A year in review: PEP reflections on 2020

To prepare for Engage Festival 2020 we invited public engagement professionals (PEPs) to share their reflections on the past year.

These videos capture some of our PEPs' reflections on the events of the last year. Extracts were featured in the opening plenary at the Engage Festival.

If you could choose one adjective to describe the last 12 months, which adjective would you choose?


What have you found most challenging in the last 12 months?


What positives can you identify?


What do you feel most proud of in terms of how you or your team have responded to COVID-19?


What are your biggest concerns for the future of university public engagement?

What are your hopes for the future?

Meet the PEPs

Meet the public engagement professionals we interviewed - they work across a range of roles and higher education institutions, nationally and internationally:

Akram Khan

Akram is a researcher in the areas of fundamental and applied science, and is Public Engagement Ambassador at Brunel University. 

Budd Hall

Budd is based at the University of Victoria in Canada, and is Co-Chair of the UNESCO Chair in Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education. 


Cassie Hugill

Cassie is Public Engagement Manager at the Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging at University College London (UCL).

Dawn Smith

Dawn directs Edinburgh Napier University’s public engagement, leading from a strategic and operational level.

Emma McKenna

Emma co-ordinates The Science Shop in Queen’s University Belfast, a community engaged research initiative, matching curriculum-based research projects with the needs of community partners.


Helen Obee Reardon

Helen is an Impact Specialist at Cardiff University, supporting researchers in realising the societal benefits of their research.  

Imran Khan

Imran is Head of Public Engagement at Wellcome.  


Kirsty Ross

Kirsty is a Public Engagement Professional supporting a range of universities across Scotland.

Maddy Foard

Maddy is Project Manager at the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement. 

Niyah Campbell

Niyah is Youth Participation Lead at the University of Birmingham.

Rajesh Tandon

Rajesh is founder of Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA), and is Co-Chair of the UNESCO Chair in Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education. 

Find out more about Engage festival 2020!

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