Public Engagement

Good practice guides

The Centre for Public Engagement has  worked with staff across the college to create a collection of  guides for use in different public engagement situations. See the first few guides, and links to further reading here.

We are currently working on a range of new guides and welcome any suggestions for topics that people believe would make valuable guides for public engagement.

Working with the Curriculum

Integrating activities and resources into the national curriculum is a good route to working with school groups as time-strapped teachers often find it easiest to allow school children out of classes if the activity enhances their everyday learning.

Working with the National Curriculum [PDF 519KB] 

Links to further reading

Doing a basic evaluation

Evaluation can be a powerful tool to help you develop and improve your engagement activity, but if tacked on as an afterthought, it can produce data which is not useful and never used. Read this guide for advice on effective evaluation of activities.

Doing a basic evaluation [PDF 177KB]

Links to further reading

Influencing UK Policy

There are various routes into policy making, from directly affecting current laws to networking opportunities so that your name is known in policy making circles. 

This guide provides an introduction to official and unofficial channels to reach UK policy actors.

Influencing UK policy [PDF 337KB]

Select Committee Open Calls

Select Committees direct their work through inquiries, which usually feature an open call for public evidence, which allows anyone to feed their insights into the committee process.

This one page worksheet provides a brief guide to the key things to know and think about when submitting evidence through this process.

Select Committee UK call [PDF 329KB]

Policy Briefings

A policy brief is a concise document that aims to clearly present research findings to policy actors with the intention of making recommendations for action or further discussion. 

This guide provides an overview of their applications, presentation and how to get them in front of the right people.    

 Policy Briefings [PDF 436KB]

Planning a Public Event

Public events cover a wide range of activities with the common feature of providing an open invitation to attend. However, this doesn't mean events should target simply a 'general public' for effective public engagement.

This guide provides the basics needed to plan an event that effectively engages the public with research and teaching.

Planning a public event [PDF 230KB]

Work with Centre of the Cell

Centre of the Cell (CotC) is an award winning interactive science centre based at QMUL that delivers science shows and workshops, interactive games, public talks and a youth membership programme.

This guide explains how to co-develop public engagement and outreach activities with the centre through their menu programme.

Working with the centre of a cell [PDF 532KB]

Creating Engaging Podcasts

Podcasts can provide a relatively cheap and simple means of communicating your research to a potentially wide audience.  

This guide provides the basics needed to plan, design and create an engaging podcast, as well as to make yourself heard amongst the wide range of podcasts out there.

Creating engaging podcasts [PDF 265KB]

Promoting Online Content

It can be easy for online content such as videos and podcasts to become lost amongst the range of other content available online and so it is important to identify ways of identifying and attracting an audience.

This guide provides basic tips and tools for designing your content to attract attention and reaching out to promote what you have.

Promoting online content [PDF 375KB]

Evaluating Online Activity

Evaluating public engagement allows projects to report on progress and identify learning points, however, gauging the numbers of users and their behaviour can be difficult.

This guide introduces two systems for collecting statistics on user behaviour, explaining how to use these for evaluating online public engagement activities.

Evaluating online activity [PDF 405KB]

If you're interested in disseminating your research through the media, the QMUL Public Relations team have an online Media Guide for working with the media and journalists to amplify your work.

The National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement also has lots of guides to good practice in public engagement, including information on how to work with science and discovery centres, using focus groups in research, and engaging with policymakers.

The NIHR INVOLVE website has a wide range of advice on patient involvement, including a comprehensive online resource page with advice, case studies and useful templates, as well as budgeting advice and an involvement cost calculator. You can also find information on the UCLPartners website, or subscribe to their monthly newsletters for updates and events.