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Public Engagement


The Centre for Public Engagement runs a range of internal training sessions to help prepare and support you to engage effectively with the public. Each training session is a mixture of presentations, activities, and discussions to provide you with the knowledge and practical skills to enable you to get involved with public engagement activities.

If you are new to public engagement, or are looking to familiarise yourself with the basic principles of engagement, we recommend attending one of our Public Engagement Masterclass sessions.

If you have some experience of public engagement, or are looking to focus on a particular area of engagement, we recommend attending our in-depth training sessions.

We are also able to offer bespoke training sessions for schools and faculties at Queen Mary, and training for groups external to the University.

CPE Training Courses 2020-21:

Please note: As part of the CPE's response to the COVID-19 situation, our training is now being offered through a mixture of online webinars and interactive sessions. Timings of sessions may be slightly altered to accommodate for these new formats.

Public Engagement Masterclass

This half-day workshop is designed for anyone looking to take their first steps in public engagement or those who have undertaken projects before but would like to cement their learning in this area. By the end of the session, you will:

  • Have an awarness of Queen Mary's approach to public engagement and the support available at the University for this work
  • Be able to shape engagement activities using the most appropriate method based on purpose, context and audience
  • Be able to apply best practice techniques in planning engagement, including monitoring and evaluation.

 Forthcoming dates:

  • Monday 8 March: 2pm-4:30pm, Online
  • Friday 7 May: 10am-12:30pm, Online
  • Thursday 1 July: 10am-12:30pm, Online

Book onto the Public Engagement Masterclass (search course code RD-PE-005)

Introduction to involving patients in your work

This workshop will introduce how engaging patients, carers and the public can serve as an effective means to inform health-related research throughout the research process. By the end of the session you will:

  • Understand what roles patients can play in research (not including clinical trials)
  • Have a variety of good practice examples of PPI from Queen Mary and UK researchers who have engaged clinical patients to inform and contribute to their research process
  • Understand practical and logistical elements of public and patient involvement, and be able to plan your own activities 

Forthcoming dates:

  • Monday 2 August: 10am-1pm, online

Book onto the Introduction to involving patients in your work session (search course code: RD-PE-006)*

Please note: we are happy to have individuals from Barts NHS Trust join us for this training, although you may be unable to book using the online system. If this is the case, please contact the CPE directly to book your space ( 

Introduction to working with the community

Engaging with communities can serve as an effective means to develop your work at Queen Mary and can make a positive contribution to the local area. This workshop is designed for anyone looking to engage a community where their research can have an impact, focussing on Tower Hamlets as an example. By the end of the session you will:

  • Understand how you can work with community organisations to not only engage with groups of people, but to also inform and contribute to the research process
  • Have a number of good practice examples of community engagement from Queen Mary and UK researchers that you can draw upon
  • Understand the pratical and logistical considerations to working with communities and explore ways to evidence the impact of community engagement

Forthcoming dates:

  • Tuesday 2 February: 10am-12noon, online
  • Wednesday 23 June: 10am-12noon, online

Book onto the Introduction to working with the community session (search course code: RD-PE-001)

Hands on Engagement: Taking Research to Events and Festivals

This workshop is designed to give you an introduction on how to best engage with drop-in audiences at events like festivals, pop-up stalls and museum lates. By the end of the session you will:

  • Learn more about the different types of events and festivals that you could take your research to
  • Understand how best to engage with audiences in the short, drop-in interactions of these types of events
  • Understand what the benefits and challenges are in taking part in these events
  • Have some understanding of how to creatively design activities for hands-on engagement

Forthcoming dates:

  • Friday 14 May: 10am-1pm, online

Book onto the Hands on Engagement session (search course code:)

Introduction to Evaluating Public Engagement

This workshop is designed to introduce you to the importance of evaluation in public engagement and introduce you to some of the tools and techniques you can use to achieve this. By the end of the session you will:

  • Understand why evaluation is so important for public engagement activities and how this can relate to the Impact agenda 
  • Understand how to plan for evaluation and embed this into your activities
  • Have explored different innovative ways of capturing feedback

Forthcoming dates:

  • Thursday 8 July: 10am-1pm, Online

Book onto the Evaluating Public Engagement session (search course code: RD-PE-004)

Introduction to working with schools and families

Engaging with schools and family audiences can be can be rewarding and inspiring for you and your audiences. This session will introduce you to key considerations to bear in mind when designing and delivering engagement activities with these audiences.  By the end of the session you will:

  • Understand how to adapt and tailor your activities for different groups of young people in different contexts
  • Understand the challenges and opportunities that come from working with schools and family audiences, and how to plan to ensure your activity is successful
  • Have an awareness of the support inside and outside of the university to promote best practice in working with schools and families

Forthcoming dates 2020-2021:

  • Monday 12 April: 10am-12:30pm, Online

Book onto the Introduction to Engaging with Schools and Families session (search course code: RD-PE-003)

I found the training very enjoyable and stimulating - it helped me to think much more widely about the different forms public engagement can take ... and the kind of dialogue I might have about my research.
— Cultural Geography PhD researcher

Bespoke sessions for schools and faculties:

The CPE is also able to provide bespoke courses for individual Schools and Institutes within Queen Mary. We have previously worked with colleagues to develop training sessions tailored to their specific needs and integrate public engagement training into existing teaching schemes. If you are interested in a bespoke session, get in touch with us to discuss your requirements.

External Training:

The Centre for Public Engagement is able to provide bespoke training courses for organisations external to Queen Mary for a nominal fee. If you are interested in our external training service, get in touch with the team to discuss further.

I found the session very helpful ... this is everything you need, in a clear and concise manner. It was spot on.
— Computer Science post-doctoral researcher