Birkbeck, University of London > Research > Public engagement > What is public engagement at Birkbeck?

What is public engagement at Birkbeck?

The National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) defines public engagement as:

'The myriad of ways in which the activity and benefits of higher education and research can be shared with the public. Engagement is by definition a two-way process, involving interaction and listening, with the goal of generating mutual benefit.'

As a signatory to the NCCPE’s Manifesto for Public Engagement, the College recognises that public engagement is central to its mission and aims to embed a culture of public engagement throughout the research lifecycle.

'We believe public engagement is an essential part of a strong research culture that supports interdisciplinary study and acknowledges the importance of non-academic expertise' Professor David Latchman, Master of Birkbeck

Public Engagement with research at Birkbeck honours our commitment to making research results available to society; working with external partners and organisations, and creating opportunities for knowledge exchange. Additionally, our Public Engagement aims to support and build research excellence, foster community and provide access to education.

'Our researchers have a strong belief in their role as ‘public researchers’ and making sure their work is not only visible and accessible to non-academic audiences but also contributes positively to society.' Professor David Latchman, Master of Birkbeck

Birkbeck's public engagement vision

  • Birkbeck as a leader in HE Public Engagement, building on founding principles of reaching non-traditional learners and providing access to knowledge for all.
  • To engage a wide and diverse range of people with Birkbeck Research.
  • To improve research proposals through professional advice on public engagement as part of the proposal planning and writing process (eg advice on writing pathways to impact statements)
  • For all staff and students to recognise the benefits of public engagement as a tool for personal development, and university research status.

Building public engagement support at Birkbeck, strategic aims

  1. To enable BBK researchers and professional staff not just to take part in Public Engagement but to see it as an integral and important part of working at Birkbeck College, recognising the benefits both to the individual and the university.
  2. Provide a central contact point to facilitate collaboration, shared practice and networking across the college as part of the eco-system supporting the aims of the research strategy and the wider College strategy.
  3. Celebrate and support quality Public Engagement. (Through sustainable support structures, sharing best practice, evaluation, appropriate recognition and reward)
  4. Continuous monitoring of the effectiveness of activities against the public engagement aims and objectives using reflective practice and appropriate evaluation.