The Vice-Chancellor’s Engage Awards aims to reward and celebrate the work of colleagues from across the University of Bath who are engaging non-academic audiences with their research.

For the purpose of this Award ‘public engagement’ is understood as:

The myriad of ways in which the activity and benefits of 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.

Public engagement with research should enhance and enrich your research. Work that is viewed as being essential to your research (e.g. participant recruitment) is not eligible. Please contact the Public Engagement Unit for advice if you are unsure. The public are described as any individual or group of people outside of academia.

When considering applications for these awards, the judging panel will look for evidence of excellence in public engagement with research that clearly demonstrates the mutual benefit of the engagement. The awards will recognise a strong commitment by the researcher to their own learning from the process of engagement.

Award categories

The awards are split into three categories (Informing, Listening and Working Together). Some public engagement projects will cover multiple categories – choose the one which predominantly fits your engagement.

The Public Engagement Unit recognises that public engagement projects will not always fit neatly into these categories. If your project covers multiple categories please choose the category that you feel best represents your engagement project.


This category aims to reward projects that have successfully shared research with public groups from outside of academia. Examples of projects eligible for this category could include activities, but not limited to, such as broadcasting, exhibitions, radio, blogs, social media activities, public lectures, research related outreach activities etc.


This category aims to reward public engagement projects which listen and respond to the needs, knowledge and experience of public groups. Examples of projects eligible for this category could include activities, but not limited to, such as roundtable discussions, citizen science or stakeholder panels.

Working Together

This category aims to reward public engagement projects that have involved working with public groups from outside of academia. Examples of projects eligible for this category could include activities, but bot limited to, such as carrying out research collaboratively with community partners, collaborating with local artists groups to run an exhibition based on your research or working with research stakeholders to create tools based on your research.

Who can apply

  • These awards are open to all members of staff of the University of Bath within the Education, Research and Technical job families.

  • Applications can be submitted from individuals, groups or centres.

  • These awards are not open to professional services staff.

  • Unsuccessful applicants from previous years can apply for the awards in subsequent years as long as they still meet the criteria below.


Judging criteria

  • A strong relationship between high-quality engagement and high-quality research.

  • Engagement activities that generate mutual benefit to you and/or your research and the public groups. This should be clearly described and supported by evidence with respect to:

    • you/your research
    • the public group or community you engaged

Below are some examples to consider when thinking about the outcomes and benefits of public engagement projects to:

  • Research: co-production of research ideas; refinement of research questions; development of innovative research methodologies; enhanced dissemination opportunities

  • Researchers: improved visibility on- and off-campus, development of new skills or enhancement of existing skills, improved confidence / motivation / efficiency; enhanced collaborative working; creativity; improved quality of grant applications

  • Public groups: enjoyment; development of skills; influencing research agendas; raised profile; validation that their experiences / knowledge are important to research; changes to work / leisure practices; empowerment

  • Demonstration of a reflective/evaluative approach which shows what you have learned through your public engagement activities and how your engagement and research has evolved accordingly.

Assessment process and formal terms

  • Applicants should apply directly by sending a completed application form to to the Public Engagement Unit via email with VC Awards Inform, Listen, and Work_Together categories in the subject line.

  • Applications will be reviewed by a judging panel of internal and external experts in public engagement with research. A shortlist of up to three candidates for each category will have their research projects featured in a short video at the Vice-Chancellor’s Public Engagement Showcase on Friday 21 May 2021. The judging panel will announce the winner of the awards at this event. All shortlisted candidates are considered worthy recipient of the award by the judging panel.

  • The winners will be asked to contribute to University websites and other materials in respect of their award or public engagement activities. This may take several forms including, but not limited to, a video, case study or spotlight article.

  • The award will not normally be awarded to the same person on more than one occasion and certainly not within three years of the initial award being made. The judging panel will need to demonstrate the exceptional circumstances of the case if the award is made again to a previously successful candidate.


The Vice-Chancellor’s Engage Awards are run biennially with the next awards hosted in 2023. Nominations for the Vice-Chancellor’s Engage Awards 2023 is scheduled to open in Spring 2023.