Public engagement is a broad term for a number of activities aimed at sharing research with the public. It is an exchange of knowledge, allowing researchers to meet with the wider community, to interact, listen and learn about who might benefit from their research, and how their research might meet the needs of society. Public engagement is also a way of encouraging people to take an active interest in research.
Why is it important?
While gaining a better understanding of the growing health needs of society is imperative to medical researchers, increasingly, funding agencies are insisting on assessments of public engagement activity as a condition of research grants and fellowships. The National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement recently released a Concordat for Engaging the Public with Research; this is supported by the Research Councils UK (RCUK) and is a strategic move to demystify higher education and research in all fields. Public engagement is also a major priority for funding organisations, such as the Wellcome Trust and the Medical Research Council.
How can I get involved?
Are you looking to introduce your research to the broader public? NDM Strategic can help. Visit the NDM Outreach Opportunities page to learn more about the ongoing and upcoming outreach programmes available to NDM researchers. Also see our summary document for a list of events that we plant and support throughout the year, and the training and resources we can provide. If you are already taking part in public engagement, please contact NDM Strategic to ensure your activities are recorded and promoted effectively, or contact us if you would like to share your own engagement ideas.