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Public engagement at St Andrews

Public engagement with research is a term used to describe the many ways through with research can be shared with the public creating mutual benefit for researchers and those they interact with. From developing research with community groups to sharing research outcomes through dance; from holding workshops in schools to collaborative projects with prisons –  public engagement is, at its heart, a dialogue between researchers and the world intended to break down barriers and create two-way dialogue.

In St Andrews, public engagement with research is led by Corporate Communications to ensure its activities align with and are supported by the University’s broader communications portfolio which includes stakeholder and community engagement, public affairs and political engagement, press and media management, digital communications and print and design.

While public engagement projects often result in enhanced research quality and impact, they can also provide new avenues of funding and collaborations for those who take part in projects. For many, alongside providing skills development, public engagement offers a personal reward. Further to this, public engagement offers:

  • Higher personal and institutional profiles for those who take part in projects increasing competitiveness in a way that is crucial to research excellence frameworks and impact.
  • A chance for two way cultural exchange of ideas and opinions with the audience that research most matters to.
  • The chance to influence change on a societal level and create new networks that can lead to channels of dialogue with key stakeholders.
  • The opportunity to inspire the next generation of researchers and increase research capital on a broad level.

Public engagement can address a myriad of audiences, although in most recent years there has been a focus on those from areas of multiple deprivation and audiences who might not otherwise interact with research events in their local community.

The Public Engagement team can help researchers plan, develop and evaluate public engagement activity, support grant and funding applications and offer training. If you are interested in getting involved in public engagement email standengaged@st-andrews.ac.uk.