Public Engagement

What is Public Engagement?

The National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) defines public engagement as:

The myriad of ways in which the activity and benefits of higher education and research can be shared with the public. Engagement is by definition a two-way process, involving interaction and listening, with the goal of generating mutual benefit.

As a signatory to the NCCPE’s Manifesto for Public Engagement, the University recognises that public engagement is central to its mission and aims to embed a culture of public engagement throughout the research lifecycle:

Signing the Manifesto is an important commitment for Bath to make and one which will challenge us to ensure that we fulfill its aims and make the University a leading centre for innovations in public engagement.

— Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell, Vice Chancellor

The process of engagement

Researchers that engage go out of their way to involve the public with their research. Those that engage effectively work through four logical stages, deciding:

Through engagement, researchers: open up opportunities for others to get involved; gain access to external inputs and expertise; develop mutually beneficial networks; provide new perspectives on the value of their work; and stimulate people to be curious about the world of research and why it matters.

Activities related to public engagement

The term 'public engagement' is sometimes used to encompass outreach and knowledge exchange activities. If these are the kinds of activities you're looking to do, there are other teams at the University better placed to support you.

Outreach usually involves telling young people abour your discipline to encourage them to come to university; the Widening Participation Office is the best point of contact for such activity.

Knowledge exchange usually involves business collaborations, licensing, entrepreneurship and the formation of new companies; the Research Development and Knowledge Exchange team are the best point of contact for such activity.

Finally, if you're interested in using media, social media or digital communications for your engagement, get in touch with Digital Marketing & Communications.