Engagement Academy

Applications closed

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Engagement Academy 2019-20

Applications for 2019-20 are now closed.

Explore the evolving relationship between STEM research and our society. Develop your engagement practice through experimenting with ideas and reflecting on your experiences. Build your confidence, leadership skills and professional identity, among a supportive cohort of colleagues.

This unique opportunity is delivered in partnership between Imperial's Science Communication Unit and Societal Engagement Team. The aim of the academy is to foster the development of a community of staff for whom SE is an integral, supported and valued part of their professional identity and practice, enabling Imperial to grow and maintain mutually beneficial relationships with society.

What does the Academy involve?

  • Seven sessions over six months, including a mix of seminars, practical workshops, visits and group discussions
  • Hearing from internal and external speakers
  • Reading and activities between sessions
  • Developing, delivering and evaluating your own practical engagement activity with support and feedback from session leaders as well as your group

What will I get out of taking part?

The Engagement Academy is different to other training courses. Through this extended programme you will have the time and opportunity to explore ideas in depth, try out activities and discuss themes and issues with your course mates. You will:

  • Explore different engagement methods, learn what leads to good practice and assess the suitability of different methods to engage target audiences with complex content.
  • Build lasting, supportive relationships with a diverse range of colleagues from across the College and enjoy a safe space dedicated to discussing engagement.
  • Build on your leadership and communication skills
  • Develop new engagement skills by taking part in practical activities and sessions led by specialists, as well as developing and delivering your own project.
  • Reflect on the evolving relationships between STEM research and our society, and your place in supporting Imperial to grow and maintain mutually beneficial relationships with society.
  • Reflect on and expand your professional identity to include societal engagement practice and develop your role as a champion for engagement.
  • Engagement activities that may support teaching and learning practice can be used to support an application for HEA fellowship via Imperial’s STAR framework.

What have previous participants thought?

'As always (and increasingly through the course) it is great to get together as a cohort and discuss - a lovely bunch of people (including the facilitators!)'

'Only through the Academy have we actually got the support where we can start to build something and see it realised, rather than just having a lot of ideas that we’re not really sure what to do with.'

Take a look at our short film to hear from those taking part: 

Engagement Academy 2017-18

Engagement Academy 2017-18


Information for potential applicants

Who is it for?

This is aimed at any Imperial staff member with a little or no experience in engagement but looking to develop this area of their work.

This course is not aimed at professional engagement practitioners with extensive experience.

Key dates

Applications for 2019-20 will open on Monday 7 October and will close on Friday 15 November.

Please note that participants will be expected to attend all of the below sessions.

Sessions will run between 10.00am-4.00pm on the following dates:

  • Day 1: Tuesday 14 January 2020
  • Day 2: Thursday 30 January 2020
  • Day 3: Tuesday 25 February 2020
  • Day 4: Tuesday 31 March 2020
  • Day 5: Tuesday 28 April 2020
  • Day 6: Tuesday 19 May 2020
  • Day 7: Tuesday 9 June 2020

The majority of sessions will be held on our South Kensington campus, with one session held in the Invention Rooms in White City.

How to book your place

You are required to have line manager approval to attend the Academy and deliver related engagement activities, and this will be followed up formally when the places have been confirmed.

Participants are selected on their motivations for developing their societal engagement practice and their specific hopes and expectations of the course.

We are not selecting participants based on a specific level of societal engagement experience – we ask this question within the expression of interest to understand what experience people will bring to the course. We are hoping for a diverse range of participants with various levels of experience and backgrounds in engagement.

We hope to run the Engagement Academy annually and will formulate a waiting list to support unsuccessful applicants to get a place on future programmes. 

Applications for 2019-20 will open on Monday 7 October and will close on Friday 15 November 2019. 

Apply online now, or alternatively please email societal_engagement@imperial.ac.uk if you would like to receive the application form in another format. 

For any other queries, please email societal_engagement@imperial.ac.uk.

Terms and Conditions

Please note participants will be expected to attend all seven sessions of the course. The course is free, however a cancellation fee of £150 per session, or £500 for the course will be charged for participants who leave.

Cancellation fees do not apply in cases of extenuating circumstances, for example leaving employment at the College or medical emergencies.

Further training opportunities

Evaluating Public Engagement

This lively masterclass will enable you to assess whether your public engagement activities are successful and help you to reveal the areas that may need fine-tuning.