The State of Play: Public Engagement with Research in UK Universities

In the last ten years there have been a number of separate analyses that have sought to investigate the extent of public engagement within UK Universities. This includes new research, desk research, literature reviews, and evaluations. In 2016, I was commissioned by RCUK and the Wellcome Trust with Helen Featherstone and Kerry Leslie to synthesise these studies and help us better understand:

  • What the sum of evidence tells us about the current key highlights, barriers and challenges for public engagement in the research and Higher Education (HE) sector;
  • What the combined evidence indicates about the extent (breadth and depth) of public engagement culture change within the research and HE sector as it stands;
  • The feasibility of benchmarking the current state of development of culture change in public engagement with research against what is already known about other recent examples of whole sector culture change such as efforts to support research careers or research-led teaching.

The synthesis formed the basis of a planned one-day workshop, organised with National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement to engage researchers, research leaders, funders and public engagement enablers, to help develop a framework for how culture change can be further fostered in the future.


The full report is available for download here.


Image: courtesy of danceroom Spectroscopy, and taken by Paul Blakemore


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