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SEE-PER Projects to enhance and embed institutional support for PER

Projects to enhance and embed institutional support for PER under the Strategic Support to Expedite Embedding Public Engagement with Research call can be found below:

Birkbeck College, University of London (Professor Miriam Zukas)

The College's vision for Birkbeck Public Engagement with Research (PER) is to build on our founding principles of reaching non-traditional learners and providing access to knowledge for all. Birkbeck is a place where we connect, collaborate, challenge received wisdom and build on the expertise of life and work, as well as official, knowledges. We see our public engagement as sitting within the heart of our values, as a core part of research, enabling us to interact with a wide and diverse range of people for the betterment of our research and our researchers. In order to realize the full potential of our vision for public engagement, the College requires a step change in strategic activity focusing mainly on building sustained infrastructure, with a secondary focus on reward and recognition.

The Birkbeck Researchers' Engagement Development project (BRED) will enable Birkbeck to drive culture change. It will do so by building on the Birkbeck Strategy and Plan for Public Engagement, and by strengthening the existing team, as well as adopting a number of new initiatives. We will appoint additional expertise in the form of a PER Evaluation Officer and a PER Coordinator.

The PER Evaluation Officer will assist Birkbeck in the development of a systematic approach to evaluating PER activities - both at the level of the institutional strategy and at the level of individual research projects - and is therefore essential in a PER team. Systematic evaluation will ensure quality and enable the College to maximise its efforts in PER.

The establishment of a PER Coordinator will enable Birkbeck to organize systematic training programmes for all researchers at Birkbeck; it will also enable Birkbeck to develop and manage a number of schemes to recognize and reward staff engaged in PER, including the PER Awards and PER Seed Funding. In addition seed funding and PER awards will enable the College to demonstrate what we believe good quality engagement to be.

Heriot-Watt University (Professor Gareth Pender)

Heriot-Watt is an international university, with full overseas campuses and many partners. Our University-wide public engagement unit, HW Engage has been very successful, winning multiple awards and prizes leading to widespread recognition both inside our university and across the sector. We have brought the passion we feel for our science and engineering to a very wide constituency and we know that this has had a positive effect on our university community. Now, we aim to fully and permanently embed this in our University's global culture and long-term strategic plan, by securing the full support of community stakeholders and the most senior leadership in our organisation. We will adopt an evidence-led approach to influence the culture change in our university that we seek, and we aspire to help drive this cultural shift across the sector. We have had significant success in driving culture change in our own organisation through our Athena SWAN effort (this is a sector-wide Charter recognising advancement of gender equality - representation, progression and success for all). We deliberately adopted a consultative approach in this, to help establish our 'baseline' to understand a wide range of policies and positions. Here, we will do a similar thing: we will consult widely with our university colleagues to understand what they do, and why, in terms of public engagement and try to understand what they get out of this. We will also consult extensively with our public and other audiences to determine what they want from public engagement. We will then design a 'good practice checklist' based on this 2-way consultation, keeping our public involved throughout. We will build an Action Plan to follow specific, measurable, agreed, realistic and measurable initiatives for the duration of this project, with all actions designed to help mainstream and embed public engagement in our organisation's culture and shape future strategy. Activities such as 'Themed Years' will keep public engagement prominent in the agendas of colleagues and senior leadership, as well as keeping our science visible for our publics. Training programmes will enhance our colleagues' abilities to design and deliver effective public engagement that the public want, and management and leadership processes will recognise and reward this.

We have already overhauled our governance of public engagement at Heriot-Watt with a newly established strategic committee Chaired by our Deputy Principal and reporting directly to our most senior leaders on our University Executive; we are very keen to establish a direct line between our publics and our Principal. This committee will also include members of our public community to ensure continuous involvement in our decision making. After 12 months, we will run further public consultations (using focus groups and innovative methods, like walking interviews around our beautiful campus), to see how perceptions have changed against our baseline understanding and to help refine our Action Plan moving forwards.

