Engage Academy

9 month development programme for public engagement professionals.

Are you working to foster a culture of engagement in a Higher Education Institution, charity or public sector organisation?

Whether you call yourself a public engagement professional or wear a different title, the Engage Academy is for you.  

Applications for Engage Academy are for those whose role primarily involves supporting researchers to engage. The Academy is designed for people at every stage of their engagement career, from those new to the sector through to those with many years of experience.

68 people from a diversity of engagement roles have joined us for our 2020/21 Engage Academy. Taking place online for the second time, this year's programme focuses on the role of being a ‘change maker’ within organisations and the skills, knowledge and networks that will enable participants to advocate and implement the change they want to see.

During the 9 month programme we support participants to: 

  • Interrogate the high quality public engagement principles including Purpose/Process/People/Evaluation 
  • Develop a strategic approach to embedding engagement at their organisation 
  • Explore their role as a ‘change maker’  
  • Develop a strong and supportive network

The programme, curated by NCCPE, provides innovative and inspiring insights from expert sector leaders. 

“The Academy provides the space for you to try and transform your institution and embed public engagement across it. If you want to get your brain ticking over and stimulate a hotbed of ideas, connect with interesting people and be part of an ongoing community of practice, then I would recommend the Academy” 2019/20 Academician

“I was initially worried about it going online and missing that important social interaction, but this has been mitigated by a nice vibe, good online sessions, and a range of interactive, online tools that gave the Academy dynamism…There is a real time benefit of it being online, as we’re all so busy with other work”. 2019/20 Academician


Programme structure 

The Engage Academy provides a stimulating environment, encouraging thoughtful engagement with content; informal networking to recreate those 'coffee queue' moments, and opportunities to access content at times convenient to you. The programme components include: 

  • Interactive online workshops  
  • Webinars which can be accessed as part of a watch party, or in your own time, including opportunities to meet the webinar contributors to explore further  
  • Facilitated networking social events  
  • Peer learning groups faciliated by a champion and supported by an experienced mentor
  • An online learning space to share ideas 

The Engage Academy requires approximately 6 days commitment during the 9 month programme.

“Really nice people who were stimulating, interesting and interested – I can’t really shut up about them! The learning group meetings are a respite from daily lives and provided me with some head space. We provide an important connection for each other”. 2019/20 Academician


Future work and legacy

We continue to work with our current cohort of Academicians, with discussions and focus groups planned to understand their future development and support needs, to share ideas and thinking, and to inform the public engagement expertise, support and opportunities the NCCPE might offer. 

We will update this page as well as our social media and monthly newsletter (subscribe at the bottom of this page) as we develop outputs and once the next cohort opens. If you would like to know more about the Academy, please contact Sian Aggett at sian.aggett@uwe.ac.uk