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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R01972X/1
Title: StAndEngaged
Principal Investigator: Woollins, Professor JD
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Research Policy Office
Organisation: University of St Andrews
Scheme: RCUK PER Catalysts
Starts: 01 October 2017 Ends: 30 September 2019 Value (£): 106,857
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
08 Sep 2017 SEE-PER Panel Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The University of St Andrews will catalyse culture change using approaches pivoting around governance of Public Engagement with Research (PER), increasing visibility of PER across the organisation, sustaining and increasing the impact and quality of public engagement, providing recognition and reward, and establishing a pathway to future sustainability of support.

We will establish a PER working group led by a Senior Academic Lead from the office of the Principal and commit to appointing academic leads for PER in at least 3 Schools within the 12 months of grant activity, one of which will be in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. Our longer-term goal is to have PER included in School strategies, policies, structures and processes.

Related to this we will create a network for professional services supported by developing a PER training workshop tailored for support units in association with National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE). A key aim here will be to establish, in collaboration with researchers and university support units, a common language and sense of purpose around PER including forming institutional definitions in the field of PER.

By assessing the level and appropriateness of training provision for PER we will identify any gaps in delivery and immediately act to fill these, creating a rounded offering of PER and PER related training presented as a portfolio of public engagement (PEP). This will be coordinated by our Centre for Academic, Professional, and Organisational Development (CAPOD) and will be integrated into externally recognised and well established 'Passport' programmes of staff development. Training will increase the quality, sustainability, and visibility of PER in the institution. Working closely with CAPOD we will strive towards external recognition for our suite of training.

We will further encourage the quality of PER by engaging external partners including the creative community through the university managed Byre Theatre. The Byre Theatre hosts many of our PER activities involving diverse audiences from schools to research festivals. Part of this collaboration will include an external evaluation of cultural consumption trends and the needs of resident and transient audiences in our rural location, both engaged and disengaged in activities. Results will allow us to determine the most accessible and relevant delivery methods and to identify under-served populations.

An important strand in quality will focus on ethical dimensions of PER. While some very robust work has been published in the areas of patient and community participation, we will focus on wider delivery and evaluation, investigating when PER becomes advocacy and how this impacts on delivery and trust in public engagement. A further area of interest will be in ethics of evaluation methodologies. This will result in the creation of a set of guidelines we will encourage to be adopted institutionally and offer as a resource to the wider PER community.

We will also strive to embed PER as integral to research and research careers, working with relevant professional services to include PER in job descriptions, performance reviews and promotion criteria.

Further, we will establish a set of internal awards at an annual internal PER conference while continuing to pursue recognition for high quality activities through external awards. Bursaries will be made available for researchers to present PER activity at either specialist subject or PE conferences.

Evaluation throughout this project will give us a greater understanding of resource needs (time, costs and staffing capacity) to sustain high quality, relevant, and accessible PER. From this we will present a renewed business case for University investment in PER.

Ultimately, the project aims to create a culture of high quality engagement with dynamic governance, an increased knowledge of resource, and higher levels of recognition for PER activity.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.st-and.ac.uk