At the end of this process we will share our findings across the sector. We will share our Good Practice Checklist ('EngageMe') with other public engagement professionals or interested parties, so that they can begin to assess their own baseline positions and construct their own Action Plans. Ultimately, we will create an online resource to track public engagement baseline positions and progress in becoming embedded across a progressively Engaging Britain, to provide a database of activity for the entire sector that can identify 'gaps' and future opportunities. Our own measure of the cultural changes we desire will be reflected in the inclusion of public engagement in our university 2018-25 strategy, better, fit-for purpose engagement with the public, a continuing 2-way dialog with our communities, and an upskilled and enthusiastic cohort of appropriately recognised and rewarded engagement colleagues.

Keele University (Professor David Amigoni)

(A) The enrichment of institutional PER culture.

Public engagement is fundamentally necessary to the mission of the twenty-first century university. A great deal of public money is devoted to high-quality research so it is important that the benefits and innovations delivered by higher education research are shared with the public in order to promote trust and transparency. Keele University values public engagement as a central part of its high-quality research mission -- a measure of which is to be funded by research councils (RCUK). Keele is committed to working closely with and learning from the public, an approach that is known as 'co-production'. Coproduction as an ethos is central to some of Keele's most innovative social research -- in particular, the creative solutions generated by its Community and Social Innovation Centre (CASIC); and Live Age, which aims to inspire creativity among older people. While both of these socially-focused projects originated in RCUK funding, so does much of our high-quality research into science and medicine: that research, in being explicitly based on esoteric specialist expertise, is often not so accessible or amenable to co-production. At the same time, much of Keele's medical research has an excellent patient participation and engagement infrastructure to support it. In the natural sciences, on the other hand, public engagement with research works more readily through an 'outreach' model which works through different structures of support. In another context, our research into policing has to engage with a practice that directly impacts on the public, with public interest at its heart, but which is operated by professional specialists, governed by law and regulation. As a University committed to public engagement, our varied spheres of research necessarily present a varied picture of our public engagement practices which it is a challenge to cohere.

In working with the National Centre for the Coordination of Public Engagement, we have become convinced that coproduction represents one of the most inclusive and democratic ethics of public engagement to bring together our varied practices. However, the aim of embedding co-production as a creative and innovative mode presents real challenges and our approach to catalyse change involves four phases.

  • First, the research team will map the different typologies of public engagement most commonly associated with our most successful PE research practices: in this phase of our research, we will theorise these typologies, their varied 'orientations', and the challenges of deploying them in different contexts of public engagement.

  • Secondly, we will design work streams/packages, associated with key areas of RCUK funded research. Our practice here will be to assess the most creative ways to introduce and orientate co-production, to be phased and introduced by working through, but going beyond, approaches to public engagement that are dominant in the research habits of a given discipline or field.

  • Having arrived at new and workable orientations of co-production in our 6 work streams, we will roll these out through training workshops that will include researchers, but also middle managers. We will catalyse change by embedding these approaches in public engagement work through a team of public engagement specialists that our research project will have trained.

  • We will roll this work to other universities who collaborate in the business of co-produced PER in order to share best practice.

We will measure and evaluate success by working with Theory of Change tools, designed in the early phases of the project; as well as with NCCPE's EDGE tool for assessing the degree to which PER has become an embedded and successful part of everyday research life at Keele.

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (Professor Dame Anne Mills)

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is a world-leading centre for research and postgraduate education in public and global health with a mission to improve health and health equity in the UK and worldwide. It has over 1,400 members of staff, over 400 research degree students and an annual research income of more than £110 million. The School was named University of the Year in 2016 by Times Higher Education, in recognition of our response to the Ebola epidemic. We have an excellent track record in engaging the public with our research in the global and local communities where our research is conducted.

Since 2012, a Public Engagement Coordinator has provided support to staff and research degree students at the School to engage with the public. A part-time Public Engagement Officer has provided support in one of the School's three Faculties since 2015. Support provided includes training courses in public engagement, one to one support to incorporate public engagement in research funding applications effectively, opportunities to engage with diverse audiences such as at science festivals, and a Small Grants Scheme that provides up to £1,000 for researchers to plan and deliver public engagement projects.

Despite considerable growth in the number of School staff and research degree students who engage the public with their research, barriers to such engagement still exist. We want a better understanding of what these barriers are and how we can address them, for example by capitalizing on or strengthening existing support mechanisms or developing new ones that meet the needs of our staff and research degree students.

