Public engagement with research has come a long way in the UNITED KINGDOM since 2000. The pace of change has quickened significantly following: the establishment of the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE)[1]; the completion of the Beacons for Public Engagement programme[2]; the embedding of research impact within Research Council grant applications[3] and the Research Excellence Framework (REF)[4]; and the publication of the RCUNITED KINGDOM’s ‘Concordat for Engaging the Public with Research’[5]. Whilst each of these developments was important,the publication of the RCUNITED KINGDOM Concordat[5] was a watershed. In effect, the Concordat’s four principles delivered a mandate for embedding public engagement within the UNITED KINGDOM’s research culture. These principles closely align with the RCUNITED KINGDOM’s Public Engagement with Research Catalyst programme[6]. Funds secured under this programme are supporting eight project teams who are tasked with embedding public engagement with research within their respective universities. Each project team has tailored their approach to embedding public engagement within the research culture of that university. However, common themes, strategies and issues have become apparent through programme-wide meetings, not least a commitment to assessing university strategies and support mechanisms for public engagement with research. This session will focus on these assessments, and consider how the findings have informed initial interventions. Towards research with people at the centre: Valuing senior manager  perspectives to engaging publics with research Richard Holliman, Richard Holti & Anne Adams, The Open University We will document the findings from an interview study, involving senior research managers from across the university. 15 interviews were conducted with Associate Deans for Research and Research Centre Directors. The key findings will address two emergent themes: defining and valuing excellent public engagement with research; and how public engagement with research could be supported in the future. Public Engagement vs. Public Communication: tensions and overlaps Helen Featherstone, University of Exeter Using data from several sources including interviews with researchers, Heads of Colleges, and job, award and grant applications we will reveal how multiple agendas work to conflict and support each other. Within the science disciplines at the University of Exeter public engagement is associated with outreach, widening participation, impact, media communication, and career advice alongside research quality, accountability and governance. The future is  RED: Modelling Researcher Engagement and Development to promote culture change Kenneth Skeldon & Lucy Leiper, University of Aberdeen We are implementing a Researcher Engagement and Development (RED) strategy underpinned by the principle of progression, applied wholly to the researcher career journey, but also to pathways of reallife public engagement opportunities. The emphasis is on building creative, communication, leadership and management skills. This approach enables our institution to be responsive, indeed pre-emptive to the guiding principles of national concordats and frameworks[5,7] and has led to a step change in attitudes towards engaged practice. We will present case studies and data from surveys to illustrate our approach. Facilitating mutual learning between science and engineering engagement & the humanities and social sciences Joanna Coleman & Ed Stevens, University of Bath We have taken an approach focussed around networking and creating opportunities for researchers to learn from each other across disciplines, as engagement styles and audiences differ greatly between our Faculties. This includes formalised networks, special interest groups, training programmes, discipline-specific workshops and a new Institute for Policy Research. We will present case studies and reflect on the challenges and outputs from these interventions, 40 reviewing data from surveys, interviews and discussion groups.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Modelling culture change to embed public engagement with research within United Kingdom universities
Using research and practice to shape strategy and action

Richard Holliman   The Open University, United Kingdom

Helen Featherstone   University of Exeter, United Kingdom

Kenneth Skeldon   University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom

Lucy Leiper   University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom

Edward James Stevens   University of Bath, United Kingdom

Public engagement with research has come a long way in the UNITED KINGDOM since 2000. The pace of change has quickened significantly following: the establishment of the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE)[1]; the completion of the Beacons for Public Engagement programme[2]; the embedding of research impact within Research Council grant applications[3] and the Research Excellence Framework (REF)[4]; and the publication of the RCUNITED KINGDOM’s ‘Concordat for Engaging the Public with Research’[5]. Whilst each of these developments was important,the publication of the RCUNITED KINGDOM Concordat[5] was a watershed. In effect, the Concordat’s four principles delivered a mandate for embedding public engagement within the UNITED KINGDOM’s research culture. These principles closely align with the RCUNITED KINGDOM’s Public Engagement with Research Catalyst programme[6]. Funds secured under this programme are supporting eight project teams who are tasked with embedding public engagement with research within their respective universities. Each project team has tailored their approach to embedding public engagement within the research culture of that university. However, common themes, strategies and issues have become apparent through programme-wide meetings, not least a commitment to assessing university strategies and support mechanisms for public engagement with research. This session will focus on these assessments, and consider how the findings have informed initial interventions. Towards research with people at the centre: Valuing senior manager  perspectives to engaging publics with research Richard Holliman, Richard Holti & Anne Adams, The Open University We will document the findings from an interview study, involving senior research managers from across the university. 15 interviews were conducted with Associate Deans for Research and Research Centre Directors. The key findings will address two emergent themes: defining and valuing excellent public engagement with research; and how public engagement with research could be supported in the future. Public Engagement vs. Public Communication: tensions and overlaps Helen Featherstone, University of Exeter Using data from several sources including interviews with researchers, Heads of Colleges, and job, award and grant applications we will reveal how multiple agendas work to conflict and support each other. Within the science disciplines at the University of Exeter public engagement is associated with outreach, widening participation, impact, media communication, and career advice alongside research quality, accountability and governance. The future is  RED: Modelling Researcher Engagement and Development to promote culture change Kenneth Skeldon & Lucy Leiper, University of Aberdeen We are implementing a Researcher Engagement and Development (RED) strategy underpinned by the principle of progression, applied wholly to the researcher career journey, but also to pathways of reallife public engagement opportunities. The emphasis is on building creative, communication, leadership and management skills. This approach enables our institution to be responsive, indeed pre-emptive to the guiding principles of national concordats and frameworks[5,7] and has led to a step change in attitudes towards engaged practice. We will present case studies and data from surveys to illustrate our approach. Facilitating mutual learning between science and engineering engagement & the humanities and social sciences Joanna Coleman & Ed Stevens, University of Bath We have taken an approach focussed around networking and creating opportunities for researchers to learn from each other across disciplines, as engagement styles and audiences differ greatly between our Faculties. This includes formalised networks, special interest groups, training programmes, discipline-specific workshops and a new Institute for Policy Research. We will present case studies and reflect on the challenges and outputs from these interventions, 40 reviewing data from surveys, interviews and discussion groups.

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