Strategic PER funding awarded to 12 institutions

Research Councils UK (RCUK) have today launched a new programme of strategic support for public engagement with research. Strategic Support to Expedite Embedding Public Engagement with Research (SEE-PER) grants have been awarded to 12 higher education institutions (HEIs).

The NCCPE is delighted that it will be working closely with this new wave of projects, which builds on a series of interventions to support HEIs to embed public engagement in their work.

The SEE-PER funding invited two types of approach from institutions to help enrich and embed cultures within higher education institutions: projects which focus on embedding PE internally, and projects which seek to address a particular challenge in depth and generate new learning about 'what works'. Funding from RCUK is provided for six months, with match funding from the institution extending the activity period for three to six months beyond that.

Projects to enhance and embed institutional support for PER

Building on the success of and learning from the Catalyst Seed Fund, Catalyst funding and the Beacons for Public Engagement programmes, seven institutions (listed below with their Principal Investigators) have been funded to create, enrich and embed cultures within HEIs where excellent public engagement with research (PER) is more effectively and strategically supported:

  • Birkbeck College, University of London (Professor Miriam Zukus)
  • Heriot-Watt University (Professor Gareth Pender)
  • Keele University (Professor David Amigoni)
  • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (Professor Dame Anne Mills)
  • NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (Dr Nick Wells)
  • University of Lincoln (Professor Carenza Lewis)
  • University of St Andrews (Professor John Woollins)

Projects addressing a specific PER support challenge

The RCUK funding also seeks to expand the existing knowledge about ‘what works’ in supporting public engagement with research by addressing specific challenge areas identified in the recent Factors Affecting Public Engagement by Researchers and State of Play reports. Five institutions have been invited to lead projects which will synthesise knowledge and pilot activity in their chosen challenge area:

  • University of Brighton: addressing the quality of public engagement with research (Professor Tara Dean)
  • University College London: addressing governance arrangements(Professor David Price

Three other HEIs will be addressing the challenge of increasing the take up of training and CPD:

  • University of Bath (Professor Jonathan Knight)
  • University of Southampton (Professor Simon Spearing)
  • STFC – Laboratories (Dr Neil Geddes)

The NCCPE will work with the projects to ensure that the lessons learned are shared with the wider sector, and to invite other HEIs to contribute to the challenges which will be addressed across the programme.

For further information about the SEE-PER funding, please contact Lewis Dean at RCUK.