This project will survey staff and research degree students about 1) their public engagement with research (PER) activity, 2) their awareness, perception and use of existing PER support mechanisms, 3) the barriers they perceive or face in undertaking PER and 4) how they feel that these could be addressed. This will allow us to reflect upon our existing successes in embedding PER activity as well as understand how to better support researchers to engage with the public in the future.

Using this information, we will take the School's current public engagement strategy (2012-2017) and update it for the next five years, in line with the School's central strategy. We will also build a practical framework that we can use to continually evaluate our progress against the priorities in the new public engagement strategy. This evaluation framework will allow us to evidence PER activity and the effectiveness of PER support in the future.

Informed by both the learning acquired through surveying staff and research degree students and the priorities in the new public engagement strategy we will implement new and/or more tailored tools for PER support. We will ensure that these are publicised effectively to staff and research degree students through innovative means. This will include initiating a PER awards scheme for formal recognition of outstanding engagement by staff and research degree students.

By reflecting on our progress to date and planning and implementing new mechanisms of PER support and recognition, this project will allow us to more effectively evidence and celebrate PER activity, measure the impact that formal PER support has had so far and further embed a culture of engaging the public with our research at the School.

NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (Dr Nick Wells)

The Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) is a Research Council Institute (RCI) and the UK's Centre of Excellence for integrated research in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. It has nearly 600 staff and students situation in 4 sites across the UK. CEH is one of the c.30 RCIs that are important in the Research Council (RC) funding landscape. RCIs receive 20% of the total RC research budget and employ over 1/4 of the RC-funded staff in the UK. RCIs face many similar challenges to universities in supporting public engagement with research (PER), but they tend to be more specialised and less geographically-embedded than Universities, providing different challenges. Up until now they have been excluded from RCUK support to embed PER in their culture.

Now is the time to invest in cultural change for PER in CEH. CEH is currently undergoing major institutional changes in governance, core funding and enhanced opportunities to undertake research overseas. Therefore supporting a PER culture within CEH at this time will elicit long-term changes in institutional support. Staff at CEH already undertake a wide range of PER from public events, festivals and lectures, working with young people and schools and online engagement, through to public stakeholder engagement and citizen science (of which CEH has internationally-valued expertise). CEH's science is of interest and of relevance to the public: demonstrated by CEH's wide reach through the media, and recent surveys of science communication showing the relevance of environmental research to people. However, our self-assessment of support for PER in CEH revealed challenges. In particular the purpose of PER has not been clearly elucidated: we need to know what PER means to CEH, and its value to researchers, to the institution and to our science, so that long-term resourcing of support for PER can be justified and prioritised. In addition, CEH will also act as an exemplar for other RCIs in embedding PER, and so share its experience with the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement.

Our primary aim is to support greater understanding of the purpose of PER for CEH, through collaboratively (with researchers and senior managers) developing a strategy showing the importance of PER to CEH's mission and its staff, including a detailed proposal for the instigation of a PER sub-committee. This will also be informed by a 'state of play' review. However culture change for PER needs to be bottom-up as well as top-down and so we will have a range of 'quick win' activities allowing us to inspire and support staff in their PER. We will launch the project with an internal symposium so that engaged researchers can highlight the diversity of the excellent PER currently ongoing. We will fund 8 projects for researchers to engage with people through our seed fund, with funding given to researchers who demonstrate excellence, innovation and fit to CEH's science strategy, and we will develop a reporting tool so that the richness of PER can be documented internally and to external partners (e.g. NERC). Our implementation of both the seed fund and the reporting tool will demand excellence in identifying the purpose of researchers' engagement and in evaluation. We will also publically recognise (and hence value) engaged researchers through regular internal communications. All our activity will be underpinned by formative evaluation, supported by the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement, and we will share our experience with other RCIs at the end of the project.

We seek to achieve much in this one year project (funded by RCUK and supported by internal matched funding), but importantly we will also have identified gaps, which will enable CEH to prioritise effective and cost-efficient actions for long-term culture change in the organisation. This project will be one crucial step forward in the sustainable and strategic support for PER in our institution.

