Communicating with the Public SIG

CwP SIG objectives:

The Communicating with the Public Special Interest Group (CwP SIG) was founded in 2021. The SIG’s aims are to:

  • educate and inform EMWA members about this important and expanding area of medical writing
  • advance the interaction with Regulatory Agencies and other organisations on this topic to highlight the importance and value of trained medical writers to do this work
  • establish interaction with patient advocacy groups and specialists from organisations such as the MRCT Centre to help to highlight the need and value-add that medical writers can bring to this area of medical writing

All members:

Lisa Chamberlain James

Committee members:

  • Slavka Baronikova
  • Tiziana von Bruchhausen
  • Art Gertel

SIG supporting members:

  • Diana Ribeiro
  • Carola Krause - EC liaison
  • Silvia Berlingeri
  • Alison Rapley
  • Sara Ferrao
  • Joana Fernandes
  • Lena Brydon
  • Sampoorna Satheesha Rappaz
  • Urszula Miecielica

CwP SIG Membership

If you are interested in joining the CwP SIG, please contact the SIG Chair:


CwP SIG Meetings

The CwP SIG holds regular virtual meetings to discuss topics of interest. If you would like to join us, please email us at Please note that only EMWA members can participate.


Upcoming Meetings:

Further meetings to be announced. 

Past Meetings:
Wednesday 20 September 2023 the CwP SIG hosted a Meet & Share session entitled “Protecting the public from undue harm during research studies.”

Alison Rapley and Art Gertel shared their experience of working with ethics committees.
Alison and Art briefly discussed the role of the Ethics Committee and why writing for the public is an important part of an ethics submission with particular emphasis on the need to use language understandable by the lay person to prepare the application and the participant facing documents such as the Patient Information Sheet, the Informed Consent Form and other documents such as recruitment posters and diaries.
In addition, they considered how decentralised trial materials may differ from those in a traditional, site-based setting.
CwP SIG Meet & Share - 17 Jan 2024 at 2 pm UK time

On Wednesday 17 January  2024 the CwP SIG hosted Part 2 of their Meet & Share session entitled “Protecting the public from undue harm during research studies.”  Following their discussion on the role of the Ethics Committee last September, Alison Rapley and Art Gertel discussed the need to use language understandable by the lay person to prepare the Ethics Committee Application and participant-facing documents such as the Patient Information Sheet and Informed Consent Form as well as recruitment material and diaries. Alison also discussed the UK Health Research Authority’s “Information and Consent – Design and Review Principles” which became mandatory on 1st December 2023. Art also discussed various Glossaries, including the MRCT Plain Language initiative.

9th EMWA Symposium

Communicating with the Public – what has the COVID-19 pandemic taught us?

Thursday 5th May 2022, Berlin, Germany


Latest news and activities

Medical Writing Journal:

Communicating with the public is an expanding area in our field. There is a dedicated section of the journal: Medical Communications and Writing for Patients

Medical Writing journal from December 2020 ( provided useful content created by experienced medical writers working on this field of expertise.

Article on Plain Language Summaries of Publications (

New Lexicon Unveiled

In 2020, the MRCT Center launched a pilot project to develop a plain language clinical research glossary with an amazing workgroup of patient advocates and other representatives from across the clinical research industry. Please see the list of workgroup members here.

The team worked together to create clinical research definitions and explanations that are:

  • plain language
  • understandable to a wide audience
  • in line with industry and regulatory standards

This lexicon was launched in June 2021, and is now freely available for use:


New Guidance

The NIHR plain English summaries guide was published in April 2021.

This guidance is for researchers writing plain English summaries, and board and panel members including public reviewers.

Plain English summaries (



The CwP SIG will be hosting a one day symposium at the EMWA Spring meeting in 2022, dedicated to communicating with the public – watch this space for further details!!


Social Media:

The CwP SIG is active on EMWA's LinkedIn page. You can find us via #EMWACwPSIG.