Sharing the forgotten history of 'Swimming Suffragettes' and co-creating a public and patient group exploring people's lived experience of ovarian cancer, are just a couple of the projects that recently secured funding as part of the Public Engagement Unit's Engage Grants.
Back in September 2022, we opened the call for our annual Engage Grants funding scheme. The Engage Grants are made up of two different funds and are designed to support researchers, staff and doctoral students, 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 2022/23.
Funding public engagement with research
This fund is for projects up to £750 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 2022/23 are:
Sandhya Moise and Hannah Leese (Department of Chemical Engineering) - working with patients and clinicians at the Royal United Hospital, Sandhya and Hannah will deliver a series of focus groups to co-create a public and patient group to shape the development of their research on cancer detection devices.
Anita Sikora (Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies) - Anita will create an immersive talk using opera to share the lost legacy of 18th Century pioneering opera singer Margherita Durastanti and explore representations of motherhood on stage.
This fund is for projects up to £3,500 that expand existing activities, develop leadership and facilitation skills in public engagement or test out innovative engagement activities. The funded projects in 2022/23 are:
Elisabeth Barratt Hacking (Department of Education) and Emma Emanuelsson Patterson (Department of Chemical Engineering) - for their Living Well Now and in 2050 project, Elisabeth and Emma will develop and deliver a series of workshops that aim to foster intergenerational dialogue between young people and adults to map ideas, aspirations and experiences of what 'living well' means to them.
Gail Forey (Department of Education) - with Bristol-based charity Better Bilingual and the Easton Church of England Academy, Gail's Celebrating Multilingualism in Schools project will bring teachers together with parents, carers and young people to discuss multilingualism, translanguaging and English as an additional language learning. Through arts-based activities and celebration events, this work will guide and inform the development of an information hub to better support pupils' learning.
Stephanie Merchant (Department for Health) - in collaboration with Cleveland Pools, the ‘Swimming Suffragettes’ and ‘Lido Ladies’ project will explore women’s experiences of swimming at Cleveland Pools. Working with swimmers and volunteers, oral histories will be captured with Bath residents looking at historic inequalities around swimming which will be used to create an audio tour of the venue.
Katie O'Brien (Department of Life Sciences) - drawing on her fieldwork experience in Antarctica, Katie will create an interactive audio-visual exhibition sharing her life as a scientist that will travel to science festivals over 2023.
Running since 2013, the Engage Grants aim to support researchers at the University of Bath to develop 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 10 years, the Public Engagement Unit has invested over £175,000 in 80 diverse public engagement projects from the Faculties of Science, Engineering & Design and Humanities and Social Sciences and the School of Management.
Dean Veall is Deputy Head of Public Engagement at the University of Bath