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



Medland, E., Watermeyer, R., Hosein, A., Kinchin, I. and Lygo-Baker, S., 2017. Forthcoming. Pedagogical Peculiarities:Conversations at the Edge of University Teaching and Learning. Sense Publishers.

Watermeyer, R. and Rowe, G., 2015. Convincing the public of the merits of dialogue: A hard sell? Sciencewise.

Watermeyer, R. and Rowe, G., 2014. Evaluation of the ComRes CARE 3 - Parent Embryo Survey. The Wellcome Trust.

Watermeyer, R. and Rowe, G., 2014. Evaluation of public input to the Sciencewise horizon-scanning workshop project. Sciencewise.

Rowe, G. and Watermeyer, R., 2013. Evaluation of VOICES - First Report:Views, opinions and ideas of citizens in Europe on science. European Commission.

Watermeyer, R. and Bartlett, A., 2013. Evaluation of Health Research Authority:Public and patient engagement project. Sciencewise.

Watermeyer, R. and Rowe, G., 2013. Evaluation of Mitochondrial Replacement Consulation. Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.

Book Sections

Watermeyer, R., 2017. Forthcoming. The dissipating value of public service in UK Higher Education. In: Lindgreen, A., Kitchener, M., Brewer, J., Moore, M., Meynhardt, T. and Koenig-Lewis, N., eds. Managing Public Value. London, U. K.: Routledge.

Watermeyer, R., 2017. Activism Over Acrimony:Not Getting Better but Getting Beyond the UK’s Research Excellence Framework. In: Halffman, W. and Radder, H., eds. International Responses to the Academic Manifesto. Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective, p. 49.

Watermeyer, R. and Tomlinson, M., 2017. Forthcoming. The marketization of pedagogy and problem of 'competitive accountability. In: Medland, E., Watermeyer, R., Hosein, A., Kinchin, I. and Lygo-Baker, S., eds. Pedagogical Peculiarities. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

Watermeyer, R., 2015. Public engagement in higher education. In: Case, J. and Huisman, J., eds. Investigating Higher Education. London: Routledge.

Watermeyer, R., 2015. Social network media. In: Chadwick, R., ed. Encyclopedia of applied ethics.Vol. 4. 2nd ed. San Diego: Academic Press.

Watermeyer, R., 2014. Communication and the new media. In: Chadwick, R., Levitt, M. and Shinckle, D., eds. The right to know and the right not to know. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Watermeyer, R., 2013. The museum as public laboratory. In: Boddington, A., Boys, J. and Speight, C., eds. Museums and higher education. London: Ashgate.


Watermeyer, R. and Lewis, J., 2017. Institutionalizing public engagement through research in UK universities:Perceptions, predictions and paradoxes concerning the state of the art. Studies in Higher Education

Chubb, J., Watermeyer, R. and Wakeling, P., 2017. Fear and loathing in the Academy?:The role of emotion in response to an impact agenda in the UK and Australia. Higher Education Research and Development, 36 (3), pp. 555-568.

Watermeyer, R. and Olssen, M., 2016. 'Excellence' and exclusion:the individual costs of institutional competitiveness. Minerva, 54 (2), pp. 201-218.

Watermeyer, R., 2016. (Re)Theorising global knowledge flows. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 37 (3), pp. 481-487.

Chubb, J. and Watermeyer, R., 2016. Artifice or integrity in the marketization of research impact?:investigating the moral economy of (pathway to) impact statements within research funding proposals in the UK and Australia. Studies in Higher Education

Watermeyer, R., 2016. Forthcoming. Extended review:globalizing knowledge: intellectuals, universities and publics in transformation. British Journal of Sociology of Education

Watermeyer, R., Morton, P. and Collins, J., 2016. Rationalising for and against a policy for school-led careers-guidance (SLCG) in STEM in the UK:A teacher perspective. International Journal of Science Education, 38 (9), pp. 1441-1458.