University of Lincoln (Professor Carenza Lewis)

The University of Lincoln's PEARL proposal seeks to enhance the institution's approach to supporting 'public engagement with research', responding to the 'enhance and embed' element of RCUK's 2017 SEE-PER call. 'Public engagement with research' goes beyond uni-directional dissemination to involve individuals and communities in two-way reflexive interactions intended to inform, inspire, involve, upskill and enrich. Public engagement is vitally important to universities as it increases the actual and perceived value of research to wider society, builds research capacity and broadens research horizons.

Research context

Public engagement with research (PER) is an emerging practice-centred field which over the last 15 years has advanced understanding the need for university researchers to engage with wider, stimulated increased PER activity, and advanced understanding of the impact of public engagement with research and the mechanisms which are most effective for nurturing quality, reach and impact in PER. Many UK universities have signed RCUK's Concordat for Engaging the Public with Research and the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE)'s Manifesto for Public Engagement. However, PER is still not consistently valued by researchers or research managers and support provided for PER is not consistently high.

Aims/objectives

The University of Lincoln is a post-1992 university with a growing reputation for research and a strong commitment to, and track record in, public engagement. However, analysis with NCCPE's Edge Tool has shown that, lacking the resources of many larger and older institutions, support for PER at the university is not consistently of the highest standard. PEARL aims to improve this in order to benefit wider publics and researchers and act as a model for other HEIs. PEARL's objectives contribute to a wider Strategy for PER and focus on identified needs to strengthen the support for, and visibility of, PER.

Methods

PEARL will firstly carry out a series of surveys to provide detailed baseline data about attitudes to the provision of, and support for, PER at the university, and assess the full extent of PE currently carried out at the university. These data will then enable the impact of PEARL interventions to be evaluated, and will also identify what improvements in support for PER need to be introduced. Next, four training workshops will be developed in response to researchers' identified requirements, and a database of current PER activity (including researchers, subjects, publics) created. A dedicated PER microsite within the university website will be designed to act as a landing strip and portal for information and news about research and how wider publics can engage with it, including a blog, archives of previous PER activity and resources from workshops and research. Six new PER activities will test the new PER support systems and provide exemplars for others. New systems for rewarding PER will be devised and taken through necessary university committees, and formats for an Annual Conference and Annual Report on PER will be devised and inaugural event/issue run/published. The impact of all activity will be evaluated using a range of methods and evidence.

Benefits

PEARL will benefit members of wider publics including adults, school pupils and community/voluntary sector groups, city councils, county councils, tourist bodies, local businesses, public engagement enablers, NCCPE, researchers, policymakers and universities. Benefits will include PER which is better designed, targeted and evaluated; wider publics with a more informed knowledge of the benefits of research and how to engage with it; new PER activity, improved understanding of the efficacy of different ways of supporting PER and improved understanding of the benefits of PER to wider publics. Impacts will reach beneficiaries in person, via conferences and academic publications and online.

University of St Andrews (Professor John Woollins)

The University of St Andrews will catalyse culture change using approaches pivoting around governance of Public Engagement with Research (PER), increasing visibility of PER across the organisation, sustaining and increasing the impact and quality of public engagement, providing recognition and reward, and establishing a pathway to future sustainability of support.

We will establish a PER working group led by a Senior Academic Lead from the office of the Principal and commit to appointing academic leads for PER in at least 3 Schools within the 12 months of grant activity, one of which will be in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. Our longer-term goal is to have PER included in School strategies, policies, structures and processes.

Related to this we will create a network for professional services supported by developing a PER training workshop tailored for support units in association with National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE). A key aim here will be to establish, in collaboration with researchers and university support units, a common language and sense of purpose around PER including forming institutional definitions in the field of PER.

By assessing the level and appropriateness of training provision for PER we will identify any gaps in delivery and immediately act to fill these, creating a rounded offering of PER and PER related training presented as a portfolio of public engagement (PEP). This will be coordinated by our Centre for Academic, Professional, and Organisational Development (CAPOD) and will be integrated into externally recognised and well established 'Passport' programmes of staff development. Training will increase the quality, sustainability, and visibility of PER in the institution. Working closely with CAPOD we will strive towards external recognition for our suite of training.

