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University of Warwick

The University of Warwick has mapped out a three-year programme to achieve a step-change in Public Engagement with Research (PEwR). The Catalyst Seed Funding (CSF) for the first year will be instrumental in establishing the trajectory to achieve and make sustainable our longer-term goals.  

The CSF will address four key aims: 

  • Development of a strategic institutional approach to public engagement
  • Enhancement of capacity in PEwR and co-production in research
  • Embedding PEwR in the institutional culture by inculcating it in the thinking and practice of every researcher
  • Progress towards a financially sustainable model for PEwR 

Strategic 

  • Author Warwick’s strategy for PE with appropriate KPIs and monitoring of outcomes

  • Reconfigure the PE Steering Group

  • Identify examples of effective co-production methodologies

Structural

  • Strengthen and expand the existing Warwick PE Network

  • Explore new governance and reporting structures for PEwR

  • Explore cost recovery mechanisms across IAA’s, HEIF, RCUK and Wellcome funding for support of PE training and delivery

  • Identify gaps in PE knowledge and capability 

Operational

  • Establish a baseline audit of PE activities, capacity and support – identify how PE can be better integrated into research and allied activities

  • Align the existing University support for PE activities with the CSF workstream

Cultural

  • Access external advice on cultural change

  • Make available and incentivise PE training for researchers of all levels from PhD students to senior academics, and support staff
  • Identify cultural, managerial or operational barriers to improving the value of PE at Warwick

This is an ambitious programme for which CSF will provide essential initial support. Some objectives address the need better to yield the value of the diverse streams of PE that are undertaken at individual researcher, group and department levels; others, the need to embed PE into the research culture of the institution. The financial sustainability for supporting high quality PE is also addressed. In addition to IAA and HEIF funding, an analysis of resource use across all RCUK, Wellcome and other funding streams will be undertaken to identify opportunities for using funding more strategically and institutionally, e.g. in delivering centrally-managed training or monitoring outcomes. At the end of the funded period we aim to have made significant progress in developing and cementing a coordinated, integrated and sustainable PE framework that has improved resonance with both our community of researchers and its wider audiences.