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.

Summary of the Leadership award

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 (eg 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 this award, the judging panel will look for evidence of excellence in promoting a culture of public engagement with research and evidence of leadership in this area. There is no assumption that candidates will be in a senior, supervisory or managerial position but rather, they have mobilised a significant number of their peers and / or developed a culture inclusive of public engagement across their research centre / institute / department / broader research community.

Purpose of the Leadership award

This award aims to reward an individual who has made an exceptional contribution to the culture of public engagement. The award will recognise a strong commitment to engaged research and promoting learning among researchers. The judges will be looking for evidence of a range of public engagement activities that have been enabled and supported by the applicant and which demonstrably support a culture of public engagement with research.

Who can apply

The award is open to all members of staff of the University of Bath within the Education, Research and Technical job families.

Previous winners of the award will be eligible for further application three years after the year that the award was made to them. Unsuccessful candidates may apply for the award in subsequent years.

The award is not open to professional services staff.


Assessment criteria

  • A portfolio of appropriate activities relating to research over at least the last 24 months, with strong examples of good practice that the applicant has facilitated and supported. Examples of relevant activities may include, but is not limited to:

    • developing a departmental strategy for public engagement
    • developing new forums for engagement
    • delivering and facilitating opportunities for staff professional development relating to public engagement
    • mentoring and supporting researchers to carry out public engagement activities and develop their engagement skills
  • Demonstration of a reflective/evaluative approach by the applicant.

  • Evidence of how the applicant influences and encourages others to engage with the public about their research and shares their learning across the University, with their peers and, where appropriate, beyond the University.

  • Evidence that the nominee has taken a lead in supporting high quality public engagement activities.

Assessment process

The researcher should apply directly. Applications must be endorsed by two people. One of these referees should be someone more senior to applicant who can comment on your research. Ideally, the second referee should be an academic colleague who has benefited from working with the nominee on a public engagement project.

Applications will be reviewed by a judging panel of internal and external experts in public engagement. A shortlist of three applicants will then be invited to engage an audience with their research and engagement practice at the Vice-Chancellor's Engage Awards and Public Engagement Showcase event. The judging panel will announce the winner of the Prize at this event.

The winner 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.

Candidates for the Leadership award will be asked to give a short six-minute presentation during the Vice-Chancellor's Engage award and Public Engagement Showcase event.


The Vice-Chancellor’s Engage Awards are run biennially with the next awards hosted in 2021. Nominations for the Vice-Chancellor’s Engage Awards 2021 is scheduled to open in Spring 2021.