Department of Education

Dr Richard Watermeyer

An expert in public engagement and impact in higher education.

Photo of Richard Watermeyer

Director of Research
Reader BA, MSc, PhD

1 West-North 3.4
Tel: +44 (0) 1225 38 3278

@rpwatermeyer Twitter LinkedIn LinkedIn

  • Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts
  • Member of the Society for Research into Higher Education
  • Member of the American Educational Research Association

PhD supervision

I am interested in supervising PhD students working on relevant research topics:

  • higher education policy, management and governance
  • academic practice
  • public engagement and impact in science and technology
  • STEM education.
How to apply »


I am Director of Research within the Department of Education at the University of Bath.

Prior to coming to Bath, I held previous academic appointments at the University of Warwick; the University of Surrey; and Cardiff University. I was also the first social scientist to be seconded to the Office of the Chief Scientific Advisor for Wales where I was responsible for STEM education.

By training and orientation I am a sociologist of education (knowledge, science and expertise) with broad interests in educational policy, practice and pedagogy.

My work is predominantly concerned with critical sociologies of higher education (HE) with a particular focus on the impacts of marketisation and neoliberalisation on academic practice and identity and the future role of the public university.

A large part of my work has centred on how public engagement and impact agendas in UK HE are experienced and responded to by academic coteries.

Other cognate research interests include the public understanding of science; STEM education; informal education and critical pedagogy. I have additionally led numerous large-scale evaluations of UK and European ‘science and society’ initiatives/consultations.

I am currently leading an SRHE funded research project into how academic peer-reviewers and user-group assessors engaged with the process of evaluating the socio-economic impact of academic research in REF2014. I am also leading research into the future of public engagement in UK academia.

Research interests

  • Sociology of higher education
  • Higher education policy
  • Higher education management and governance
  • Public engagement and impact studies
  • STEM education
  • Critical pedagogy

Current projects

  • Towards a cartography of impact


Read publications by Richard Watermeyer