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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R01969X/1
Title: Enriching, enhancing and embedding a culture of public engagement with research at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Principal Investigator: Mills, Dame A
Other Investigators:
Logan, Professor JG Lafferty, Dr E
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Public Health and Policy
Organisation: London Sch of Hygiene and Trop Medicine
Scheme: RCUK PER Catalysts
Starts: 01 October 2017 Ends: 31 March 2018 Value (£): 37,461
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 London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is a world-leading centre for research and postgraduate education in public and global health with a mission to improve health and health equity in the UK and worldwide. It has over 1,400 members of staff, over 400 research degree students and an annual research income of more than £110 million. The School was named University of the Year in 2016 by Times Higher Education, in recognition of our response to the Ebola epidemic. We have an excellent track record in engaging the public with our research in the global and local communities where our research is conducted.

Since 2012, a Public Engagement Coordinator has provided support to staff and research degree students at the School to engage with the public. A part-time Public Engagement Officer has provided support in one of the School's three Faculties since 2015. Support provided includes training courses in public engagement, one to one support to incorporate public engagement in research funding applications effectively, opportunities to engage with diverse audiences such as at science festivals, and a Small Grants Scheme that provides up to £1,000 for researchers to plan and deliver public engagement projects.

Despite considerable growth in the number of School staff and research degree students who engage the public with their research, barriers to such engagement still exist. We want a better understanding of what these barriers are and how we can address them, for example by capitalizing on or strengthening existing support mechanisms or developing new ones that meet the needs of our staff and research degree students.

This project will survey staff and research degree students about 1) their public engagement with research (PER) activity, 2) their awareness, perception and use of existing PER support mechanisms, 3) the barriers they perceive or face in undertaking PER and 4) how they feel that these could be addressed. This will allow us to reflect up our existing successes in embedding PER activity as well as understand how to better support researchers to engage with the public in the future.

Using this information, we will take the School's current public engagement strategy (2012-2017) and update it for the next five years, in line with the School's central strategy. We will also build a practical framework that we can use to continually evaluate our progress against the priorities in the new public engagement strategy. This evaluation framework will allow us to evidence PER activity and the effectiveness of PER support in the future.

Informed by both the learning acquired through surveying staff and research degree students and the priorities in the new public engagement strategy we will implement new and/or more tailored tools for PER support. We will ensure that these are publicised effectively to staff and research degree students through innovative means. This will include initiating a PER awards scheme for formal recognition of outstanding engagement by staff and research degree students.

By reflecting on our progress to date and planning and implementing new mechanisms of PER support and recognition, this project will allow us to more effectively evidence and celebrate PER activity, measure the impact that formal PER support has had so far and further embed a culture of engaging the public with our research at the School.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Impacts
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Summary
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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.lshtm.ac.uk