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Imperial College London

Imperial College London festival

Since its foundation in 1907, Imperial College London has played an important role in the economic, social and intellectual life of London, with the main campus located in the heart of South Kensington’s cultural quarter (‘Albertopolis’).  Today, we have nine campuses in London and south east England and a major new campus being developed in White City. Combined with a growing online presence and strong partnership opportunities, we have huge scope to engage public audiences with our key research areas of Medicine, Science, Engineering and Business.

Over the past five years, we have established new platforms to provide more opportunities for staff and students to carry out public engagement. These include regular College-wide initiatives, such as the Imperial Festival and Fringe programme. Staff have also secured external funding to realise their engagement ideas, such as the pop-up Heart and Lung Repair Shop delivered by the National Heart and Lung Institute.  In addition, Professor Kneebone launched the Centre for Engagement and Simulation Science, which aims to evolve institutional thinking into the theory and practice of public engagement with research. A wide range of staff and students are engaging through their own relationships, such as participating in Science Museum Lates - making the most of our locality near major national museums.

We are determined to enable further growth of engagement with research activity, by building wider institutional awareness of its benefits, providing more support and recognising achievement.

The focus of our Catalyst Seed Fund award will be to:

  • clarify and strengthen institutional awareness and understanding of how public engagement can contribute to research.

  • put in place institutional schemes for overcoming identified barriers and developing ways to support and recognise good practice for public engagement with research.

  • explore ways of securing formal time commitment within departmental work plans and appropriate funding provision.

  • develop appropriate practical help, guidance and resources.

  • work in partnership with our new neighbours in White City to foster innovative approaches to engage local community audiences.