About us

About us

The Centre for Public Engagement (CPE) provides support for public engagement at the University, working with those already involved and encouraging others to take their first steps. A small department within the Marketing and Communications Division of the University, the Centre works to:

  • provide support for training, communications and accessing funding through email bulletins, web resources and individual approaches tailored to your needs
  • host events that bring together academics, students and the public such as Twilight Talks, exhibitions and other discussion events, promoted through our What’s on guide
  • capture case studies within our Public Engagement Stories collection
  • build an engagers’ network, a body of staff active in engagement through meetings of departmental engagement representatives and the University of Bristol Engage conference
  • collaborate with external organisations interested in engaging with the University through Engaged University fora and membership of groups such as the Bristol Natural History Consortium
  • share ideas about public engagement with other universities through the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement.

Public engagement is already well established at the University and you can read about Public engagement - a Bristol tradition. In some cases, it takes place independently of the Centre for Public Engagement. That many departments have embraced public engagement as an integral part of their teaching and research is inspiring. This contributes to the shared process of building a positive internal environment for public engagement across the University. Examples of this engagement can be found in our brochure, Public Engagement at the University of Bristol (PDF, 862kB).

If you are experienced or completely new to public engagement and have any queries in this area please contact us.

Engaged University strategy

Public Engagement is part of the University of Bristol’s core business and is integral to research and enterprise, and is a characteristic of teaching that is grounded in societal need. Our Engaged University Strategy has three core aims:

  • to support dialogue between staff/students and the public,
  • to ensure engagement activity is attuned to society’s needs and aspirations,
  • and to help set the national agenda in public engagement.

Across the University there is strong commitment to public engagement from all faculties, evidenced by some nationally and internationally acclaimed projects. Annually, over 71,000 members of the public, including school children, are involved in University-run engagement activity. Our Engaged University Steering Group is chaired by the University's Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research, and external members of this Group help ensure that our work is attuned to society’s interests. We work closely with the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement on national issues, including working closely with HEFCE and the Research Councils on public engagement and the impact agenda.

Further information on the University of Bristol Engaged University strategy.

A copy of the CPE action plan (PDF, 45kB) is available for download.

About the staff

Kate Miller, Acting Head of Centre

I am the first point of contact for community organisations wishing to work with the University, and for staff with queries about public engagement and impact. My role includes brokering partnerships with outside organisations, running the Engaged University Steering Group and directing the public engagement programme. Before joining the Centre I managed the public engagement programme at the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and my background is in bioscience engineering.

Tel: +44 (0)117 33 18321
Email: kate.miller@bristol.ac.uk

Fiona Hyland, Acting Academic Liaison Officer

My role is to provide advice and support to staff and students wishing to get involved in public engagement activities. This includes helping researchers develop, evaluate and obtain resources for their projects and working with academics to articulate public engagement as part of Pathways to Impact statements and REF case studies. I am currently helping to coordinate the University's contribution to Bristol Green Capital 2015. My background is in health psychology and education.

Tel: +44 (0)117 33 18324
Email: fiona.hyland@bristol.ac.uk

Sacha Russell, Public Engagement Assistant

I have overall responsibility for the provision of administrative support to the Centre.

Tel: +44 (0)117 33 18313
Email: sacha.russell@bristol.ac.uk

Diane Thorne, Events Officer

Diane Thorne My role includes organising a programme of Twilight Talks throughout the year. Organising the University's contribution to Doors Open Day. Supporting the Academic Liaison Officer with the Engage Conference. Working with the Schools Partnership Coordinator. Organising and managing schools visits to our events such as Discover and also helping other activities such as Know your Bristol.

Tel: +44 (0)117 33 18318
Email: diane.thorne@bristol.ac.uk

Mireia Bes, Public Engagement Officer

I coordinate large-scale public engagement activities for the University of Bristol often in collaboration with other external organisations. I work with researchers and students to develop creative ideas for engagement. Before joining the Centre I coordinated the public engagement activities at the Barcelona Science Park and was involved in educational European projects on health and nanotechnologies. My background is in biology.

Tel: +44 (0)117 33 18315
Email: mireia.bes@bristol.ac.uk

Chloe Anderson, Schools Partnership Coordinator

I'm coordinating an RCUK-funded project called the School-University Partnership Initiative (SUPI). The aim of this work is to build upon existing relationships with local schools, and engage school students with the cutting-edge research, enabling them to get involved themselves. Our key school partners are two Teaching School Alliances; the Cabot Learning Federation and the North Somerset Teaching School Alliance, led by Backwell School.

Tel: +44 (0)117 92 88996
Email: chloe.anderson@bristol.ac.uk

Ben Meller, Public Engagement Associate: SPHERE

 I work for the SPHERE project which will develop home sensor systems to monitor the health and wellbeing of people living at home. My role is to deliver the public engagement strategy for the project.

Tel: +44 (0)117 33 18313
Email: ben.meller@bristol.ac.uk

Amanda Woodman-Hardy, Communications Officer

Amanda Woodman-Hardy I coordinate communications activity around CPE events and curate and manage content for the website. I am editor of the Engagers' Digest newsletter, Public Engagement Stories and CPE's twitter account @CPE_Bristol. I am also the university's communication liaison for Bristol Green Capital 2015.

Tel: +44 (0)117 33 17131
Email: amanda.woodman-hardy@bristol.ac.uk

Hannah Tweddell, Community Based Learning Coordinator

Image of Hannah Tweddell My role is to establish community based learning projects for students. This involves identifying community partners who have a research need that could be met by a student’s dissertation project and managing the relationship with the community partner.

Tel: +44 (0)117 33 18313
Email: hannah.tweddell@bristol.ac.uk