Public engagement at the University of Bristol

children doing a hands-on science activity at a festival

The Public Engagement team can help researchers and teaching staff to plan, develop and evaluate public engagement activity, support grant and funding applications and offer training. We also deliver our own cutting-edge engagement projects, which provide innovative opportunities for staff to get involved and engage with those outside the university.

Public engagement is driven by senior leadership

The Engaged University Steering Group (EUSG) is responsible for developing and overseeing the engagement strategy. Chaired by the Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise, EUSG joins colleagues with professional interests in engagement with senior faculty representatives. The EUSG published its first vision for an engaged university in 2004, and its Engaged University strategy (PDF, 333kB) in 2014. 

Our strategy

The Engaged University strategy outlines our aims for deep, ongoing and high-quality engagement between the University and its partners, stakeholders and publics. Rather than focus solely on public engagement, as with previous versions, the current strategy takes a holistic view of engagement - considering the ways in which engagement beyond academia enriches our work. Download the Engaged University strategy (PDF, 333kB) here.  

We build public engagement into the institutional mind-set

Our Engaged University strategy is designed to be a lens through which engagement activities across the University can be viewed, and to enable better cross-linking between these activities and those involved in their delivery. Our priorities are:

  • to work with a range of external and internal partners, which enriches our work and delivers better outcomes
  • to provide a supportive environment for engagement which is embedded in research and teaching, and in the processes that support these ambitions
  • to recruit and retain staff who bring a range of expertise and experience to the development of relationships
  • to embed engagement in the student experience and curriculum for both undergraduate and postgraduate students
  • to be reflective about engagement, evaluate our activities and learn from appropriate theory and practice.

Enabling public engagement

Our Public Engagement Seed Fund aims to enable University of Bristol academics to carry out high quality engagement activities with publics or communities, with a particular focus on engagement activities that expand learning and practice, and that lead to outcomes beyond the activity itself. 

Public engagement is recognised and celebrated

Public engagement has been part of promotion criteria and departmental reviews since 2010; in 2015 engagement and impact were included in teaching and research within academic role profiles and promotion and progression criteria. 

Each year the University Engagement awards celebrate outstanding achievement in engagement; researchers at any stage of their careers may participate.

Embedding public engagement

In partnership with the University of the West of England, the University of Bristol hosts the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement, which shares best practice within and beyond the higher education community.

Contact us

Public Engagement
One Cathedral Square
Trinity Street
College Green
Bristol
BS1 5DD
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Email: cpe-info@bristol.ac.uk

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