Public Engagement Masterclass

26–28 June 2017

Wellcome Genome Campus, Hinxton, UK


Our highly successful Public Engagement Masterclass returns this summer
to provide active researchers with inspiration and support to develop a
personalised and proactive public engagement plan that achieves real

Public engagement is increasingly important for researchers and research
funders, and being able to develop a plan of activities to engage the
public with your research and evidence its impact are key skills to
acquire. This course is suitable for newly independent and other
mid-career researchers (including postdoctoral researchers) and will
provide the opportunity to explore the role of engagement within your
research and how you and/or your group can engage effectively with
non-specialist publics outside academia.

The residential nature of the course provides the opportunity for
mentoring and networking with public engagement professionals and funders
alongside workshop-style sessions, individual reflections, panel
discussions and short talks from prominent researchers who have
successfully embedded public engagement within their work. The programme
will address the wider societal context of public engagement with
research and how best to engage relevant public groups (e.g. community
members, patients, school children, curious adults) with research.
Participants will improve their own communication skills, explore the
dynamics of partnering with different communities, and be introduced to a
range of tools to better measure the impact of their public engagement

Applicants must be active researchers at postdoctoral level or hold a
research-related position at a research institute (or equivalent) or
higher education institution. The course is open to researchers from all
disciplines, with a limited number of bursaries offered to researchers
funded by Wellcome Trust, The Royal Society or RCUK.

To optimize discussions and interactions between tutors and participants,
numbers are limited; therefore, early application is advised.

Learning outcomes
Following attendance at this course, participants will be able to:

  • Comprehend the breadth of activities incorporated within ‘public engagement’, and be able to identify specific aspects of relevance to them and their own research
  • Explain why researchers should engage with the public, reflected at individual, research group, discipline, institutional and funder (e.g. the Wellcome Trust, RCUK) levels
  • Identify the most relevant audience(s) for their research and understand how to engage with them effectively
  • Evaluate their public engagement activity, and demonstrate research impact
  • Develop a strategic approach for public engagement with research for their research including their research team

Feedback from previous participants
“I found this course very useful but also very enjoyable. I liked the
size of the group as it meant we were all able to participate. It was
also a fantastic opportunity to meet people doing similar public
engagement and hear about their experiences and share ideas”.(participant
on 2016 course)

“It was by far the best training course I’ve been on. It was
meticulously organised, carefully thought out, and clearly structured,
with a nice mixture of activities and talks. The range of subject matter
covered was ideal, and especially impressive was the care taken by the
leaders to keep tabs on how we, the delegates, were finding the course.
The social side was also excellent – the course leaders created a
friendly, unthreatening environment, which encouraged conversation and
participation by everyone” (participant on 2015 course)

“Extensive cover of PE activities were discussed, lots of interactive
sessions that helped me understand issues that were presented in the oral
presentations, loads of useful sources for further info on PE activities
were given” (participant on 2015 course)

“It was good to network and work with different background, especially
the funders and well established PE professionals, to see things in
perspective, and receive comments and encouragement” (participant on 2016


The course will start at approximately 10.00 on Monday 26 June and close
at approximately 15.00 on Wednesday 28 June 2017.

Topics will include:

  • The context for public engagement
  • Purposes and audiences
  • How to engage
  • Strategic evaluation
  • Making the most of partnerships
  • Community partners and patient groups
  • Cultural organisations
  • Evidencing Impact: how does public engagement help?
  • Turning your plans into action
  • Making a case for public engagement

This is a residential course. All students are requested to
stay onsite for the full duration to benefit fully from discussions and
interactions with the faculty and other participants.

A draft programme will be available shortly.

Instructors and speakers

Programme committee
Karen Bultitude University College London,
Sophie Duncan
National Coordinating Centre for Public
Engagement, UK
Chloe Sheppard
Wellcome Trust, UK
Steve Scott
Wellcome Genome Campus, UK

Confirmed tutors
Kim Aumann Boing Boing Community Interest Company, UK
Sheena Cruickshank University of Manchester, UK
Hélène Doerflinger Gurdon Institute, Cambridge, UK

Becky Gilmore
Wellcome Genome Campus, UK
Ian Goodfellow University of Cambridge, UK
Kevin O’Dell
University of Glasgow, UK
Julian Rayner Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, UK
Lucy Thorne University College London, UK

Event organiser
Emily Rees Wellcome Genome Campus, UK

How to apply


Registration with Twin Accommodation N/A
Registration with Single Accommodation £545

The fees include accommodation, meals and lectures for the duration of
the course. The fee will be requested once acceptance is confirmed.

This is a residential course. All participants will stay at The Wellcome
Genome Campus Conference Centre, Hinxton, Cambridge, for the nights of 26
and 27 June 2017.

If you wish to book onsite accommodation either side of the summer
school/course dates, please contact the Conference

Application deadline:

Places on this course are limited and will be awarded on merit.
Applicants must be active researchers at postdoctoral level or hold a
research-related position at a research institute (or equivalent) or
higher education institution. The course is open to researchers from all
disciplines. Applicants will be required to complete an online
application form.
The selection process will take place in May 2017.

Travel visas
Please contact the event organiser if you require a letter to support a
travel visa application. Note that letters will be provided to confirmed

Non-European Economic Area or Swiss nationals may be required to have a
visa to enter the UK.
Early application is strongly advised, as this process can take 6-8 weeks
or longer.

Please visit the following websites for further information:
UK Border Agency website: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/
Information for general visitors and business visitors: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/visiting/business/business-activities/


A limited number of registration bursaries are available to researchers funded by The Wellcome Trust, The Royal Society and RCUK to attend this course. Bursaries will cover the full course fee.

The following documents will need to be provided:

  • Covering letter
  • Evidence of funding

To apply, please contact the event organiser.

Bursary deadline: Closed

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