Images of Public Engagement 2018

The NCCPE's image competition, capturing and celebrating public engagement across the UK.

"The Images of Public Engagement Competition 2018 provides a wonderful snapshot of the vitality and diversity of public engagement practice in UK Higher Education.  We want to thank everyone who entered for providing such a personal and thoughtful illumination of what public engagement means to them, and for reminding us of the difference it can make, inside and outside the university.”

Sophie Duncan and Paul Manners, NCCPE

The NCCPE launched the Images of Public Engagement Competition as part of our 10th anniversary celebrations in 2018.  We invited people to share images and captions of inspiring engagement activities, culture change initiatives, and of people involved in public engagement in UK higher education.  The three competition categories were Engagement; People and Culture Change. Over 170 entries were submitted, of which 99 made the longlist. Our judging panel met in August 2018 to select the winning and commended entries. Our judging panel included:

  • Sophie Duncan, Deputy Director, NCCPE
  • Jo Heaton-Marriott, Director of Communications & Engagement, UCLan
  • Paul Manners, Director, NCCPE
  • Erinma Ochu, Lecturer in Science Communication & Future Media, University of Salford
  • Ed Stevens, Deputy Head of Public Engagement, University of Bath

We've shared our three winning images and captions below. You can also view our Images of Public Engagement 2018 brochure, which includes all our 14 commended entries along with comments from the judging panel about the process as a whole and about the qualities they responded to in the shortlisted entries. We hope these comments will inspire you to engage with the images and captions, and to look and look again...

View all the winning & commended entries

The Community Gateway Team

Winner of the People category
Submitted by: Sarah Hughes, Communications Officer, Cardiff University
Image credit: Peter Evans

This photograph is of the Community Gateway project team and sums up perfectly the unique personalities and friendships behind the project that has made it such a huge success.

A photograph of five people standing in front of a wall, looking at each other and smiling and laughing. Two of them are hold pieces of paper and one has a football at his feet.


We argued, learnt, and left, buzzing

Winner of the Culture Change category
Submitted by: Kai Syng Tan, Artist-in-Residence & Visiting Researcher, King’s College London
Image credit: Photo collage by Kai Syng Tan based on photographs by Marco Berardi

This composite picture illustrates the lively tension between what my artistic research, event and visitors stand and aim for, and what the venue, and by extension the society-at-large, represent. On 24 April 2018, 83 artists, scientists and health workers ‘invaded’ the iconic Art Worker’s Guild to debate about how neuro-divergent conditions relate to creativity. The walls are lined with classical portraits of the white, male Brothers of the Guild. Beneath them are other bodies, minds, lives, expressions, beings, narratives and lived experiences: gendered, disabled, neuro-divergent, coloured, colourful. Artists mingled freely with scientists, psychiatrists with ‘service-users’, sceptics with the converted. We used sign language. The artwork was loud and bright and we could touch it. We argued for a culture change and paradigm shift in how we understand difference and disability. We shared. We argued. We asked for permission to speak freely. We listened. We had drinks. We hugged. We left, buzzing.

A collage of 10 different images showing many people in a room, sitting and listening to each other, standing and speaking to each other, some with their hands up. The room is grand looking with large paintings and sculptures on the walls.


Poetry on prescription: the Emergency Poet

Winner of the Engagement category
Submitted by: Deborah Alma, Lecturer & Honorary Research Fellow, Keele University
Image credit: Lee Allen Photography

A mix of the serious, the therapeutic and the theatrical, the Emergency Poet offers consultations inside her ambulance and prescribes poems as cures. There are skulls, jars of eyeballs and other body parts inside the ambulance and in the waiting room under an attached awning Nurse Verse or a Poemedic dispenses poemcetamols and other poetic pills and treatments from the poetry pharmacy. Dressed in white coat and stethoscope, Emergency Poet travels in her 1970’s ambulance to literary, arts and music festivals, libraries, schools, hospitals, charity events and conferences… anywhere where poetic help may be urgently required…

A photograph of a white van parked on a road in front of blue skies. A woman in a blue coat is leaning on the van and looking at the photographer. The van has been decorated to look like an ambulance. It says ‘AMBULANCE’ at the top and ‘EMERGENCY POET’ lower down.

View all the winning & commended entries