Pay-it-Forward with Public Engagement

Pay-it-Forward with Public Engagement’

 Team Building Workshop Programme

The Public Engagement with Research Committee (PERC) is pleased to announce an exciting pilot opportunity for five UoB researchers enthusiastic about public engagement to take part in a pay-it-forward programme that will boost their own public engagement, mentorship and team building skills. The opportunity has two stages:

Stage 1:

Researchers will travel as a group alongside Dr Caroline Gillett (Public Engagement with Research Officer) and Jon Wood (Science Communicator) to participate in an all-day practical workshop focused on public engagement organized by British Interactive Group (BIG) on Tuesday 24 November in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. The workshop will cover the Who, What, Where, When and How of running workshops for academics at various career stages. We’ll share good practise, learn from other people’s mistakes and develop a toolkit of example activities to use in our own training. Researchers are encouraged to bring along their own public engagement experiences to share and any challenges they’ve encountered too.


Stage 2:

Researchers will bring back the activities and training learned to together develop a practical public engagement workshop for UoB staff and students next year. Thus researchers will be able to put the training they have received at the BIG workshop in to real world practice, gaining valuable skills in workshop management and paying-it-forward to fellow colleagues and students. This second stage will be organized through informal meet-ups on campus to brainstorm ideas and prep materials for a workshop next year. The group will discuss how best to organize these meet-ups at a dinner held post-workshop on Nov 24th.


All travel, accommodation and workshop fees will be arranged and paid by PERC, including a year’s membership to the BIG which will qualify researchers for heavily discounted rates at other BIG events. BIG has a track record of delivering excellent public engagement and science communication events.  Although a ‘STEM communicators Network’, BIG are much broader in their field than just STEM. They welcome all disciplines and thrive on interdisciplinary approaches including the arts as a means of reaching audiences with subjects. We therefore warmly welcome researchers from all Colleges to join us. We expect the workshop on the 24th November to be very interactive, rather than just listening to talks. This project is part of PERC’s efforts to develop people, create public engagement opportunities and to share good practice across the University. If you are interested in this one-of-a-kind opportunity we’d like to hear from you. As places are limited we anticipate this will fill very quickly, therefore get in contact early on to avoid disappointment. Expressions of interest must be submitted by October 30th, 2015. The cohort selected will be announced shortly after this date.


  • You must be a University of Birmingham researcher (senior academic, ECR, postdoc or PhD student)
  • You must be available to travel with the group to Newcastle-Upon-Tyne on the evening of the 23rd November, 2015 and available all day on November 24th, 2015 to attend the BIG workshop & team dinner
  • You agree to pay-it-forward to develop and deliver a future public engagement workshop with the rest of the team focusing on what the group learned during BIG training
  • You must be willing to feedback to PERC on your experience of participating in the process to help us evaluate the pilot programme’s effectiveness and value so as to improve future opportunities


  • BIG workshop, individual overnight accommodation, travel there/back and group dinner paid by PERC
  • BIG Membership for 1 year
  • Develop your public engagement, mentorship, event coordination and team building skills as part of your CV/personal growth as a researcher and individual
  • Gain ‘real world’ experience by putting what you’ve learned into practice as part of a supportive team working together
  • Make contacts with other researchers and practitioners interested in public engagement with research
  • Input into PERC goals and future development of public engagement at UoB
  • Karma from paying-it-forward! (Possibly)


To express interest or for more info email Caroline: