RCUK Public Engagement - ChallengeCPD@Bath

Project: Research council

Project Details


ChallengeCPD@Bath project is a 6-month in-depth look at how we train researchers in their public engagement skills which will create a dramatic change in our training into the future. The University of Bath has had a long commitment to supporting researchers to reach beyond the walls of academia. Since 2012 this has been more formally recognised by the formation of the Public Engagement Unit (PEU). Over the last five years, the PEU has worked to create a culture within the University of Bath where public engagement is valued and supported. One way we do this is by training and developing researchers.

The training developed and delivered by the University of Bath has been very diverse and is always well received by those who participate. However, the University of Bath is like many other universities in that there can be a mismatch between the provision of training and uptake of training meaning the PEU puts on activities that are underused, while researchers are missing out on training they want to take part in.

During the ChallengeCPD@Bath project we will examine our training offers and look at their characteristics to see if we can identify what makes for successful training, and what is happening when it doesn't work. Once we have done this, we will be able to change our own training to improve it and make it more efficient or make changes within the wider university that are affecting participation and provision. It is not only our own training that we wish to improve. Because this is a sector-wide issue, we want other universities to know what we find, and also those who train researchers for a living. To do this, we will produce guides, toolkits and frameworks that others can use.

The provision and uptake of training being mismatched is a long-standing challenge for the university sector. We fully expect that we will not find all the answers during the short time of being funded, but we believe we can make good progress. To ensure that we make maximum progress in the time available we have formed an Advisory Group made up of people from within the university, critical friends from other universities and external colleagues who deliver training on our behalf. Having this mix of people work with us will ensure that we take their views into account as well them being able to gain useful information for their own work in researcher development. This Advisory Group will meet three times during the project.
Effective start/end date1/10/1731/03/19


  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council


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