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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R019835/1
Title: Strategic Support to Expedite Embedding Public Engagement with Research (SEE-PER)
Principal Investigator: Dean, Professor T
Other Investigators:
Hart, Professor A Millican, Dr J Baxter, Professor S
Church, Professor A Wolff, Mr D
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Res, Enterprise & Social Partnerships
Organisation: University of Brighton
Scheme: RCUK PER Catalysts
Starts: 01 October 2017 Ends: 30 September 2019 Value (£): 106,809
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 Brighton has had long standing success in connecting its research with communities/public for impact and have implemented many of the recommendations made in the State of Play report (on mission, leadership and communications, support, learning and recognition) to develop a culture of public engagement with research. In REF 14 the University of Brighton was ranked 27th for Impact, and the university's approach to engaging with communities and the public underpinned this success. There has been consistent support for our Community University Partnership Programme (CUPP, https://www.brighton.ac.uk/business-services/community-partnerships/index.aspx) and its innovative and successful approach to partnership working via the investment of infrastructure and expertise. An established access and brokerage point is available for communities via CUPP's Helpdesk, which sparks new ideas and possibilities and turns these into emergent partnership activities. We have established mechanisms for developing new successful partnerships through 14 years of a CUPP run seed funding programme. We have been the recipient of 2 major investments from HEFCE: The Brighton and Sussex Community Knowledge Exchange and South East Coastal Communities (involving 9 universities working with their communities, see evaluation report at http://www.coastalcommunities.org.uk/Sussex%20SECC%20final%20report.pdf) were both substantial programmes of community university engagement that gleaned considerable learning.

However, a continual challenge for emergent work of this type is what happens with mature community university partnerships as a long term platform for Public Engagement with Research (PER). While there are a myriad of ways to keep good work going these are not always clearly articulated and supported. Additional pressure on such partnerships arise from internal tensions as academic staff balance PER with teaching and research and external challenges linked to the rapid external changes in UK Higher education. Some of the most successful partnerships involving the University of Brighton have become independent Social Enterprises and/or communities of practices (e.g. Boingboing - www.boingboing.org.uk) but many more partnerships exist in a hybrid state with different levels of ongoing connection with the university (e.g. Community 21, https://community21.org/).

The aim of this PER project would be to address these challenges at Brighton and produce outputs and outcomes that will be of value to universities in the UK and internationally who face similar challenges of sustaining mature partnerships, whilst also addressing a rapidly changing higher education policy landscape and the tensions facing academics to deliver PER whilst producing high quality teaching and research.

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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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.bton.ac.uk