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Concordat for Engaging the Public with Research

The Concordat for Engaging the Public with Research outlines the expectations and responsibilities of research funders with respect to public engagement, to help embed public engagement in universities and research institutes. This will enhance the future of research and benefit the UK society and economy.

By setting out clear expectations for research organisations, researcher managers and supporters and researchers themselves, the Concordat aims to strengthen existing good practice in public engagement by ensuring it is valued, recognised and supported.

The Concordat consists of a set of key principles for the future support of public engagement, and under each principle, an explanation of how it may be embedded into institutional practice.

The Concordat's key principles:

  1. UK research organisations have a strategic commitment to public engagement
  2. Researchers are recognised and valued for their involvement with public engagement activities
  3. Researchers are enabled to participate in public engagement activities through appropriate training, support and opportunities
  4. The signatories and supporters of this Concordat will undertake regular reviews of their and the wider research sector’s progress in fostering public engagement across the UK

A copy of the Concordat can be found here and a copy of Inspiration to Engage: Concordat for Engaging the Public with Research can be found here.

The National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement has produced a series of stakeholder briefings for senior managers, managers of researchers, supporters of researchers and researchers in implementing the Concordat within their institution:

Introduction and Overview
Briefing for senior managers
Briefing for managers of researchers
Briefing supporters of researchers
Briefing for researchers

Definitions of these categories of staff are below.

Further information and support from the NCCPE is available at

A list of signatories and supporters is available.

A short film produced by Research Councils UK was produced for the launch of the Concordat for Engaging the Public with Research. The film explores the benefits of public engagement with research and features interviews with leading figures from the academic and research communities and is available here.


Senior managers - Vice-chancellors and Principals, pro-vice chancellors, heads of faculties or support departments and directors of research institutes

Managers of researchers - Those responsible for managing and supporting researchers, including: supervisors, principal and co-investigators, research team leaders, directors of research and heads of schools or departments.

Researchers - Researchers are broadly defined as individuals whose primary responsibility is to conduct research and who are employed for this purpose. This can include postgraduate students and technicians. It is recognised that this broad category of staffing covers a wide range of staff with different disciplinary backgrounds, levels of training, experience and responsibility, types of contract, and different career expectations and intentions. Given the diversity of research staff experience and expertise, it is impossible to address researchers as a homogeneous group.

Supporters of researchers - Those responsible for supporting researchers in their administrative and other processes related to research as well as public engagement, including: research business managers, research administrators, finance officers, hr staff, staff developers, careers advisors and mentors and outreach or public and community engagement officers.

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