Watermeyer, R. and Hedgecoe, A., 2016. Selling impact:peer-reviewer projections of what is needed and what counts in REF impact case studies. A retrospective analysis. Journal of Education Policy, 31 (5), pp. 651-665.

Watermeyer, R., 2015. Science engagement at the museum school:The contribution of museum pedagogy to STEM. British Educational Research Journal, 41 (5), p. 886.

Watermeyer, R. and Lewis, J., 2015. Public engagement:HIdden costs for research careers? The Times Higher Education

Watermeyer, R., 2015. Lost in the ‘third space’:The impact of public engagement in higher education on academic identity; research practice and career progression. European Journal of Higher Education, 5 (3), pp. 331-347.

Watermeyer, R., 2015. Public intellectuals vs. new public management:The defeat of public engagement in higher education. Studies in Higher Education

Watermeyer, R., 2014. Impact in the REF:Issues and Obstacles. Studies in Higher Education

Watermeyer, R., 2013. The presentation of science in everyday life:The science show. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 8 (3), pp. 737-751.

Paul, A., Watermeyer, R. and Delamont, S., 2013. Expertise, authority and embodied pedagogy:Operatic masterclasses. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 34 (4), pp. 487-503.

Watermeyer, R., 2012. A conceptualisation of the post-museum as pedagogical space. JCOM-Journal of Science Communication, 11 (1).

Watermeyer, R., 2012. Confirming the legitimacy of female participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM):Evaluation of a UK STEM initiative for girls. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 33 (5), pp. 679-700.

Watermeyer, R., 2012. From engagement to impact?:Articulating the public value of academic research. Tertiary Education and Management, 18 (2), pp. 115-130.

Watermeyer, R., 2012. Ideas of public engagement in medical science remain little more than a public relations apparatus deployed to neutralise risk. LSE Impact of Social Sciences Blog

Watermeyer, R., 2012. Measuring the impact values of public engagement in medical contexts. Science Communication, 34 (6), pp. 752-775.

Watermeyer, R., 2012. The elicitation of research impact through engagement. Higher Education Development Association

Watermeyer, R., 2011. Challenges for university engagement in the UK:Toward a public academe? Higher Education Quarterly, 65 (4), pp. 386-410.

Watermeyer, R., 2010. Social network science:Pedagogy, dialogue and deliberation. JCOM-Journal of Science Communication, 9 (1).

Watermeyer, R., 2010. Discover!ng women in STEM:Girls into science, technology, engineering and maths. International Journal of Gender, Science and Technology, 2 (1), pp. 26-46.


Watermeyer, R., 2016. Forthcoming. Final Report:Towards a cartography of impact: Analysing the process of impact peer-review in the REF. Society for Research into Higher Education.

Rowe, G. and Watermeyer, R., 2016. John Innes Centre engagement on its proposed science strategy:Final Evaluation Report. Sciencewise.

Watermeyer, R. and Rowe, G., 2014. The Second VOICES Evaluation Report:Evaluation of the post-focus group activities. European Commission.

Watermeyer, R., Rowe, G., Paddock, J., Murcott, A. and Horlick-Jones, T., 2012. Review of a BIS/Sciencewise-ERC project:Science, trust and public engagement: Exploring future pathways to good governance (Phase 1). Sciencewise.

Watermeyer, R., 2011. Curriculum alignment, articulation and the formative development of the learner. International Baccalaureate Organisation.

Non-academic press

Watermeyer, R. and Lewis, J., 2017. Why universities and academics should bother with public engagement. The Conversation

Watermeyer, R., 2016. Stress put on academics by the REF recognised by Stern review. The Conversation

Watermeyer, R. and Hedgecoe, A., 2016. Selling impact:How is impact peer reviewed and what does this mean for the future of impact in universities? LSE Impact of Social Sciences Blog

Chubb, J. and Watermeyer, R., 2016. Academics admit feeling pressure to embellish possible impact of research. The Conversation

Chubb, J. and Watermeyer, R., 2016. Impact sensationalism:A means to an end? Research Whisperer

This list was generated on Tue Sep 19 13:00:06 2017 IST.