Public Engagement with Research

Public Engagement

Engagement is by definition a multidirectional process, building connections, exchanging knowledge and sharing expertise with the goal of generating mutual benefits and understanding. Appreciation of the breadth of this activity is essential; inclusive of public and community engagement, innovation, enterprise, research, volunteering, dialogue and debate. We are all each other’s publics.

UCLan working definition of public & community engagement

Get Involved

Public Engagement is a key component of the modern academic's portfolio. Increasingly, research funders expect that engagement takes place during the research lifecycle. This may be through co-creation of research, dissemination of research outputs or outreach activities. The Public Engagement team can support the integration of engagement activity within research, for example:

  • facilitating links between researchers with external stakeholders and the wider public
  • supporting the development and delivery of engagement projects, including sourcing funding
  • sharing opportunities for training and professional development in engagement skills
  • promotion of engagement events
  • …or just discussion of your ideas

Engage UCLan Forum

Anyone with an interest in public and community engagement is welcome to attend the regular Engage UCLan forum.

This takes place on the last Wed of the month, from 13:00-15:00, in the Media Innovation Studio (Media Factory, ME414). Coffee and cake provided; share your skills and ideas on the Lonely Hearts Board, debate this months ‘Big Question’ and meet other like-minded individuals.

Social Engagement Steering Group

This group oversees the direction of our social, public and community engagement work, including mapping the social value and providing an opportunity for the sharing of best practice. Chaired by Dr Jo Heaton-Marriott, Head of Communications and Engagement.

Engage UCLan on Twitter

Keep up to date with opportunities, events, activities and news by following @engageuclan on Twitter.

Young Scientist Centre

The UCLan and Royal Institution (RI) Young Scientist Centre (YSC) is a dedicated outreach facility, offering hands-on science experiences for children aged from 7 years. Researchers are invited to work with the YSC team to develop collaborate outreach activities. Find out more about the centre and how you can get involved or visit.

Engagement Catalysts

We are pleased to introduce the first cohort of Engagement Catalysts- researchers from across UCLan who champion public & community engagement in their disciplines and are working with the Engage UCLan team to embed engagement across UCLan.

Matt Dickinson, Engagement Catalyst in Engineering

Matt has fully integrated engagement work alongside his teaching and research; he presents the Science of Superheroes and is currently working on a number of follow-ups to this, including the Science of Star Wars. He was recently awarded funding from the Royal Academy of Engineering to create a web-based graphic novel, featuring, cutting-edge UK research, which he will develop alongside renowned graphic artists.

Jez Buffin, Engagement Catalyst in Social Work

Jez is involved in a number of advisory groups and contributes to policy-making in the areas of health and social work.

Vivienne Ivins, Engagement Catalyst in Law

Vivienne is leading a number of community engagement projects in the School of Law, including the development of a pro bono family law clinic

Cat Tennick, Catalyst in Forensic Science & Anthropology

Cat regularly works with school and community groups on outreach projects, and developed the CSI: Reality roadshow, which explores the differences between real-life forensics and that depicted on TV.

Joanne Bibby, Engagement Catalyst for the Jeremiah Horrocks Institute for Astrophysics

Joanne leads outreach at UCLan’s Alston Observatory and is currently developing a summer school for Year 10 pupils interested in further study in Maths & Physics.

Andy Morley, Engagement Catalyst in Psychology

Andy is developing ‘psychology busking’ and is leading this with a group of Psychology students.

Nicky Danino, Engagement Catalyst in Computing

Nicky is working to increase the number of girls studying computing and to address the gender stereotypes around professions in the discipline. 

Tim Snape, Engagement Catalyst in Medicinal Chemistry

Tim has developed a number of engagement projects, including the highly successful Chemistry Magic Show and is currently working on a medicinal garden project.

Arati Iyengar, Engagement Catalyst in Conservation Genetics

Arati is leading a citizen science project exploring the threat to the habitat of hen harriers.