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Public Engagement at Manchester

Guides and toolkits

Take a look at some of these useful guides and toolkits, which aim to help support your public engagement activities:

Getting started in public engagement

Advice and Documents Required for Public Engagement Events - Written by researchers at the University of Manchester for other researchers, this guide provides practical advice, examples forms such as risk assessments and key contacts for running your public engagement events at the university. Download this guide (pdf).

Vitae - The engaging researcher - A brief introduction to public engagement for researchers, which seeks to inspire and equip more people to engage the public with their work.  This taster publication will hopefully inspire lots of researchers to engage the public in their work. Download this guide (pdf).

RCUK - What's in it for me? The benefits of public engagement for researchers - Researchers from across the UK talk about share some of their personal highlights and first hand experiences and benefits of engaging with the public. Download this guide (pdf).

NCCPE - How to Do It - This section of the NCCPE website provides a useful set of quick practical guides on topics such as audiences, discipline-specific approaches, project management and collaborative partnerships.

RCUK - Engaging Young People with Cutting Edge Research - A guide for researchers and teachers, providing helpful signposts and opportunities to both researchers and teachers on how to get started working together. Download this guide (pdf).

RCUK - Listening to the Public - A collection of guides and reports on listening to the public and toolkits from various research councils and made them available online. These include guides that help with communication, making events more interactive, evaluating the impact of your event.

Sense About Science - Public engagement: a practical guide - Involve the public and involve them early. A practical guide for researchers on involving the public in working out how to communicate research findings. Download this guide (pdf)

UK Science and Discovery Centres: Effectively engaging under-represented groups
This report brings together a series of case studies to showcase the range of science programmes and activities that are run by science and discovery centres and museums across the UK to inspire under-represented groups with science and engineering.

ESRC - Public engagement guidance
This online guide takes you through the different steps you should consider to make your activity successful. It also helps you to consider at what stage in your research programme you might implement public engagement activities.

When and how to use Citizen Science: best practice guides
Should you set up a citizen science project? Our guides will take you through the steps which will help you decide when you should choose and how to use citizen science. It is supported by the full project report. The project was funded by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).

Resources and opportunities in public engagement
A quick start guide to resources and opportunities available to help and support your public engagement activity. The advice and ideas in these resources can be transferred from one discipline area to another so try not to limit yourself to those within your own research area. Download this document (pdf).

Engage2020 Action Catalogue - an online decision support tool that is intended to enable researchers, policy-makers and others wanting to conduct inclusive research, to find the method that is best suited for their specific project needs.

Advice: Top Tops and #EngageMatters


Evaluating your public engagement

Manchester Beacon - Evaluating public engagement - This guide provides support for quantitative and qualitative evaluation for those running public engagement events or projects supported with Beacon funding, for example community groups, cultural organisations, academics, researchers, students and public engagement staff. Download this guide (pdf).

Evaluating your public engagement activities: Developing an evaluation plan - This step-by-step guide shows you how plan your evaluation process for public engagement activities. It summarises what you can going to do, why you are doing it and how you will undertake the process. Download this guide (pdf).

RCUK - Evaluation: Practical Guidelines - For those leading projects to engage general audiences in science, social science, engineering and technology. It is intended to help project managers evaluate individual projects, regardless of their experience of evaluation. Download this guide (pdf).

Royal Academy Engineering - Ingenious - This website hosts a very useful evaluation guide and FAQ, example questionnaires and a question bank that will help you shape your evaluation plans.

University of Sheffield - Evaluating Public Engagement Toolkit - This online guide will explores the various factors you need to consider to ensure your evaluation is robust. It may be helpful to think about evaluation as a process illustrated by the evaluation tree metaphor, designed by Fran Marshall.

UCL Evaluation Toolkit - This online guide is designed to encourage those running public engagement activities to think through and choose the most appropriate methods and techniques to evaluate the delivery and impact of their activities.

Inspiring Learning - Question Bank - Developed by the Museums, Library and Archives Council, you can use and adapt these questions to create tools which help to find evidence of learning from your public engagement activities. Download the bank (pdf)

Evaluation of Public Engagement Training - The University of Manchester runs two workshops to support your evaluation activities:

Evaluation Plan Case Studies - There are some excellent examples of evaluation reports freely available but knowing where to find them, and having the time to read through all of them can be difficult. To help you in planning the evaluation of your own public engagement activities, we've put together a series of one page evaluation plan case studies. These cover a range of disciplines and different approaches, and if you are keen you can access the full report.

Better Evaluation - This extensive online resource is an international collaboration to improve evaluation practice and theory by sharing and generating information about options (methods or processes) and approaches. Useful for both public engagement and research purposes.

The bigger picture

The engaged university: A manifesto for public engagement - As part of the Russell Group, the University of Manchester has signed up to the manifesto for public engagement, which demonstrates a strategic commitment to sharing our knowledge, resources and skills with the public, and to listening to and learning from the expertise and insight of the different communities with which we engage. It also demonstrates a commitment to managing, developing and supporting public engagement activities and sharing effective practice. Download this guide (pdf).

See also The Unviersity of Manchester Public Engagement Strategy 2017 - 2020.

RCUK - Inspiration to Engage: Concordat for Engaging the Public with Research - Showcases compelling examples of public engagement practice across the higher education and research sectors, how public engagement is being embedded in policies and practices, as well as the benefits to researchers and their institutions. Download this guide (pdf).

RCUK - Concordat for Engaging the Public with Research - This website outlines the expectations and responsibilities of research funders with respect to public engagement to help embed public engagement in universities and research institutes. Download this guide (pdf).

If you are wondering how you can help to implement this Concordat within the university then you might find these stakeholder briefings useful:

Ipsos MORI - Public Attitudes to Science - The 2014 consultation is the fifth in a series of studies looking at attitudes to science, scientists and science policy among the UK public. This online resource contains a useful of reports, presentations and videos.

Wellcome Trust - Public views on medical research - Our Monitor survey explores the public's thoughts on medical research, science and health. Every three years we survey hundreds of people across the UK. The most recent survey took place in 2015. Read an overview of survey findings on the Wellcome Trust blog.