What is public engagement, why is it important, and how do you know if your public engagement activities are successful? Our masterclasses will help you build on your public engagement goals to deliver enjoyable and meaningful activities for you and your participants.

The Societal Engagement team offer eight masterclasses to cater for a range of engagement experience: 

  • Core engagement masterclass – for staff members and doctoral students with little or no prior experience of public engagement looking to expand their understanding and get involved. 
  • Six optional masterclasses – for staff and doctoral student to build on the context and background of the core masterclasses to broaden their skils and put their learnings into practice. 


Dates for our Autumn 2024/Spring 2025 masterclasses will be published in August.

Core Masterclass (1&2): Exploring, Planning and Evaluating Engagement 

Masterclass 3: Communication in Engagement 

Masterclass 4: Engagement Ideas: This masterclass will not be running (although we can offer it as a bespoke session for group bookings). For individuals, please sign up to one of our 1-2-1 Advice sessions, or contact us for support and guidance.

Masterclass 5: Engagement with Controversial and Sensitive Issues

Masterclass 6: Engagement, Funding and Impact

Masterclass 7: Digital Engagement 

Masterclass 8: Participatory Research


About the Masterclasses

Our core masterclass is run across one morning. 

This session provides an opportunity to find out why engagement is so important for major funders, explore approaches to quality engagement and discover opportunities for public engagement at Imperial and beyond. 

We will discuss how to plan and evaluate your engagement, covering the key steps to take in developing a public engagement activity, including how to assess what is effective and the areas that may need fine-tuning. You will discover the value of evaluation, and how it can be enjoyable for you and your public participants. 

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This session will enable you to build on your learnings from the core masterclass and put your ideas into practice. This skills-focused workshop will look at the key to effective communication, presentation and messaging, relevant across engagement formats, and will help you to tailor engagement to different audiences or contexts. The session will be highly interactive with plenty of opportunity to practice techniques and ideas.  

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If you would like to develop your ideas for a public engagement event or activity, come along to our masterclass and get inspired! This session will involve creative approaches, problem-solving and ideas generation to help participants develop public engagement activities or events with feedback and ideas from other members of the group.  

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Within this masterclass we will share experiences of communicating with the public around controversial, complex or emotive areas of research. We will develop practical tips for engaging with a range of perspectives in relation to controversial issues, and discuss how to engage the public with the research process and scientific evidence.

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Engagement with the public is an important route through which research can influence wider society, leading to many potential impacts and applications. This session will discuss how engagement can be a pathway to impact, including the funding and policy landscape, and how to plan for effective engagement with research. This masterclass is particularly relevant for anyone involved in writing funding applications or pathways to impact statements.

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Engaging online audiences has enormous potential for impactful two-way engagement. Not only can it complement face-to-face events, it can also reach new audiences on a global scale who might not otherwise have the chance to explore Imperial’s research. Join us to:

  • Discover a wide range of online tools and platforms suitable for public engagement and be inspired by real examples. 
  • Discuss the merits and limitations of digital engagement and gain awareness of key considerations
  • Explore how you can evaluate digital engagement and what success looks like.
  • Build confidence and motivation to engage online audiences with practical tips.

Find out more and sign up. 

This masterclass is based upon discussions and learning from Engagement Day 2022.  The session will give you the opportunity to explore the benefits of participatory research, when it is appropriate to take this approach with your engagement and the key considerations.  We will explore power dynamics and how to build trust and ensure all participants feel able to participate in the process.  

Find out more and sign up. 


You should complete the core masterclass before joining the optional masterclasses (sessions 3-8). If you have participated in some engagement training already (e.g. external training, Imperial Festival training, Engagement Academy) it may not be necessary to complete the core masterclass.  Please contact us to discuss your needs/interests at  

The eight masterclasses are repeated across the Autumn, Spring and Summer terms. We will hold the core masterclass and ‘Communication in Engagement’ on one day allowing you to complete them together or separately. 

Our masterclasses are free but space is limited, please sign up to each masterclass individually. 

Sessions are largely held in-person on our South Kensington campus (except for our Digital Engagement session which is held online).  If you are unable to attend in-person or would like to explore the options for training at an alternative campus, please contact us so that we can assess demand and discuss your needs.