Public Engagement with Social Issues



Public Engagement to create Impact


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'Bug hunters' project at Spark Festival: demonstrating how your mobile phone can test and track infectious diseases.

The Creating Change project ran from 2012–2015. It aimed to use public and community engagement to increase impact derived from UCL research. The programme stemmed from a desire within UCL Public and Cultural Engagement (PACE) to enable more publics and communities to engage with UCL research that is relevant to them.

While this work is already supported at UCL by PACE, the funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) allowed new ideas to be tested, and gaps in support to be filled. It also allowed PACE to increase the scale of its activities and demonstrate the various ways we can embed research impact through engagement.

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Who we are

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UCL main campus in Bloomsbury

The Public Engagement Unit provides a variety of services to staff and students at UCL to build capacity for public engagement: from one to one training and support in public engagement skills, through to funding projects and providing toolkits.

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A 3D map of Somers Town: fellow Izaskun Chinchilla Moreno worked with Camden school children on cycle routes to school

Creating Change consisted of 5 schemes, all designed to help researchers and communities work together to create impact, but in different ways. 

These schemes resulted in 61 individual projects, many of which feature on this website.

All the projects that resulted through the Creating Change programme aimed to create an impact on society derived from the work the researchers were doing, and all researchers were supported by the UCL Public Engagement Unit to help them achieve this goal.

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The London Implant Retrieval Centre open days helped former patients knowledge and understanding of their procedures.

The key purpose of Creating Change was to use public and community engagement to create impact from UCL research. An impact from research can be defined as an effect, change or benefit on something outside of the actual research project. 

Each individual project needed to demonstrate the impact they intended to make before being funded or included, and then evaluate the impacts as the projects progressed.

The types of impacts have been grouped into the categories below. Many projects resulted in multiple or unexpected impacts.