What engagement training opportunities are available?
Imperial delivers a range of societal engagement-related training opportunities, which are designed to support our staff and students in developing high quality engagement work.
The College's central societal engagement team will be developing and piloting further opportunities during the academic year – so keep an eye out for new sessions coming soon and sign up to our newsletter.
Can’t decide which training would best suit your needs? Contact us.
Societal Engagement training for all staff
Developed with the Science Communication Unit, the Academy takes place over seven days across six months. It offers you the opportunity to explore the relationship between STEM research and our society, acquire practical engagement skills, and develop confidence, leadership skills and professional identity among a supportive cohort of colleagues. Applications for 2023/24 will open in August 2023.
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Our Masterclasses are a low-commitment, easy way to get familiar with engagement and kickstart your engagement activities. Find out about what public engagement is, why it's important and how to evaluate activities in our Core Masterclasses. Then explore our five further masterclasses that enable you to build on the knowledge and skills gained in the core sessions such as communication and engagement with controversial issues.
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Returning in November 2023, Engagement Day is our annual conference where staff from across the College come together to share knowledge and experiences related to societal engagement. Through insightful workshops, panels, and talks, our 2022 event was a return to an in-person conference and explored how to build on current engagement practices to enable a more diverse range of people to get involved with us through participatory methods. Full recordings are available.
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College training for students
Imperial College Union
- Imperial Plus is the Union’s student development programme that recognises volunteering efforts, helping students to identify and articulate the skills and experiences gained through volunteering that graduate recruiters’ value. All ICU training workshops can be accessed by any student recording their volunteer hours toward Imperial Plus - they’re free to attend and run regularly throughout the year.
- The Skills Development Programme (SDP), which is Endorsed by the Institute of Leadership & Management, goes one step further and recognises the skills you have developed alongside your volunteering hours through short, reflective assignments following the training workshops. Upon completing the Skills Development Programme you will received an ILM Endorsed Certificate, which clearly demonstrates to graduate recruiters the practical skills you have developed.
- The Pimlico Connection - The Union support students to volunteer to become Pimlico Connection Tutors, providing a half-day training session that aims to impart information about the English school system and the National Curriculum, address importance of clear communication as a tutor, introduce responsibilities and finally plan and deliver tutor sessions. This has also previously included a workshop on public speaking.
The Imperial Horizons programme offers a wide range of courses for all Imperial College undergraduates. It is designed to broaden education, inspire creativity and enhance professional impact.
i. Public Engagement - learn how to design and deliver interactive activities for public engagement.
ii. Communicating Research in Schools - learn about and practice communication techniques to help you develop talks and activities for school aged audiences. The course also covers the practical aspects of working in schools. Students who have completed this course can register to become an ‘Outreach Postgraduate Ambassador’ and receive details of opportunities available through the Outreach Office to work with schools.
iii. Science Communication: Reaching a Wider Audience - a lively face-to-face workshop will enable you to assess whether your public engagement activities are successful and help you to reveal the areas that may need fine-tuning. The session will be an opportunity to identify and refine your aims for public engagement activities, what you should focus on in your evaluation, and suitable methods and approaches. You will discover the value of evaluation, and also how evaluation can be enjoyable for you and your public participants.
iv. Patient and Public Involvement in Research - an interactive workshop will provide an introduction to patient and public involvement (PPI) in research. It will introduce participants to the differences between involvement, engagement and participation and set PPI in the wider research context. Participants will learn why PPI is important, where it can be undertaken in the research cycle, who to involve and how to evaluate its impact.
You may also be interested in:
- Three Minute Thesis Competition (3MT) - challenges PhD students to present a compelling oration on their thesis topic and its significance in just three minutes. 3MT develops academic, presentation, and research communication skills and supports the development of research students' capacity to effectively explain their research in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.
- Postgraduate Student Coaching Programme - The Graduate School's Postgraduate student coaching programme has been established to provide you with an opportunity to talk, independently from your academic department, about challenges you may be experiencing during the course of your studies. The programme primarily focuses on building effective working relationships and there may be other self-development issues that you wish to explore.
Student Recruitment and Outreach
- Postgraduate Student Coaching Programme – this scheme provides an opportunity for Post Graduates to work with local schools and inspire young audiences to consider studying science, technology, engineering, mathematics and business subjects. There are currently approximately 30 ambassadors enrolled on the scheme.
- Royal Institution’s Primary Maths Master Class - hands-on and interactive extracurricular sessions that are designed to improve the way staff communicate with primary school children, provided by the Royal Institution and hosted by the Outreach team.