Lots of external organisations and community of practice groups run public engagement and science communication training. Find out more on this page.
There are a few key organisations who run well-established recurring sector-relevant conferences, symposiums and training, most notably the NCCPE who run the annual ENGAGE Conference and British Interactive Group who run the Little Event and the BIG Conference. Wellcome Trust, NERC and other major funders are also worth looking at, as they often run one-off events on specific themes or skills which can be very useful. Some of these opportunities tend to attract public engagement professionals as opposed to researchers, so it’s worth thinking about what you want to get out of any training you plan to undertake, especially if you are paying for it. For example, you could use Twitter to ask others who have taken part previously what you can expect.
National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement
The NCCPE help universities and the public engage with each other. They offer a number of different public engagement training schemes throughout the year such as the Engage Academy for Public Engagement Practitioners and Facilitators and the Engage Researchers’ Academy. They can also provide bespoke training on request. The NCCPE also organise the annual Engage Conference.
British Science Association, Media Fellowships
Fellowships are offered to practising scientists, social scientists, clinicians and engineers and provide placements working with national press, broadcast or internet journalists with the aim of building understanding between science and society. Placements last 3 to 8 weeks, and involve working within the constraints of the media to produce accurate and well-informed scientific pieces.
Involve/Consultation Institute, Evaluating Public Engagement
This one day course has been specially designed to look at the growing need for evaluation, and equip staff to apply best practice principles. Courses run throughout the year at various venues around the UK.
UWE Science Communication Unit, Science Communication Masterclass
An intensive four day course created to provide professional development in science communication. The masterclass draws on the existing expertise of the team that delivers UWE’s popular and practical MSc in Science Communication.
Famelab is an annual competition to find the next ‘new voice’ of science and engineering. You will get the opportunity to take part in a fun event, practice presenting your science to public audiences and if you get through to the final you will also receive special training which will contribute to your professional development.
Royal Society, Communication and Media Skills
The Royal Society provides three courses for scientists on communication and media skills; a one day communication skills course developing written and spoken communication skills; a one day media skills training course developing skills in working with television, radio, newspapers and other media; and a two-day residential course combining the two courses mentioned above.
Royal Society, Pairing Scheme Builds bridges between researcher workers and members of the UK parliament.
Here you can find some of the best examples of virtual training for public engagement with research.
A free short course aimed at early career researchers available on Futurelearn. It requires 6 hours’ study over three weeks. To find out more and sign up.
Experienced science communicator and presenter, Greg Foot, has launched a free online training course on YouTube that covers core content on the importance of engagement, audience targeting, how to use storytelling, creating demos and how to use video. Find it on YouTube here.
University College London have made a suite of their public engagement courses freely available online. Topics include: Introduction to public engagement, Public engagement as part of your research grant, Practical skills for public engagement, evaluating the impact of engagement. To find out more details visit Public Engagement at UCL here and register for access via their online learning platform here.
Script is a free training and networking resource for journalists, scientists and anyone who wants to communicate science in an engaging and accurate way. Search for free online courses on the SciDev.Net training website here and practical guides can be found on the Script Practical Guides section of their website here.
The team at the Being Human Festival have released a set of downloadable training resources covering; event formats, partnership working, venue selection and audience targeting. Find training at the toolkit section of their website here and example case studies from organisers of previous events can be read here.
As many projects move online during this restriction period, many experienced engagers are sharing their expertise. Sophia Collins of the Nappy Science Gang citizen science project and the Parenting Science Gang, which both aimed to engage parents with scientific topics, offers her advice on using Facebook here and tips on using Facebook can be found here.
Lifeology.io is a new educational platform which helps scientists work with artists and storytellers to produce better visual science communication products. It’s free to become a member, chat with members in a global network and engage in learning opportunities and live chats and webinars about science art and scicomm.
Labster is a virtual laboratory which aims to give students access to a realistic lab experience that will let them perform experiments and practice their skills in a fun and risk-free learning environment. They have a number of useful resources including webinars on how to teach and run science classes online including blog posts and a resource centre.
The National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement publishes a number of useful guides to help you plan your engagement (PER Team does a couple too!). They cover all aspects of planning, delivering an evaluating your PER project. Find them in the resources section of the NCCPE website and search ‘Guides’ .
A free online course for community engagement practitioners in low and middle-income countries is now live on The Global Health Network. The Practice and Ethics of Participatory Visual Methods for Community Engagement in Public Health and Health Science facilitating engagement processes with groups of community residents to generate creative visual materials and foster discussion and learning about health and health research.