Information for Researchers
Why is Public Engagement with Research important?
Firstly, it is a great way to ensure your research is relevant to the wider world. Engaging directly with publics outside of your research environment will ensure you are meeting its needs. You will need to consider what specific public group and tailor your engagement activities with a particular audience in mind. Effective public engagement builds trust and understanding and is likely to result in valuable insights and new ideas.
How do I engage the public in my research?
The NCCPE has defined four common ways that researchers can engage the public with their research.
- Communicating research activity and outcomes
Goal: to find effective ways of informing the public about research, and to increase its accessibility. This can involve a range of methods to inspire and involve different audiences
- Listening to public views and concerns
Goal: to make sure that you get better informed about the public’s views and concerns about your research, and more sensitive to the social and ethical issues that relate to it. It’s also an opportunity to hear fresh perspectives and insights which can fundamentally challenge and help to develop your own thinking and lines of enquiry
- Involving the public as researchers
Goal: To encourage public participation in your research by involving people as researchers for your project
- Developing collaborative research and co-inquiry projects
Goal: to develop genuine collaboration, where the research questions are developed and explored in partnership with the public
Where can I get help and support?
National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement
The NCCPE has a wealth of information and guidance on engagement. They have created a wealth of resources to support high quality engagement and you are encouraged to use their site to locate useful content to support your work.
Design of public Engagement activities and evaluation.
The UWS Research Services team are available for advice if you would like to discuss your pubic engagement plans. Contact email@example.com
The UWS Marketing and Communications team are available for advice if you would like to promote your public engagement activities. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
External Funding for Public Engagement activities
Wellcome Trust, and other charities offer various levels of funding for public engagement activity.
Professional Bodies and Academies
The funding is often category and subject dependant on audience and the amount of funding available. Check out Institute Of Physics, Royal Society of Chemistry, Royal Society of Biology.
Research Councils will often expect public engagement activities to be built in at grant proposal stage. For example BBSRC look for around 1% of grant money to be spent on engagement.
AHRC Follow-on Funding for Impact and Engagement provides funds to support innovative and creative engagements with new audiences and communities (up to £100K, no deadline).
For a more comprehensive list of funding for public engagement visit the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement website.