There are many public engagement training opportunities both at the University and beyond.

Generally speaking, public engagement with research involves intentional, meaningful interactions which facilitate mutual learning between academics and members of the public. The ‘public’ may be the ‘general public’ or a discrete stakeholder group outside the University. Mutual learning may include the acquisition of specific knowledge as well as the development of familiarity with different perspectives and world-views.

If you are interested in knowing more about what public engagement is and the benefits it brings, consult our strategy, hear from some of our researchers or take a look at the NCCPE website which has loads of further information. We believe the best training  for public engagement is having a go at it yourself, but training can increase your confidence and prepare you for the real thing so many people find this useful a place to start.

Internal Training

The PER Team designs, organizes and delivers training sessions and workshops throughout the year. We offer support at all levels, from beginner to expert and can also sign-post to other organisations (see external training). We value interdisciplinarity and the learning that can come from mixing different interests, expertise and perspectives. For this reason, most of our training opportunities are open to researchers from across all Colleges and, wherever possible, to external researchers, creatives and artists. We advertise all opportunities in our monthly newsletter or check out our current opportunities below.

PGR Advanced Skills: Research Communication and Public Engagement Skills – This module introduces postgraduate researchers (PGRs) to the main theories of public engagement (PE) and what it means for their research. Participants undertake online exercises, interactive assignments and workshops, to develop effective approaches and communication strategies. They then deliver their own PE activity and create a presentation and blog post based on their learning. Participants can also be nominated for the Alice Roberts PGR Excellence in Public Engagement Award. The module runs from February to July annually and is open to all PGRs. Get in touch to enrol for 2020.

The Engaged Researcher  – This an entry-level workshop to introduce researchers to engagement; what it means, why it is important and how to go about doing it. The session focuses on simple, practical  methods to get started in engaging different audiences with your own research. Workshops are held quarterly, although additional dates can be requested where there is sufficient demand. The next workshop will be held in Summer 2019. Get in touch at engage@contacts.bham.ac.uk to find out more.

Creative Engagement – This is a new series of hands-on workshops to demonstrate ways of working with creative practitioners to bring research to new audiences through often novel and/or unconventional techniques. The series kicked off in December 2018 with ‘Graphic Engagement’ featuring presentations on graphic novels, comics and graphic facilitation, as well as a practical session with renowned graphic facilitator, Pen Medonça. The second in the series took place on 27th March 2019 with a focus on Interactive Media: Games, Apps & More for Engagement. It included the participation of the Games Development Society. Our next event focuses on Immersive Methods & Performance for Engagement and took take place on May 23, 2019. Beyond that we have plans for a session on Podcasting and then Film.

Media Training for Researchers – This workshop is for researchers who want to understand more about how the media works, why they pick up on some stories rather than others and to improve communication skills for press releases, interviews, blogging and other media outlets. Content includes insights into how it all works as well as a chance to develop new media skills with help from from PER Team, media-savvy researchers and internal media experts. To be held in Autumn 2019, date TBC.

Leading to Engage (L2E) – A year-long training scheme for mid-career researchers to become Public Engagement Champions in their research area. Champions receive bespoke support and funding to develop their own activities and to learn how to support others. Each L2E cohort also gets the opportunity to shape public engagement strategy and decisions across the organisation by contributing to the PERC Committee. L2E 2019 will launch soon or get in touch to register your interest.

Undergraduate Personal Skills Award – Undergraduates who want to get involved in supporting public engagement can now claim PSA points for volunteering at PER events. Ask around in your department to find out about activities you can get involved in or look out in our newsletter. Find out more about PSA and enrol here.

Engagement for Impact – Demonstrating the impact of research on the world outside academia is becoming increasingly important. We can help with designing approaches and mapping stakeholders for impactful engagement and can work with individual groups up to whole departments. Even if you feel a long way off from being a REF Impact Case Study, early planning is key to making impact so let us know if you are interested in having us run a session.

Evaluation – Evaluation is usually the last thing we think of when planning engagement activities and so can end up being an add-on, but evidence of what you’ve done and the success and impact of your activities is crucial, both in order to get the most from your activities and to secure funding and recognition. PER Team can provide training on how to choose evaluation methods, what evidence to collect and how to analyse and present the information your activities demonstrate. Get in touch if you would be interested in attending this training.

Upcoming drop-in and College PER Forums – We also offer monthly Breakfast Brainstorm drop-in support and networking sessions and College PER Forums for LES, EPS and MDS. Any researchers who would like to help set up a Forum for CoSS or CAL, let us know. Breakfast Brainstorm: 9-11am, 26th June, 31st July, 28th August, 25th September 2019, EPS Forum: 19th June 2019, sign up hereMDS Forum: 10th July 2019 sign up hereLES Forum: date TBC, mid 2019.

Ad-hoc and Bespoke Training – PER Team have also delivered a range of other sessions and/or can bring in external experts where there is sufficient demand. Let us know if you require other types of training not currently listed here and we will endeavor to help, though we do require a minimum of 10 attendees to make a session work and we request that you provide attendees with refreshments if necessary, as we do not typically have budget to cover this for on-request sessions.