There are many ways that people can be involved in the design, conduct and outcomes of research - and this benefits researchers and the public alike. Here you can find out how to engage people with your research, learn about some of the opportunities available and find inspiration, resources and information to help you design your own activities.
what is public engagement?
We engage with audiences in a variety of ways, using our research to change and transform society at the local, national and global levels. Engagement is a learning process for everyone involved and can include public events and festivals, innovative social media engagement, citizen science and crowd-sourcing, participatory action research, consultation, co-design and production, debate, dialogue and discussion.
Researchers from the University regularly contribute to national, regional and local events like these listed here. If you have an idea for an activity suitable for one of the following events, please contact the Research Communications team as soon as possible; planning and funding calls for such events can begin up to a year in advance.
If your engagement activity doesn’t fit with one of the existing opportunities, is online or takes a different form, or you want to reach other audiences, please use this flowchart to help you to find the team who are best placed to help.
We have a small working group of staff from across professional services who regularly meet and will share individual requests and provide as much support and sign-posting to other resources as possible.
Questions to ask yourself:
- Who do I want to engage with? (spoiler: the 'general public’ doesn’t exist!)
- Why do I want to engage with an audience beyond academia?
- Do I have a budget to support my activity? If not, where can I find funding?
- Do I need to organise an event?
- Where should I deliver my activity to ensure my audience will be able to get involved?
- Who do I need to speak to next to turn my idea into action?
find out more
Ask us for help with public engagement
See more case studies on our Get Involved page
The National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement - provides advice and training resources
NERC Engaging Environments lessons learned booklet
Research Engagement and Impact Awards 2019More about our research impact
As a University we know we can achieve extraordinary things by interacting and collaborating with people outside of academia. Effective engagement works for everyone. We want to stimulate ongoing public interest in, and understanding of, our research and bring about positive change through this engagement.
Some examples of engaging research from the University of Reading: