Planning your public engagement

Sharing your ideas with the public and getting new perspectives can enhance your research. Our planning guide includes advice, ideas and common pitfalls to avoid.

First things first 

There's one important question to ask yourself before you begin: 'Why do I want to engage the public?' Thinking about your answer will make your public engagement easier and more successful.

There are many ways to engage the public, but not all of them will be suitable for what you're hoping to achieve. You might want to:

  • inform people and make your research more accessible
  • consult people and explore the ethical and social implications of your research
  • collaborate with people and share expertise.

Knowing what your aims are helps you to know who you need to speak to. Asking yourself who you want to reach makes it much easier to decide how to engage them.

For example, running a stand at a local festival might be a better way to engage families than using social media. Or if you want to inspire the next generation of researchers, you might work with schools.

We don't expect you to be an expert at putting on events, and you don't have to run your activities alone. In fact, working with people who already know a community or audience will help you meet their needs.

It's a good idea to think about evaluation as you plan your activities. Evaluation can take place before, during and after a project.

More information

Key considerations 

Who do you want to reach? 

How do you want to reach people? 

Contact us 

Contact our information officers if you have a question about funding.

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