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The Public Engagement Unit works with individuals, teams and departments to build capacity for institutional change.

Our training is designed to assist staff and students whatever the stage of their public engagement journey. Whether you’re just starting out and need support finding your voice to communicate your research to others outside the university, or whether you’re ready to develop a dialogue, make collaborative decisions and work with external groups

The training we currently offer is detailed here. 

Online/remote training

We have developed a package of online training available for you to complete at any time, wherever you are in the world. These courses are designed to be taken in order, but you can dip in and out if you are looking for specific content.

PLEASE NOTE: this training is delivered through UCL eXtend, an online platform for training. When you initially follow the links you will need to sign up. Please sign up or log in using your UCL credentials. To do this use the link to "Log in using your account on 'UCL (University College London)'". 

Module 1. Introduction to public engagement

In this module we look at how to define public engagement, the history of public engagement in research and why public engagement should be part of your research. 

Learning Outcomes
By the end of the module you will be able to: 

  • Recognise a range of different definitions for public engagement
  • Understand the definition used by UCL 
  • Have a good understanding of the background to public engagement as it applies to research
  • Identify the key benefits of public engagement with research
  • Recognise the three main approaches to public engagement with research

Sign up for this module

Module 2: Public engagement as part of your research grant

During this module, we look at how to incorporate public engagement within your research and ways in which your public engagement activities can be funded.

Learning Outcomes
By the end of this module you will be able to:

  • Identify the aims and objectives of your programme.
  • Recognise the three main approaches to public engagement with research.
  • Understand the stages of the public engagement process.
  • Understand the benefits of embedding engagement into research from the start.

In addition, by the end of the module we expect that you will:

  • Recognise the diversity of audiences for public engagement.
  • Understand what funders expect from public engagement elements of the application.
  • Understand how to find funding streams for engagement, separate to research funding.
  • Recognise where to go for support around funding your public engagement activities.

Sign up for this module

Module 3: Practical skills for public engagement 

During this module, we look in more detail at the type of groups you may wish to work with (as partners, stakeholders and during your engagement). We will also look at methods of engagement and provide some examples to inspire you. Finally we will consider the ethics and practicalities of running your engagement activities. 

Learning Outcomes
By the end of this module you will be able to:

  • Understand how to identify and find your public community.
  • Recognise and choose from a variety of methods of engagement.
  • Understand the common pitfalls in engagement and how to overcome them.
  • Identify gaps in your knowledge and next steps in learning.

Sign up for this module

Module 4: Evaluating the impact of engagement

During this module, we provide an overview of the evaluation process - what is evaluation? How do you develop an evaluation question? What are the stages of planning your evaluation? And what are the methods most suited to your activities. 

Learning Outcomes
By the end of this module you will be able to:

  • Understand what evaluation is
  • Understand the evaluation process
  • Develop an evaluation question
  • Understand the difference between quantitative and qualitative evaluation methods
  • Identify the strengths and weakness of a range of classic and creative evaluation methods
  • Choose the most appropriate methods for your evaluation activities
  • Understand what impact is

Sign up for this module

Find Your Voice

This session is for postgraduate students at the start of their engagement journey, or those who want help to develop the ability and confidence to communicate their research to public groups. This will include practical tips for speaking and the benefits, aims and evaluation of these activities. The session has a particular focus on audience identification and the use of these skills for a variety of contexts. This training is delivered through the UCL Doctoral Skills Development Programme.

Find out more and book

Train and Engage

Train and Engage is for postgraduate research students. It provides the opportunity to attend public engagement training and then apply for grants of up to £1,000. These interactive and challenging sessions are provided by UCL Public Engagement Unit and feature group and individual work as well as the chance to develop your own ideas for public engagement in your research. This training is delivered through the UCL Doctoral Skills Development Programme.

Find out more and book

Public Engagement: Skills and Practice

This day long event is for UCL research staff who want to embed public engagement into their work. Research staff will explore how public engagement could fit into their own work, hear from people who have done innovative engagement activities, and practice key skills that will help with their own engagement.

Find out more and book

Commissioned training

We can also run any of our existing training sessions outlined above for groups of UCL staff and students on request. We would normally ask for three months’ notice for this kind of request and will do our very best to meet demand whenever we have capacity as a team.

For more information - email us.

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