Public engagement in research broadly refers to the many ways in which research can be shared with the public. Public engagement is a key way to inform others about your research; helping to increase public understanding and awareness of health and science, as well as increasing the transparency and accountability of research through constructive and positive conversations with wider society. image from great exhibition road festival

The definition of public engagement varies across sectors and organisations. At the Patient Experience Research Centre, we use NIHR's definition of public engagement which refers to activity 'where information and knowledge about research is provided and disseminated', however please note if you are applying for Wellcome funding, their definition of public engagement involves aspects of both involvement and engagement which includes informing, consulting, and collaborating with members of the public.

At Imperial, the Societal Engagement Team supports researchers to plan and undertake public engagement (defined similarly to that used by Wellcome), through their engagement toolkittraining sessions and seed funding for public engagement activity.  They also help to organise the Great Exhibition Road Festival (pictured right) - a free annual celebration of science and the arts in South Kensington and online, which Imperial researchers and staff are invited to get involved in.

You can find further public engagement case studies on our blog and on the Societal Engagement Team's webpage.