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University of Sheffield

Principal investigator: Professor Richard Jones
Title: Remaking the civic university: creating new cultural standards for public engagement
Project contact: Greg Oldfield (

The ambition is to effect cultural change in the University of Sheffield, so there is a widespread expectation that staff at all levels can contribute to public engagement, that staff who do so can expect their efforts to be recognised and celebrated, and most importantly, that this engagement will have real influence on the strategic direction of the University. They will do this by a combination of leadership at the highest levels of the institution, with the support of the Vice-Chancellor and the University Executive Board a systematic review of institutional practises and processes, and practical support for the existing, widespread network of public engagement practitioners from a small, dedicated team. If successful, the University will see an expanded network of public engagement practitioners who are more effective and feel more supported by the University. This public engagement will have had an effect on individual researchers, making them reassess their own research aims and priorities, but it should also start to influence the wider research strategies of the University. The aspiration of the University is to carry out research that contributes positively to widely shared societal goals; they cannot meet this aspiration without being successful in deeply embedding public engagement in the way the University operates.


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