We will further encourage the quality of PER by engaging external partners including the creative community through the university managed Byre Theatre. The Byre Theatre hosts many of our PER activities involving diverse audiences from schools to research festivals. Part of this collaboration will include an external evaluation of cultural consumption trends and the needs of resident and transient audiences in our rural location, both engaged and disengaged in activities. Results will allow us to determine the most accessible and relevant delivery methods and to identify under-served populations.

An important strand in quality will focus on ethical dimensions of PER. While some very robust work has been published in the areas of patient and community participation, we will focus on wider delivery and evaluation, investigating when PER becomes advocacy and how this impacts on delivery and trust in public engagement. A further area of interest will be in ethics of evaluation methodologies. This will result in the creation of a set of guidelines we will encourage to be adopted institutionally and offer as a resource to the wider PER community.

We will also strive to embed PER as integral to research and research careers, working with relevant professional services to include PER in job descriptions, performance reviews and promotion criteria.

Further, we will establish a set of internal awards at an annual internal PER conference while continuing to pursue recognition for high quality activities through external awards. Bursaries will be made available for researchers to present PER activity at either specialist subject or PE conferences.

Evaluation throughout this project will give us a greater understanding of resource needs (time, costs and staffing capacity) to sustain high quality, relevant, and accessible PER. From this we will present a renewed business case for University investment in PER.

Ultimately, the project aims to create a culture of high quality engagement with dynamic governance, an increased knowledge of resource, and higher levels of recognition for PER activity.

Projects addressing a specific PER support challenge

University of Brighton (‘quality of public engagement with research’; Professor Tara Dean)

The University of Brighton has had long standing success in connecting its research with communities/public for impact and have implemented many of the recommendations made in the State of Play report (on mission, leadership and communications, support, learning and recognition) to develop a culture of public engagement with research. In REF 14 the University of Brighton was ranked 27th for Impact, and the university's approach to engaging with communities and the public underpinned this success. There has been consistent support for our Community University Partnership Programme (CUPP, https://www.brighton.ac.uk/business-services/community-partnerships/index.aspx) and its innovative and successful approach to partnership working via the investment of infrastructure and expertise. An established access and brokerage point is available for communities via CUPP's Helpdesk, which sparks new ideas and possibilities and turns these into emergent partnership activities. We have established mechanisms for developing new successful partnerships through 14 years of a CUPP run seed funding programme. We have been the recipient of 2 major investments from HEFCE: The Brighton and Sussex Community Knowledge Exchange and South East Coastal Communities (involving 9 universities working with their communities, see evaluation report at http://www.coastalcommunities.org.uk/Sussex%20SECC%20final%20report.pdf) were both substantial programmes of community university engagement that gleaned considerable learning.

However, a continual challenge for emergent work of this type is what happens with mature community university partnerships as a long term platform for Public Engagement with Research (PER). While there are a myriad of ways to keep good work going these are not always clearly articulated and supported. Additional pressure on such partnerships arise from internal tensions as academic staff balance PER with teaching and research and external challenges linked to the rapid external changes in UK Higher education. Some of the most successful partnerships involving the University of Brighton have become independent Social Enterprises and/or communities of practices (e.g. Boingboing - www.boingboing.org.uk) but many more partnerships exist in a hybrid state with different levels of ongoing connection with the university (e.g. Community 21, https://community21.org/).

The aim of this PER project would be to address these challenges at Brighton and produce outputs and outcomes that will be of value to universities in the UK and internationally who face similar challenges of sustaining mature partnerships, whilst also addressing a rapidly changing higher education policy landscape and the tensions facing academics to deliver PER whilst producing high quality teaching and research.

University College London (‘governance arrangements’; Professor David Price)

This bid seeks to address the PER challenge of embedding PER culture and practice into UCL's high-level institutional strategy and decision-making. Specifically, we will examine how we can make PER fundamental to the university's efforts to address global societal issues through cross-disciplinary research by:

  • Creating mechanisms to apply PE learning to high-level institutional strategy focusing on cross-disciplinary approaches to addressing global problems.
  • Addressing the gap in culture and practice between professional services staff responsible for delivering PE strategy and academics who generate knowledge from publicly-engaged research.
  • Consulting both local communities and engaged researchers on how PE can apply local experience to global questions and be embedded throughout the research life cycle.
  • Piloting innovative PE approaches identified through consultation with local communities and engaged academics prior to embedding them in institutional research strategy.

