it is opportunity to learn more about health research and possibly shape its direction. Participants might also get to connect with other patients and caregivers with similar experiences. PEER Experts will receive an honorarium (financial compensation) for each orientation and studio session attended, and mileage will be reimbursed.

» What's expected of PEER Experts?
  • Attend an orientation session (either virtual or at UK)

  • Attend PEER Studio(s) 

» Who can apply to be a PEER Expert?

People who have experience as a patient or caregiver may be eligible to serve as a PEER Expert. 

Ideal qualities include:

  • Willingness to share opinions and aspects of their personal experiences
  • Curiosity about health research and new ways to address health/healthcare problems
  • Commitment to confidentiality 

PEER is directed by Gia Mudd-Martin, PhD, MPH, RN, FAHA, as part of the CCTS Community Engagement and Research core. Lynn Warneke serves as program manager for PEER. 


Media Contact: Mallory Profeta, mallory.profeta@uky.edu