Public engagement


The School of Advanced Study’s ongoing commitment to public engagement and open access to research can be seen in its year-round calendar of public events, its publications, podcasts and digital platforms for research, its long term collaborative relationships with the Bloomsbury Festival and other cultural and community organisations, and its training provision both for internal and external staff and students. More recently, the school has initiated Being Human: the UK’s first national festival dedicated to pubic engagement with the humanities. 


As reflected in policy and funding priorities across the sector, there is a growing recognition of the need to integrate public engagement strategies in the training of academic staff, the dissemination of research outputs, and the management of libraries, collections and archives.

The National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement’s (NCCPE) definition:

Public engagement describes the many ways in which higher education institutions and their staff and students can connect and share their work with the public. Done well, it generates mutual benefit, with all parties learning from each other through sharing knowledge, expertise and skills. In the process, it can build trust, understanding and collaboration, and increase the sector's relevance to, and impact on, civil society.

The School of Advanced Study is a signatory of the NCCPE’s Manifesto for Public Engagement. As such it recognises a responsibility to contributing to society through public engagement, to learning from and evaluating this process and to allowing staff, students and fellows to benefit from public engagement by gaining new perspectives and insights on their work.

Public Engagement Strategy

The School of Advanced Study is uniquely placed to play a leading role in facilitating public engagement activity in the humanities on both local and national levels. As a national centre for supporting and promoting humanities research, it is able to take a leading role in embedding public engagement with humanities research both internally and within a broader research culture across the sector.

Reflecting its core mission to ‘facilitate, promote and support research in the humanities’, it is timely for the School to integrate public engagement with research conducted across its ten institutes and broader research networks on a central, strategic level.

View / download the School’s full Strategy for Public Engagement [PDF]

Public Engagement Innovators Scheme

The Public Engagement Innovators Scheme offers small grants to facilitate public engagement with research activities within the School of Advanced Study (SAS), and with collections and archives in the Senate House Library (SHL). The scheme is intended to offer opportunities for researches and other eligible staff and students at SAS/SHL to engage with non-academic audiences in developing and demonstrating their research. The scheme offers grants of up to £2,000 for engagement activities.

In 2016, funded projects will be run either during the Bloomsbury Festival 19–23 October, or during the Being Human festival of the humanities 17–25 November, 2016. The theme for this year’s Being Human festival is ‘Hope and Fear’.

The full call with details on the awards and eligibility criteria, along with the application form, are available below.

Call for Participation, information and terms & conditions [PDF]
Public Engagement checklist [PDF]
Application Form [Word]

Contact: Dr Michael Eades
Cultural and Public Engagement Research Fellow
T: +44 (0)20 7862 8693