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RCUK award Professor Peter McOwan £300k to grow culture of public engagement at Queen Mary, University of London

Queen Mary’s Professor Peter McOwan is to receive £300,000 over 3 years from Research Councils UK (RCUK). The Vice-Principal for External Relations and Public Engagement has successfully applied for research Catalyst funding, the purpose of which is to embed public engagement with research in UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).

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The opportunity follows on from the success of the Beacons for Public Engagement initiative which ended in December 2011. RCUK recognise that following the Beacons initiative, further support is required to embed public engagement in the higher education sector. The new funding is intended to act as a catalyst for culture change within HEIs to help them embed public engagement with research within their policies, procedures and practices.

Professor McOwan said: “I’m very pleased and encouraged by this award, which demonstrates how important Queen Mary considers public engagement to be. As publicly-funded researchers we have a real responsibility to engage with the public about what we are doing, how we are doing it, and why. This award from RCUK will enable us to realise further our commitment to public engagement and move towards achieving an environment in which it is a naturally integral part of what we do.” 

Professor John Womersley, RCUK Champion for Public Engagement with Research said: “RCUK believe that engaging with the public should be something all researchers do. This funding will help HEIs build on their current activities and create a culture where public engagement with research is fully embedded within that institution. I congratulate those researchers awarded funding and look forward to their successes serving as a model for other HEIs to adopt in future.” 

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