Our highly successful Public Engagement Masterclass returns this summer to provide active researchers with inspiration and support to develop a personalised and proactive public engagement plan that achieves real impact.

Public engagement is increasingly important for researchers and research funders, and being able to develop a plan of activities to engage the public with your research and evidence its impact are key skills to acquire. This course is suitable for newly independent and other mid-career researchers (including postdoctoral researchers) and will provide the opportunity to explore the role of engagement within your research and how you and/or your group can engage effectively with non-specialist publics outside academia.

The residential nature of the course provides the opportunity for mentoring and networking with public engagement professionals and funders alongside workshop-style sessions, individual reflections, panel discussions and short talks from prominent researchers who have successfully embedded public engagement within their work. The programme will address the wider societal context of public engagement with research and how best to engage relevant public groups (e.g. community members, patients, school children, curious adults) with research. Participants will improve their own communication skills, explore the dynamics of partnering with different communities, and be introduced to a range of tools to better measure the impact of their public engagement activities.

Applicants must be active researchers at postdoctoral level or hold a research-related position at a research institute (or equivalent) or higher education institution. The course is open to researchers from all disciplines, with a limited number of bursaries offered to researchers funded by Wellcome Trust, The Royal Society or RCUK.

To optimize discussions and interactions between tutors and participants, numbers are limited; therefore, early application is advised.

Learning outcomes
Following attendance at this course, participants will be able to:

  • Comprehend the breadth of activities incorporated within ‘public engagement’, and be able to identify specific aspects of relevance to them and their own research
  • Explain why researchers should engage with the public, reflected at individual, research group, discipline, institutional and funder (e.g. the Wellcome Trust, RCUK) levels
  • Identify the most relevant audience(s) for their research and understand how to engage with them effectively
  • Evaluate their public engagement activity, and demonstrate research impact
  • Develop a strategic approach for public engagement with research for their research including their research team

Feedback from previous participants
“I found this course very useful but also very enjoyable. I liked the size of the group as it meant we were all able to participate. It was also a fantastic opportunity to meet people doing similar public engagement and hear about their experiences and share ideas”.(participant on 2016 course)

 “It was by far the best training course I've been on. It was meticulously organised, carefully thought out, and clearly structured, with a nice mixture of activities and talks. The range of subject matter covered was ideal, and especially impressive was the care taken by the leaders to keep tabs on how we, the delegates, were finding the course. The social side was also excellent - the course leaders created a friendly, unthreatening environment, which encouraged conversation and participation by everyone” (participant on 2015 course)

“Extensive cover of PE activities were discussed, lots of interactive sessions that helped me understand issues that were presented in the oral presentations, loads of useful sources for further info on PE activities were given” (participant on 2015 course)

“It was good to network and work with different background, especially the funders and well established PE professionals, to see things in perspective, and receive comments and encouragement” (participant on 2016 course)

Application Deadline

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