Caption: Engagement Academy 2023/24 cohort

Engagement Academy 2022-23 cohort

Caption: Engagement Academy 2022/23 cohort

Caption: Engagement Academy 2021/22 cohort

Caption: Engagement Academy 2018/19 cohort

Caption: Engagement Academy 2017/18 cohort

Caption: The Engagement Academy course is accredited by the Institute of Leadership.

Applications are now closed

Applications for 2024/25 will open in August 2024.

Engagement Academy 2023/24

Read about our sixth cohort who succesfully developed their engagement practice and leadership skills.

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, 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 societal engagement is an integral, supported and valued part of their professional identity and practice, enabling Imperial to grow and maintain mutually beneficial relationships with society.

The Engagement Academy is externally accredited by the Institute of Leadership, recognising the transferable nature of public engagement skills, ideas, identity and expertise within leadership more broadly.  Academy participants are given a year’s membership with the Institute of Leadership and have access to online resources and professional development tools.

What does the Academy involve?

  • Seven sessions over seven months, including a mix of seminars, practical workshops, visits and group discussions. (Engagement Academy - draft programme)
  • Hearing from internal and external speakers
  • Reading and activities between sessions (approx. 1 – 2 hours per month)
  • 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

This is aimed at any Imperial staff member with a little experience in engagement but looking to develop this area of their work.

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

Unfortunately, the academy is not open to Imperial students.  If you are a doctoral student wanting to explore and develop your public engagement skills, please consider our programme of Engagement Masterclasses instead.

Sessions for 2024/25 will take place in-person (on Imperial campuses) from 10am – 4pm on the following dates:

  • Wednesday 23 October 2024
  • Wednesday 20 November 2024
  • Wednesday 11 December 2024
  • Wednesday 15 January 2025
  • Wednesday 12 February 2025
  • Wednesday 19 March 2025
  • Wednesday 30 April 2025

The academy is currently run in-person, on Wednesdays only and applicants are required to be available to attend all sessions.

If this makes attending the academy difficult for you, please contact us. If there is enough demand and interest, we will explore options to run the academy differently in future years.

Applications for 2023/24 are now closed. Applications for 2024/25 will open in August 2024.

  • 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 do not select 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 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 or support with completing your application, please email