Research, evidence and insight

Swindon Festival of Tomorrow February 2020: exhibition hall in STEAM Museum of the Great Western Railway.

Swindon Festival of Tomorrow exhibition hall in STEAM Museum of the Great Western Railway, February 2020. Credit: Neville Hollingworth, STFC

UKRI’s public engagement strategy and plans are driven by research, evidence and stakeholder insight. Below are a selection of reports and outputs that fed into the development of UKRI’s new public engagement strategy.

Involving communities in research and innovation

The Young Foundation report, An equitable future for research and innovation, considers how to improve the ways in which knowledge is produced, used and communicated across the UK. It has informed our approach to how we can better involve community groups and organisations across the UK.

Valuing and enabling citizen science: lessons from the Citizen Science Exploration Grant programme, a report by the Institute for Community Studies, has provided us with insights into citizen science as an expanding methodology for involving people in research, and how it can best be supported in the future.

Mindsets for Museums of the Future, research by The Liminal Space, looks at how to address underlying issues in the museums sector, including problems relating to access, diversity and a failure to innovate. This is informing our support for engaging underrepresented groups with research and innovation in museums.

UKRI funds the British Science Association to run the Community Grants, Community Leaders and Community Buddy programme. The report, The impact of the British Science Association’s community engagement programmes, helped us to better understand and support the experiences of individuals who participated in the programmes and the impacts it has had on them.

Supporting youth engagement with research and innovation

The report, Supporting all young people through UK informal STEM learning, shares reflections and ideas from UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society to support funders and policymakers interested in diversity and inclusion within STEM learning provision. The conclusions contain ideas for better supporting excluded young people and communities in informal STEM learning.

SQW were commissioned to review the STEM Ambassador programme, asking how effective it has been in delivering against its aims and how it has impacted the STEM engagement sector. The conclusions in the STEM Ambassador programme review: summary report, include some ideas for the next stage of the programme.

The scoping study, Improving the evaluation of youth engagement with STEM, by Dr Asimina Vergou, used a review of reports and papers, alongside interviews with experts to compile a list of 10 recommendations for improving evaluation in the sector. Ideas centre on collaboration, shared objectives and measures, agreed methodologies and tools plus targeted funding and a long term approach.

Improving public dialogue

We commissioned the School of International Futures to review our flagship Sciencewise public dialogue programme and provide recommendations for future models, outlined in the 2020 Sciencewise Review.

Embedding public engagement in universities

The report, The Engaged University: turning words into action has informed how we support universities to embed public engagement in three key areas:

  1. How are universities making and stating the case for public engagement and articulating its value?
  2. How are universities turning strategy into practice?
  3. How are universities resourcing public engagement – both people and programmes?

Last updated: 16 March 2023

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