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Public engagement at Bath

How we define public engagement with research, our approach and how support staff to engage public groups with their work.


A presenter talking about public engagement in front of an audience seated at tables
An event organised by the Public Engagement Unit

Public engagement with research

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 of Bath:

  • has a major responsibility to contribute to society through our public engagement and much to gain in return
  • is committed to sharing our knowledge, resources and skills with the public, and to listening to and learning from the expertise and insight of the different communities with which we engage
  • is committed to developing our approach to managing, supporting and delivering public engagement for the benefit of staff, students and the public, and to sharing what we learn about effective public engagement practice

The University recognises that public engagement is central to its mission and aims to embed a culture of public engagement throughout the research lifecycle.

Our approach to public engagement with research

Established in 2012 the Public Engagement Unit works with researchers from across the University to nurture a positive culture of high-quality public engagement with research. Using the NCCPE definition, we have developed our distinctive approach to public engagement.

We believe:

  • public engagement is about engaging public groups with your research and we see it as an activity that enriches or enhances your research, rather than being essential to it
  • the 'public' are people and communities in non-academic settings who, through public engagement, contribute to, and benefit from, research
  • high-quality public engagement has a mutual benefit to public groups and to you and your research, these benefits may include developing new skills, gaining new insights or ideas that improve your research, raising aspirations, or being inspired
  • public engagement is personal to you, your research and the public groups you want to engage with - there is no 'one size fits all' approach

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 about your discipline to encourage them to come to university.

Contact the Widening Participation Office about outreach activities.

Knowledge exchange

Knowledge exchange usually involves business collaborations, licensing, entrepreneurship and the formation of new companies.

Contact Research & Innovation Services about knowledge exchange activities.

Marketing and communications

You can publicise your research through different marketing and communication channels, including:

How we support public engagement with research

The Public Engagement Unit can support you to engage public groups with your research in a number of ways:

  • we can offer one-to-one help, advice and guidance on funding applications to support your public engagement activities
  • we have a range of materials and resources to support your learning about public engagement
  • we organise a number of different engagement opportunities to participate in
  • we run the Vice-Chancellor's Engage Awards recognising and rewarding your public engagement work
  • we offer funds for public engagement activities through our annual Engage Grants Funding Call

Get in touch with us to discuss how we can help you develop your public engagement with research work.


If you have any questions, please contact us.

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