What do we mean by public engagement and how can universities build a robust public engagement plan? Kevin Fearon and James Dillon explain how their institution, Queen’s University Belfast, has tried to answer those questions.
Public engagement with research, known as PER, has become a major part of the research process in contemporary higher education. Its growth has been driven by factors such as the need to show the value of publicly funded research and increased scrutiny from both government and the public on how public funding is being used. There is also a general move towards better informed, evidence-based decision-making and a strategic push by funding bodies for social and economic impact.
Defining public engagement