The proposal will specifically address PER through the flagship UCL Grand Challenges programme, which brings together cross-disciplinary expertise from across UCL with knowledge and partners from other sectors to address pressing societal problems. The proposal will particularly seek to address the Grand Challenge of Transformative Technology, one of the seven recommendations arising from a 2015 review of the Grand Challenges for a renewed emphasis on achieving impact through, amongst other things, public engagement and engagement with community groups. This provides a specific opportunity to develop a PER strategy for the Grand Challenge of Transformative Technology, based on evidence, best practice and pilot activities, which will support new means of public and community engagement. Our intention is then to apply this to the broader Grand Challenge programme; the final report will be delivered to all six Grand Challenges working groups to consider how to develop new activities and work streams to better support PER.

Proposed activities:

The proposal's research project (a review of literature and best practice, and participatory workshops with local communities) will be led by UCL Science and Technology Studies (STS) academics and will draw on extensive expertise in science, democracy and culture, including work on: the inclusion and exclusion of publics in science; the relationships between research and practice in science communication; and the role of scientists, citizens and government in responsible research.

The proposal will further pilot public engagement activities (led by UCL Public Engagement Unit) for the Grand Challenge of Transformative Technology, building on existing academic-led public engagement best practice. Building on the outcomes from the participatory workshops, the literature review, and the evaluation of the pilot PER activities, we will develop an evidence-based, PER strategy for the GCTT. This strategy would also provide a blueprint for the other 5 GCs and, ultimately, inform the content of the revised UCL Research Strategy.

Our intended outcomes are to:

  • evidence the value of PER in shaping strategic and high-level decision making, and in particular cross-disciplinary research strategy at UCL
  • secure institutional buy in to this approach and expand it first to all of the other Grand Challenges and then more broadly to wider institutional strategies
  • demonstrate the value of and effective approaches to PER and activities in HEI strategic high level decision making to the broader sector
  • make conclusions and recommendations for PER in cross-cutting problem-based research more generally
  • offer conclusions and recommendations on how to establish dialogue and partnerships between those responsible for devising and delivering PER strategy and academics engaged in public engagement-focused practice and research

University of Bath (‘take up of training and CPD’; Professor Jonathan Knight)

ChallengeCPD@Bath project is a 6-month in-depth look at how we train researchers in their public engagement skills which will create a dramatic change in our training into the future. The University of Bath has had a long commitment to supporting researchers to reach beyond the walls of academia. Since 2012 this has been more formally recognised by the formation of the Public Engagement Unit (PEU). Over the last five years, the PEU has worked to create a culture within the University of Bath where public engagement is valued and supported. One way we do this is by training and developing researchers.

The training developed and delivered by the University of Bath has been very diverse and is always well received by those who participate. However, the University of Bath is like many other universities in that there can be a mismatch between the provision of training and uptake of training meaning the PEU puts on activities that are underused, while researchers are missing out on training they want to take part in.

During the ChallengeCPD@Bath project we will examine our training offers and look at their characteristics to see if we can identify what makes for successful training, and what is happening when it doesn't work. Once we have done this, we will be able to change our own training to improve it and make it more efficient or make changes within the wider university that are affecting participation and provision. It is not only our own training that we wish to improve. Because this is a sector wide issue, we want other universities to know what we find, and also those who train researchers for a living. To do this, we will produce guides, toolkits and frameworks that others can use.

The provision and uptake of training being mismatched is a long-standing challenge for the university sector. We fully expect that we will not find all the answers during the short time of being funded, but we believe we can make good progress. To ensure that we make maximum progress in the time available we have formed an Advisory Group made up of people from within the university, critical friends from other universities and external colleagues who deliver training on our

behalf. Having this mix of people work with us will ensure that we take their views into account as well them being able to gain useful information for their own work in researcher development. This Advisory Group will meet three times during the project.

University of Southampton (‘take up of training and CPD’; Professor Simon Spearing)

In 2015, RCUK and Wellcome commissioned a report exploring what the sum of evidence tells us about the current key highlights, barriers and challenges for public engagement in the research and Higher Education sector.

