University launches new Public Engagement Unit

The University has been awarded £300,000 to set up a new Public Engagement Unit to help us promote our research.

The award from Research Councils UK will fund projects will including: training staff in aspects of public engagement including press and social media; setting up a new website with access to training toolkits and resources; and hosting an awards ceremony where prizes will be awarded to staff and students for outstanding public engagement activities.

The Unit will set up a network of institutional and departmental champions for public engagement who will act as catalysts for cultural change at Bath by ensuring the involvement of senior academics and managers so that public engagement work by staff is recognised and supported.

lecture audience using 3D glasses.

A recent Science Cafe explored green energy through 3D glasses

The Unit will be headed by a Director of Public Engagement and supported by a Public Engagement Officer who will coordinate public engagement activities across the University and work closely with other higher education institutions and public engagement centres of excellence to disseminate best practice and share resources. Jane Millar (Pro-Vice-Chancellor Research), Chris Budd (Professor of Applied Mathematics), Matt Davidson (Professor of Inorganic Chemistry) and Liz Lyon (Director of UKOLN) will lead the project.

Jane Millar said: “We’re delighted to have received this award. We already engage the public with our research in a variety of ways - from discussions of our current research in our public lectures and Science Café, to interactive displays at Bath Taps into Science and our Images of Research Exhibition.

“However this award will help encourage even more of our staff and students to get involved by embedding public engagement across all phases of the research lifecycle, from conception to impact.”

Professor John Womersley, RCUK Champion for Public Engagement with Research said: “RCUK believes that engaging with the public should be something all researchers do. This funding will help Higher Education Institutions build on their current activities and create a culture where public engagement with research is fully embedded within that institution.

“I congratulate those researchers awarded funding and look forward to their successes serving as a model for other institutions to adopt in future.”


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