Concordat for Engaging the Public with Research

Concordat for Engaging the Public with Research was developed by the UK’s research funding bodies. The aim of the Concordat is to create a greater focus on and help embed public engagement with research across all disciplines in the higher education and research sectors.

“Engaging people with science and engineering has never been more important. In an increasingly technological world, everyone needs to understand the benefits and potential concerns around new developments which may affect us all. Science engagement can help the public become part of a national conversation on some of the big issues like climate change and renewable energy, ensuring that researchers and policy makers understand the impact of leading research."

"There are already lots going on, but now more than ever we need to maximise the effectiveness of science engagement by increasing its reach and impact. I welcome this Concordat for Engaging the Public with Research and its aims to strengthen public engagement across the research and HE sector. I would like to thank all the signatories and supporters who will be implementing and reviewing the Concordat for their commitment to public engagement, which will enhance the future of research and benefit the UK society and economy.”

David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science

The new Concordat for Engaging the Public with Research provides a single statement of expectations and responsibilities of research funders in the UK.

Concordat Principles

It has four principles that signatories agree to adhere to:

  • UK research organisations have a strategic commitment to public engagement.
  • Researchers are recognised and valued for their involvement with public engagement activities.
  • Researchers are enabled to participate in public engagement activities through appropriate training, support and opportunities.
  • The signatories and supporters will undertake regular reviews of their and the wider research sector’s progress in fostering public engagement across the UK.

Commitment to the Concordat signals that the research funders will support HEIs and research institutes to help them implement the Concordat across their organisation and embed public engagement at a strategic level.  Research organisations will be encouraged to celebrate and communicate their researchers’ successes in public engagement and this new Concordat will facilitate the sharing of best practice.

Concordat for Engaging the Public with Research (external site) 


The NCCPE was invited to translate these expectations into practical guidance for four key categories of staff:


Overview and introduction

 Download overview

Senior managers


Vice-Chancellors and Principals, Pro-Vice Chancellors, heads of faculties or support departments and directors of research institutes. 

Download Senior Managers Briefing

Managers of researchers


Those responsible for managing and supporting researchers, including: supervisors, principal and co-investigators, research team leaders, directors of research and heads of schools or departments.  

Download Mangers Briefing



Researchers are broadly defined as individuals whose primary responsibility is to conduct research and who are employed for this purpose. This can include postgraduate students and technicians. It is recognised that this broad category of staffing covers a wide range of staff with different disciplinary backgrounds, levels of training, experience and responsibility, types of contract, and different career expectations and intentions.

Download Researchers Briefing

Supporters of researchers


Those responsible for supporting researchers in their administrative and other processes related to research as well as public engagement, including: research business managers, research administrators, finance officers, Human Resources staff, staff developers, careers advisors and mentors and outreach or public and community engagement officers.

Download Supporters briefing