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Apply to join the Inclusive Leadership for Public Engagement Programme

What you need to know to apply to join the 12-week leadership training programme for researchers committed to public engagement with environmental research.

People of mixed genders and ethnicity seated around a table in discussion
Public engagement staff delivering a workshop with researchers.

Inclusive Leadership for Public Engagement Programme is a short training and development course run by the University of Bath's Public Engagement Unit and public engagement consultancy Gurukula. The programme is for researchers based at any research or higher education institution working in Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) research fields who are seeking to develop their leadership skills in public engagement with research.

Who is this programme for?

This training and development programme aims to support the development of inclusive leaders for public engagement in environmental research.

We are looking for environmental researchers from any UK-based research or higher education institution who are:

  • committed to public engagement with research

  • considering how to embed diversity, equity and inclusion in both their research and engagement practice

  • looking to develop their leadership skills

If this sounds like you, then the Inclusive Leadership for Public Engagement Programme is for you.


Effective environmental research depends on researchers who can connect science and wider society. Diversity, equality and inclusion in research is often thought about in terms of public engagement where you are engaging public groups and working with participants. However, being inclusive as a research leader is an increasingly important part of developing a positive research culture that enables high-quality research to be delivered by a research team.

Programme outline

Our Inclusive Leadership for Public Engagement Programme is designed to empower environmental science researchers with the knowledge and skills needed to meet these challenges and develop their inclusive leadership skills.

The programme is a 12-week action-led course where participants bring along a 'live project' or 'goal' that you will work on with the facilitators, mentors and your peers through the programme. There will be three main teaching blocks, plus an introductory workshop and a wrap-up workshop at the end of the programme. Each block will involve a two-hour participatory workshop, a one-hour session with your mentor, and some self-directed time.

Key highlights:

  • Inclusivity in Public Engagement practice - explore diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the context of public engagement with research. Develop strategies and practical methods to embed DEI in your practice.

  • Inclusive influence and leadership - develop your communication, collaboration, and decision-making skills to drive impactful research and public engagement initiatives.

  • Creating an inclusive research culture - learn the art of leading diverse teams and fostering an inclusive work environment.


During the programme, you will have access to specialist mentors who bring a range of experience in strategic leadership of public engagement with research. Their expertise covers; developing and implementing a strategy, evaluation, training researchers and other areas.

Real-world challenges

As part of the programme, you will also be invited to bring a live problem or project to work on. This will vary from person to person, but we invite you to consider specific challenges related to inclusive leadership that you will delve into during the training and share your progress and learning with your peers.

By the end of the programme, you will develop your knowledge in diversity, equity and inclusion in research and public engagement and skills in leadership by developing an understanding of the range of public engagement practices available, the institutional resources available for you to draw on, how to influence upwards, and how to encourage others to undertake public engagement.

Programme key dates

The programme will be delivered online across 12 weeks and will run from February 2024 to May 2024. The programme is designed to accommodate your busy schedule. We anticipate the entire programme will take around fourteen hours of contact time (e.g., workshops and mentoring) across the three-month period. We’d recommend allowing for an average of one and a half hours per week.

  • Programme orientation: Thursday 1 February 2024, 10 am – 12 pm

  • Inclusive public engagement practice: Friday 16 February 2024, 2 pm – 4 pm

  • Inclusive influence and leadership: Wednesday 6 March 2024, 10 am – 12 pm

  • Creating an inclusive research culture: Thursday 18 April 2024, 2 pm – 4 pm

  • Programme close: Thursday 16 May 2024, 10 am – 12 pm

Assessment criteria

A total of 20 places are available on the Inclusive Leadership for Public Engagement Programme.

We will assess applications based on the following criteria:

  • Personal goals align with the aim of the programme.

  • Availability for workshop dates.

  • Geographic spread of participants and institutions.

  • A breadth of experience regarding diversity, equity and inclusion.

To be eligible for this programme you also need to fulfil two eligibility criteria:

  • You must be aligned to NERC's science remit - but do not need to be working on NERC-funded research.

  • You must be based at a UK research organisation eligible for NERC funding.

How to apply

Applicants need to fill in the Inclusive Leadership for Public Engagement Progamme application form.


The closing date for applications is 5pm on Tuesday 14 November, 2023. Applicants will be notified of their place on the programme no later than Friday 8 December 2023.

Application form for the Inclusive Leadership Programme

Apply to join the Inclusive Leadership Programme


If you want to learn more about the Inclusive Leadership Programme, drop us a line.

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