In the Public Engagement team, we believe we can maximise the impact of health research by making sure people are at the heart of it. We work to connect people, research and society. To be successful we want to support a thriving public engagement sector with a diverse set of leaders, ideas and approaches.
Over the past nine years, we’ve supported 26 fantastic fellows who challenged the way we engage with the public, innovate within the sector and influence how future research priorities are set. The fellowships have given them the time, freedom and space to explore solutions to the challenges they saw.
For example, fellows have looked into:
The Engagement Fellowships have given fellows the opportunity to influence and drive innovation in public engagement, push boundaries with their work, and build their profile and networks. But, as a largely self-directed programme, it has its limitations.
We want to make sure we’re supporting fellows and future public engagement leaders in the best possible way. This means designing a programme that covers the diverse range of needs and contexts that we draw from, and that clearly addresses the leadership challenges in public engagement.
That’s why we’re taking time to step back, reflect and plan. There will be no funding call for Engagement Fellowships in 2019.
We’re currently halfway through a review of how we support leadership in public engagement. Working with Nonon(opens in a new tab), a design agency, we’re using human-centred design [PDF 204KB] to involve our key stakeholders and fellows, who are an incredible source of knowledge about the fellowship experience and leadership needs in the sector.
We’ve already gained lots of new insights – for example, about the need to support leaders to innovate. Over the autumn we will be developing ideas and prototypes on what our future approach will look like.
We’ll provide further updates on our work in early 2020.