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Inclusive Leadership for Public Engagement

A 12-week leadership training course for researchers committed to public engagement with environmental science research.



Project status

In progress


1 Sep 2023 to 31 Aug 2024

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 over 2024 funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

The programme is for researchers based at any research institution or higher education institution working in NERC research fields who are seeking to develop their leadership skills in public engagement with research.


Effective environmental science relies on researchers who can connect their work to the needs and goals of wider society and create an inclusive research culture.

However, studies have shown (The Experience of Patient Partners in Research, Creating Living Knowledge) that the experiences of participants and community partners in working with research organisations and higher education institutions often do not live up to the rhetoric or expectations with challenges around building trust and distributing power. Also, the identified needs of researchers in how to deliver engaged research are largely going unmet.

Embracing diversity, equity and inclusion in research is often thought about in terms of public engagement, who researchers are engaging with and how. However, being inclusive in research goes beyond public engagement and is an increasingly important part of building a team and developing a positive research culture that enables high-quality research to be delivered by a research team.

Our approach

The Inclusive Leadership for Public Engagement Programme aims to support environmental researchers to become inclusive leaders by developing their knowledge and expertise around diversity, equality and inclusion in public engagement, research and leadership skills.

Programme outline

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

Key highlights of the programme include:

  • 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.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the programme, researchers will have developed their knowledge in diversity, equity and inclusion in research and public engagement as well as leadership skills. They will do this by having developed an understanding of the range of public engagement practices available, the institutional resources available for them to draw on, how to influence upwards, and how to encourage others to undertake public engagement.

Who this programme is for

The Inclusive Leadership for Public Engagement Programme is for aspiring or emerging leaders of public engagement in environmental science at any UK-based research organisation or higher education institution. The programme is suitable for people with both formal or informal responsibility for leading public engagement and those who have responsibility for public engagement as part of a grant or departmental programme.

Full details of programme and how to apply are detailed in the Inclusive Leadership for Public Engagement guide.

Inclusive Leadership for Public Engagement blogs

Discover some of our thinking and learning from this learning programme.

Funding body

Inclusive Leadership for Public Engagement was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NE/Y003748/1).

Guide for applications to Inclusive Leadership for Public Engagement Programme

Find out more about how to apply for the training programme


If you are interested in finding out more about Inclusive Leadership for Public Engagement, drop us a line.