What is Public Engagement?
Public engagement is the term used in universities to describe the partnerships between university research and different communities. The National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) describes it as:
"Public engagement describes the myriad of ways in which the activity and benefits of higher education and research can be shared with the public. Engagement is by definition a two-way process, involving interaction and listening, with the goal of generating mutual benefit."
Who is involved?
Dawn Smith, Public Engagement Officer
Dawn’s role is to coordinate public engagement activity across the university, working with local partners to promote meaningful engagement with research.
Dawn joined Edinburgh Napier University in November 2015 to lead public engagement activity across the institution. Having worked with, and in, the higher education and third sectors for nearly ten years, she is passionate about supporting the partnership between communities and researchers. Dawn is a member of the ScotPEN organising committee and is involved in a number of projects in the public engagement sector.
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School Public Engagement Leads
The university also has a Professorial Lead for Public Engagement, Bill Buchanan, who reports to the university’s Research and Innovation Committee.
Public Engagement at Edinburgh Napier University
Public Engagement has grown in recent years at the university, with a number of important milestones:
- Signed the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement’s Manifesto for Public Engagement which aims to embed a culture of public engagement in the university
- Partner of the Beltane Public Engagement Network
- Recruited a Public Engagement Officer to support researchers and community partners in their engagement activity
- Coordinated a university-wide Public Engagement Forum with academic public engagement leads based in each of the six schools
- Committed to providing seed-funding for engagement projects across the university
- Providing training and support for staff and student researchers to engage more effectively and meaningfully with different communities