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Celebrate public engagement at the Vice-Chancellor's Engage Awards 2023

What you need to do to get involved and nominate your public engagement work for the Vice-Chancellor's Engage Awards

A group of caucasian women standing on a podium holding their trophies
Winners of the Vice-Chancellor's Engage Awards

The Vice-Chancellor’s Engage Awards aims to reward the work of colleagues from across the University of Bath who are engaging non-academic audiences with their work. We are looking to celebrate excellence in public engagement with research that clearly demonstrates the mutual benefit of the engagement and recognise a strong commitment to public engagement in the University and local area.

For the purpose of these Awards public engagement with research 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 research. Work that is viewed as being essential to research (e.g. participant recruitment) is not eligible.

Award categories

The Vice-Chancellor's Engage Awards 2023 invites nominations by individuals or teams into one of five categories. Three of these categories reflect the broad areas that public engagement work falls into (Informing, Listening and Working Together) while the local and civic engagement category focuses on engagement specific to the B&NES area, and the leadership in public engagement category focuses on public engagement support within the University.

  • Informing - for projects that successfully share research with people and public groups.

  • Listening - for projects that listen and respond to peoples' needs, knowledge and experience.

  • Working Together - for projects that have worked collaboratively with people and public groups.

  • Local and Civic Engagement - for projects, teams and individuals that have made outstanding civic contributions on behalf of the University through engaging with local civil society organisations, community groups, residents and charities.

  • Leadership - for an individual who has made an exceptional contribution to the culture of public engagement across their research centre / institute / department / broader research community.

Who can apply

The Vice-Chancellor's Engage Awards 2023 are open to all staff from the Education and Research (including doctoral students) and Technical and Experimental job families. We also welcome submissions from staff in the Management Specialist and Administration job family who support and input into research.

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

Nomination criteria - Informing, Listening and Working Together categories

The following criteria apply to the Informing, Listening and Working Together categories only.

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

  • 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.

  • Engagement activities that generate mutual benefit. This should be clearly described and supported by evidence concerning:

    • you and / or 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.

Nomination critiera - Local and Civic Engagement category

The Local and Civic Engagement category rewards projects that address a public group or need unique to the Bath and North East Somerset area.

The following criteria apply to the Local and Civic Engagement category only.

  • Have a strong focus on the local communities’ or civil society organisations' needs with clear evidence of how this activity / project has met those needs.

  • Be focused in the Bath and North East Somerset region, including towns surrounding the local authority.

  • Demonstrate how the activities / project has benefited the University. This could benefit you personally, your research or teaching (if applicable) or meet a strategic need within your department or faculty.

Nomination critieria - Leadership category

This award aims to reward and recognise a strong commitment to public engagement with research and promoting learning among researchers and doctoral students.

The following criteria are for the Leadership category only:

  • A portfolio of appropriate engagement activities relating to research over at least the last 24 months, with strong examples of good engagement practice that the applicant has either delivered, facilitated or supported.

  • Evidence of how the nominee has taken the lead in influencing, encouraging and supporting others to engage public groups with research. This could involve the applicant sharing their learning about engagement across the University, and, where appropriate, beyond the University. Examples of this could include, but are not limited to:

    • 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.
    • Developing departmental strategy for public engagement.
    • Developing new forums for engagement.
  • Two people must endorse nominations. 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.

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.

Nomination process

Nominations for the Vice-Chancellor's Engage Awards should be self-nominations, but nominations from others will also be accepted.

Nomination forms

For nominations to the Informing, Listening and Working Together categories, please use the Engage Awards nomination form.

For nominations to the Local and Civic Engagement category, please use the Engage Awards Local and Civic nomination form.

For nominations to the Leadership category, please use the Engage Awards Leadership nomination form.


Nominees should submit their nomination form directly to to the Public Engagement Unit via email With the nomination category in the subject line by Friday 12 May 2023, 5pm.

Assessment process

Nominations will be assessed by a panel of internal and external experts in public engagement with research. The judging panel are:

  • Professor Julie Barnett (Chair) - Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research)

  • Professor Chris Budd (Winner of Leadership category 2021) - Department of Mathematical Sciences

  • Dr Vimal Dhokia - Deputy Head of Department, Mechanical Engineering and Director of Knowledge Exchange, Faculty of Engineering & Design

  • Isobel Michael - Southside Family Project

  • Professor Juani Swart -Director of Knowledge Exchange, School of Management

  • Grace Williams - Public Engagement Manager, University of Plymouth

A shortlist of up to three candidates per category will have their research projects featured in a short video at the Engage Awards presentation event on Wednesday 28 June 2023. The judging panel will announce the winner of the awards at this event. All shortlisted candidates are considered worthy recipients 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.

Leadership category

Shortlisted applicants for the Leadership category will be notified in the week beginning 22 May 2023. Nominees will then be asked to prepare a six-minute presentation which will be delivered during the Engage Awards presentation event on Wednesday 28 June 2023 where the winner will also be announced.


Completed nomination forms must be received by Friday 12 May 2023, 5pm.

Key dates

  • Nominations open – Monday 27 March 2023

  • Nominations close – Friday 12 May 2023, 5pm

  • Vice-Chancellor's Engage Awards presentation and Showcase - Wednesday 28 June 2023


If you are interested in finding out more about the Vice-Chancellor's Engage Awards, drop us a line.

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