Imperial's Engagement Academy, open to all staff, has been recognised for supporting improved leadership practice through high-quality training.
The Engagement Academy is a six-session training programme open to all staff at Imperial that takes place over seven months each year. The informative and interactive sessions enable staff to explore the evolving relationship between science and society whilst developing their engagement practice by experimenting with ideas and reflecting on experiences. Applications are now open to be part of the 2021-22 cohort.
The programme is designed and delivered by Imperial’s Public Engagement Team collaboratively with the Science Communication Unit and is an opportunity for staff to build confidence, leadership skills and professional identity within engagement, among a supportive cohort of colleagues.
"Imperial’s Engagement Academy offers an excellent programme of learning that supports high-quality leadership development" Gaynor Lewis , FInstLM, MSc Director of Strategic Partnerships
It has been running for three years with 45 members of staff completing the Academy so far. This year, its high-quality content, learning materials and approaches have been recognised by the Institute of Leadership and Management. “Imperial’s Engagement Academy offers an excellent programme of learning that supports high-quality leadership development,” said Gaynor Lewis, Director of Strategic Partnerships at the Institute. With this new approved course status, Academy participants will be provided access to additional resources available through the Institute, as well as those introduced within the course itself. “We are delighted to accredit this course and look forward to having staff at Imperial take advantage of the wider benefits this accreditation brings.”
Amy Seakins, one of the Academy teaching leads from the Public Engagement team, says, “I’m delighted that the Engagement Academy has received approved status by the Institute of Leadership and Management. This will be the fourth time we have run the programme and participants always put such a lot into taking part. This new accreditation recognises that time and energy, and hopefully provides some extra added-value which will be beneficial in their work going forwards. Public engagement involves many important leadership qualities – from communication, creativity, reflection, project management and teamwork – and the Institute were really positive about how the Academy supports participants from all roles across Imperial to become future leaders.”
The programme benefits from expertise and approaches drawn from the internationally-renowned Master’s courses led by the Science Communication Unit, as well as practical opportunities and connections through the Public Engagement team and their networks. Together with this new external accreditation, the Academy makes for a valuable development opportunity for any member of staff at Imperial to engage wider audiences with their work.
“We believe that the research and teaching we do can be enhanced if we engage wider society,” says Vicky Brightman, Head of Public Engagement at Imperial. In order to do this, Vicky says, “we need to support our colleagues to do it well.” This, for her, is what the Engagement Academy is about.
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