Public Engagement with Research Committee (PERC)

The Public Engagement with Research Committee (PERC) provides strategic oversight of the Public Engagement with Research (PER) agenda at the University of Birmingham.

Originally formed in 2012, the group is chaired by Professor of Public Engagement with Science, Alice Roberts (clinical anatomist, author and TV presenter) and Professor Ian Grosvenor (Cultural Engagement lead). Other members of PERC include academic “Leading to Engage” public engagement champions and a number of champions from across Professional Services.

As part of an ongoing culture change initiative to sustainably embed public engagement with research at the institution, in Summer 2016 PERC began formally reporting into University Research Committee chaired by Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research & Knowledge Transfer, Professor Tim Softley (pictured below). This move we hope will provide increased senior ownership of the PER agenda and ensure public engagement culture change remains a priority at a high level.


Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research & Knowledge Transfer, Professor Tim Softley

There are a number of  public engagement with research (PER) champions across the University (Academic and Professional Services). Initially you might want to get in touch with a champion to discuss your ideas and the possibilities for public engagement. Collectively, these champions form what is currently known as the Public Engagement with Research Committee (PERC). PERC includes the cohort of 16 Leading to Engage (L2E) academic PER champions from across the five Colleges, as well as other staff. Find out who L2E are here. PERC meets quarterly to coordinate activities and future public engagement projects, as well as to allocate public engagement funding.

The University’s PER strategy is available to read here.

Also keep your eyes open for the people who are already doing great stuff independently in your area. Many people have done astonishing work to communicate their research findings to a wider audience, and will undoubtedly be great sources of advice and experience. We are keen to compile a list of other academics interested in public engagement to be profiled on these pages. If you would like to share your case study stories get in touch:

PERC Chairs

Alice-Roberts-4.jpg   ian

Professor Alice Roberts               Professor Ian Grosvenor


PER Team members, Leah Fitzsimmons

Leading to Engage academics

Eliot Marston

Elizabeth Westlake

Jon Wood

Debbie Ringham

Sheena Robertson

Laura Milner

Alex Conner

Frances Child

Claire Mullett

Vanessa Heggie