Creating an immersive virtual walk around the natural landscape surrounding Bath for people living with mobility issues and the creation of a Policy Lab that brings together users of the social care system, researchers and policymakers are just a couple of the nine projects that recently secured funding as part of the Public Engagement Unit's Engage Grants.
Funding public engagement with research
Back in October 2019, we opened the call for our annual Engage Grants funding scheme. The Engage Grants are made up of three different funds and are designed to support researchers and staff, whatever their level of experience, to develop and deliver activities that engage public groups with their research. Today we are thrilled to announce the successful recipients of the Engage Grants 2019/20 across our three funds.
This fund is for projects up to £200 for activities that aim to foster relationships that might lead to further public engagement with research activities in the future. The funded projects so far in 2019/20 are led by:
Meike Scheller, Mike Richardson and Micheal Proulx (Department of Psychology) - to work with the visually impaired community to develop an understanding of the best methods to reach them with engagement opportunities.
Evina Paloumpi (Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology) - to attend the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence advisory committee meeting as a public observer and develop a network of policymakers and pharmacists who could be stakeholders in her future public engagement activities.
Zoe Jeffery (Department of Health) - to meet parents and carers of the teenage girls participating in her research on the barriers to participation in physical education to understand how best to engage them with her research.
The Start-Up fund will remain open until Friday 10 July 2020, 5pm or until all the funds are allocated (we are anticipating a total of 10 projects). If you are interested in applying for this fund visit the public engagement funding page for details of the call guidance and application form or email the Public Engagement Unit.
This fund is for projects up to £500 for small-scale or pilot public engagement projects that; support learning about engagement, help the applicant gain experience of engagement and develop their engagement ideas. The funded projects in 2019/20 are:
Creating The Virtual Bathscape, Dr Stephanie Merchant (Department of Health) - using a range of immersive image capturing technologies, Stephanie's project aims to improve the accessibility of Bath’s walking routes for people living with mobility issues as part of the National Lottery Heritage Funded Bathscape project.
Engaging rugby players with severe spinal injuries, Dr Madeleine Davies (Department of Health) - Madeline will run a series of stakeholder panels to listen to individuals who have sustained a severe rugby-related spinal injury to better understand the ways she can engage them with her research.
This fund is for projects up to £2,500 that expand existing activities, develop leadership and facilitation skills in public engagement or to test out innovative engagement activities. The funded projects in 2019/20 are:
The Art of Pain, Professor Ed Keogh (Department of Psychology) - as part of the series of events marking the 10 year anniversary of the Centre of Pain Research, Ed's Art of Pain project is an art/research collaboration with art space 44AD and researchers at the Centre.
Fighting Women, Hannah West (Department of Social & Policy Sciences) - working with theatre-makers Hannah will create a piece of theatre using the interviews collected as part of her research on the role of women in the military.
The Phonic Crystal, Dr Andriy Gorbach and Dr Alex Narduzzo (Department of Physics) - Alex and Andriy will work with an artist and blind and visually impaired people to create an accessible immersive artwork that uses soundwaves to demonstrate crystal structures.
Policy Lab, Professor Rachel Forrester-Jones (Department of Social & Policy Sciences) - using a design-oriented approach, Rachel and the team at the Centre for the Analysis of Social Policy will develop a Policy Lab. This space will bring together researchers, providers of health and social care, administrators, local and central government decisionmakers and service-users to enable policy analysis and evaluation to be more aligned with real public issues.
Running since 2013, the Engage Grants aim to support researchers at the University of Bath to increase their skills and understanding of public engagement with research by funding activities where they have an opportunity to give public engagement a go for themselves. Over the last seven years, the Public Engagement Unit has invested over £93,000 in 63 diverse public engagement projects from the Faculties of Science, Design and Engineering and Humanities and Social Sciences and the School of Management.
Dean Veall is Deputy Head of Public Engagement at the University of Bath