The report identified a number of challenges and identified that researchers with training in public engagement are both more likely to work with public audiences and partners, and more likely to deliver high quality engagement activities.

This proposal addresses the prioritised challenge: 'Enhancing the take up of training and CPD for PER, and the quality of provision. What are the barriers which lead to low uptake of training and CPD in PER, and how might these be addressed?'

We will take advantage of a very recent change in our institutional context, which will enable us to embed enhanced training/CPD support for PER within a re-imagined professional development provision for researchers and academic staff. Resources are already committed within the institution to further develop a more distributed model of development that will draw on excellence and expertise residing in Faculties and Academic Units at Southampton. The project will bring together colleagues from the Public Engagement with Research unit (PERu), the newly formed Centre for Higher Education Practice (CHEP), and researchers and academic staff working within a cross disciplinary theme, in collaborative work to review training/CPD needs and then design and pilot new/enhanced development approaches and interventions. This work will catalyse the review, design, provision and embedding of PER training/CPD more broadly, as well as informing the broader CHEP mission to develop a distributed, collaborative model for researcher and academic development.

In the longer term, we aim to transform professional development at Southampton, so that development is seen as a cocreated, co-delivered and co-owned enterprise that benefits all staff across the institution at all levels. PER professional development, as a result of this project, will be embedded, encountered "routinely", valued, and impactful. These impacts will be transferrable across different disciplines, departments and across the sector.

STFC – Laboratories (‘take up of training and CPD’; Dr Neil Geddes)

Inspiring and Involving the public in our research is a priority for the Science and Technology Facility Council's National Laboratories, as detailed in our Royal Charter and Corporate Strategy. We have strong support for Public Engagement (PE) from Senior Management, a newly published PE Strategy, and a programme of direct engagement with schools, educators and the public that reaches tens of thousands of people each year. We want to continue to strengthen our PE, and one area that analysis of our current programme highlights as one which would benefit from redevelopment is our support of National Laboratories staff, and in particular our provision of training opportunities. To address this, we will investigate the challenge identified in the recent report "The State of Play: Public Engagement with Research in UK Universities" of enhancing the take-up of training and CPD for Public Engagement with Research, and the quality of provision. The National Laboratories are a large and complex research institute (a type of organisation about which there is a paucity of data regarding the state of embedded PE), and as such will allow us to investigate this challenge across a variety of situations.

We believe staff consultation is key to this project, to discover the best way of supporting staff to participate in PE. Led by the PE team within the National Laboratories, and informed by our Evaluation Framework, we will run a series of consultations with our staff to assess what format and content for training is needed, how staff can show the impact of their PE work, and how we can strive to improve the overall quality of our PE programme. Although the consultations will focus on training, owing to the interlinked nature of the challenges faced when embedding PE, we fully expect other useful data to emerge from this process. The consultations will take place across sites, facilities and disciplines, drawing on staff from all levels of the organisation and paying particular attention to ensure that groups such as apprentices are represented.

The results of this consultation process will be presented in an evidence briefing, and used to inform the development of a staff support package and professional development programme, which will be presented to Senior Management for their approval and endorsement.

Following the adoption of our Evaluation Framework, we see this as a major development project requiring significant formative evaluation. As such, we will be working with external evaluation experts throughout this project, starting with the planning and analysis of the consultation process with staff. We will use the outcomes of this to inform our piloting of professional development with staff, evaluating the outputs and outcomes in line with our Evaluation Framework and the tools developed specifically for our training programme - these include e-surveys, long-term follow-up and 'snapshot' on-the-day evaluation (e.g. asking for participant's feelings toward a topic in one-word before and after the training). We are at present reviewing with external experts the evaluation protocols for our training programme, and will adapt our evaluation of the staff development workshops in line with the recommendations of this.

The training will be reviewed as the pilot workshops take place, allowing for appropriate re-development or re-targeting of activities. From April to September 2018, the workshops will be rolled out across the National Laboratories, keeping a strong element of evaluation as part of the programme.

The dissemination of the findings of this work is a key aspect of the project, and STFC is uniquely placed to accomplish this with a wide audience. Briefings and case studies will be shared not only through the usual conference and network channels, but also our PE grant holders, and in particular our PE Leadership Fellows, will be ideal champions to disseminate the findings of this work.

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