Engagement Academy

Applications closed

Applications for 2022 will open on Monday 9 August.

A poem about the Engagement Academy

The Engagement Academy has been insightful and fun,
I would recommend it to everyone,
So many opportunities to learn new things, what great engagement truly means,
From concepting new ideas, evaluation, and everything in between,
I’ve learnt reflection is key at every stage,
And the importance of fully understanding the audience you wish to engage,
There are so many ways to communicate,
But a great engagement activity is not easy to create,
My objective is to inspire the next generation,
To spark curiosity, impact and influence their career aspirations,
For me partnership and collaboration are definitely key,
In order to develop the science in my engagement activity.

By Keisha Khyne-Sam, 2020 Academy Graduate

Explore the evolving relationship between research and society.

Develop your engagement practice by 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 Public 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 2022 will open on 9 August 2021.

Seven sessions will run between 10.00am-4.00pm on dates between November and May.

There will be a mix in online and in person sessions with face to face sessions being held on our South Kensington campus and at 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. 

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.