Bentley trained and practiced as a veterinary virologist but is now a creative facilitator, artist and producer, based in Manchester. They have a particular interest in how humans and non-humans form collaborative partnerships, how ethics is performed and when it is enacted, world (un)building as catharsis, entanglements, participation and futuring. They are interested in critically examining what COVID-19 has made visible across the ecology of Public Engagement and mapping our transformative potentials.
'My experience lies with the third sector, where I now work as a freelancer providing training and service evaluations with and for community-based organisations. I applied to be part of the peer research team because I want to offer a community partner perspective to the discussions and planning process. My hope is that the research yields results that help to safeguard ongoing partnership work with communities and impacts the environment in which these partnerships function, so that fairness, transparency and equity are commonplace.'
Larissa is Researcher (Impact) at the University Research and Knowledge Exchange Office (University of Derby). She centrally coordinates the REF Impact submission and gives Impact training and grant application advice. She is also a Public Historian who investigates how states and societies deal with difficult histories. From participating in this research, she hopes to gain a nuanced understanding of how COVID-19 has affected the national public engagement landscape, understanding the challenges in order to propose solutions for resilient, sustainable futures.
Lorraine is Science Outreach Coordinator and NE Regional Representative for Durham University and the Ogden Trust. Lorraine creates, develops and cultivates opportunities for people to work together to explore, enquire and engage. Lorraine is delighted to be part of the peer research team, and is particularly interested in investigating COVID’s impact on us and our communities, looking to how we can move forward to grow, learn and support each other, and ensure public engagement’s future strength and development.
Natt is the Public Engagement Officer in the Centre for Public Engagement at Queen Mary, University of London. Her role focusses on providing advice and guidance for public engagement projects, managing funding, and developing routes to share best practice. Natt wanted to be part of this research team to help explore the role of PEPs within their institute’s COVID-19 response—both internally and within their communities—in the immediate and recovery phases and what challenges and opportunities this has created.
Niyah is the Youth Participation Lead at the Institute for Mental Health (IMH), University of Birmingham. Within his role, Niyah is tasked with leading and developing the IMH’s youth involvement strategy and all associated activities. In his spare time, Niyah enjoys coaching and playing football, socialising with friends and travelling.
Shauni is a Public Engagement Officer at the University of Leeds. She helps to deliver the University’s strategic plan for engagement with research, and organises annual family-friendly research open day, Be Curious. Having previously worked in widening participation, school outreach and museum education, Shauni started this role just before lockdown and is looking forward to connecting with colleagues and exploring the national PE picture. Outside of work, she can be found sewing up a storm whilst making her own clothes.
Sophie works across two different, highly intertwined, sectors of the higher education system: researcher development and public engagement. My focus across both areas are evaluation and thinking about measuring and demonstrating impact: juicy topics across the board! I really enjoy learning from both sectors and sharing the successes and opportunities to innovate. In my spare time I love to travel in my home-made campervan, get on my mountain bike, and to grow/attempt to grow tasty veggies!
Stuart oversees the public engagement priorities within the University of Edinburgh’s College of Science and Engineering. He manages key College-level projects, while supporting staff and students with their own engagement ambitions. Stuart has recently completed his PhD where he collaborated with young people to explore their perspectives on Public Engagement with Science. He now wants to build on his research experience by investigating how the current societal circumstances are impacting on public engagement professionals and the wider landscape.
Zoe is a Professor of Engagement and Learning responsible for the external engagement portfolio within the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences at LJMU. Zoe is a HCPC Registered Psychologist and her research utilises range of qualitative and creative methodologies. She is looking forward to contributing to and learning from the inspiring PEP Insights project which she sees as a ‘strategic pause’ for the sector and outcomes from which could impact future policy, funding opportunities and public engagement practice.
'I am an engagement practitioner, researcher and evaluator interested in bringing people together to exchange experiences and ideas and tackle some of the big questions we face. My academic background transgresses borders spanning science, arts and the humanities. I have worked within the field of public engagement with science for over 20 years both, within the United Kingdom (London's Science and Natural History Museums, Science Year and Science Line) as well as within and across developing country contexts. Here, the emphasis has been on public and community engagement around global health and global health research. I managed the International Engagement programme at The Wellcome Trust for four years, which involved building an international community of practice, a little organisational change and managing a portfolio of grants that spanned global contexts (Africa, Asia, Latin America).
My Master’s thesis explored the empowering potential of participatory film with young women in Honduras and my PhD fieldwork (also practice-based) explored the potential of participatory arts and storytelling to create opportunities for mutual understanding between medical researchers and research communities around enteric disease in Kathmandu, Nepal.'