Sharing the wonder and importance of what we do
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Public engagement with research
What is societal engagement?
Societal engagement expresses Imperial’s commitment to sharing the wonder and importance of what we do. It is about how we engage with the public – including schools, patients and local communities – to ensure that our education and research benefits society. You can find out more about our aims and activities in our Societal Engagement Brochure and 2016/7 Societal Engagement Highlights Brochure.
Societal Engagement Framework
The Societal Engagement Framework has been developed to bring about a step change in our approach to societal engagement. It aims to strengthen how we recognise, support and embed engagement with the public as an integral part of our work. There are four key areas of focus:
- Schools outreach and widening participation
- Local community engagement
- Patient engagement
- Engagement with research
View the Societal Engagement Framework (PDF), or alternatively the key initiatives and enablers can be viewed in the sections below:
1. Reach out to children in their earliest years (ages 0-11)
- Support teachers to engage in inspirational science and maths teaching through CPD
- Develop platforms for reaching out to primary schools through hub-and spoke relationship models with secondary schools
- Enable targeted visiting of relevant primary schools by staff, students and alumni
- Explore ways to effectively engage primary schools through piloting new initiatives and programmes
2. Sustained outreach for young people (ages 11-18)
- Expand the provision of sustained cohort-based secondary school programmes aimed at widening participation
- Promote initiatives that support STEM university students considering teaching as a career
- Enable targeted visiting of relevant secondary schools by staff, students and alumni
- Provide more experiential opportunities for young people to engage with the practice of our research
3. Make an impact as an anchor in our local communities
- Listen to our local communities and build ongoing relationships based on shared priorities
- Encourage the College to be actively involved with our local communities through volunteering
- Establish targeted local activities and programmes to improve local education and health outcomes
- Make our campuses more open and engaging for the public through dedicated shared spaces
4. Engage patients to improve understanding and healthcare
- Forge strong relationships with a large, active and open panel of patients, carers and families
- Build awareness of the value and importance of working in partnership with patients on research
- Ensure staff and students have the skills, resources, opportunities and incentives for patient engagement
- Create shared spares for reciprocal engagement between patients and researchers
5. Embed an institutional culture of engagement with research
- Develop an institutional concept for engagement with research and integrate into our practice
- Build mutually beneficially connections between staff, students and the public through engagement
- Develop innovative theory and practice for engagement with research and establish Imperial as a centre for excellence
- Enhance and develop our institutional platforms for engagement with research
- Develop collaborations with neighbouring institutions and communities in London
- Work with our peers to share best practice in engagement
- Engage in strategic collaborations to achieve scale and impact, where aligned and sustainable
- Leverage our position as a global university
7. Evaluating Impact
- Systematically monitor and evaluate our societal engagement activities
- Evidence the impact of societal engagement through original research
- Incorporate engagement more broadly in measures of research impact
8. Supporting our people
- Create an enabling culture and environment for excellence and innovation in societal engagement
- Develop internal resources, practical help and support for staff, students and alumni
- Ensure that staff, students and alumni have access to the training necessary to deliver excellence in engagement
9. Sustainable funding
- Put in place systematic and coordinated processes for identifying and capturing relevant funding opportunities for societal engagement
- Build a sustainable funding base through a mixed portfolio of philanthropy, corporate, government, and charitable sources
For more information on our Societal Engagement Framework, contact us at email@example.com.
Engagement in action
Bugs Day! Silwood Park, July 2015. Members of the public were invited to visit the Campus and meet some of the College's leading researchers on ecology and ecosystems, to find out more about the important role that insects play in sustaining and maintaining the environment and habitats.
The Heart and Lung Convenience Store: In November 2015, visitors of all ages were invited to a one-off collection of interactive exhibits and installations exploring how medicine is becoming more available, more personalised and more convenient.
In May 2016, Helen Sharman was joined by her space crew and fellow astronauts from across Europe to answer questions from students at Imperial College London.
School students take part in the 2016 Sutton Trust Summer School, a residential programme that offers subject-specific learning and a taste of university life.
In May 2017, members of the public enjoyed live science demonstrations and hands-on activities at our annual Imperial Festival.
In October 2017, local residents participated in maker sessions at our Community Open Day at The Invention Rooms in White City.
President's Awards for Excellence in Societal Engagement
The President's Awards for Excellence in Societal Engagement are annual awards to recognise and reward staff, students and community partners who have delivered excellence in schools engagement, community engagement, engagement with research and/or patient engagement.