January 5, 2021

Leadership for engagement

I'm delighted to announce that throughout 2021 we will be working with the Ogden Trust and STFC to develop a leadership programme for academic leads for outreach and STFC public engagement fellows.

The programme will be delivered by David Owen (Gurukula) and Helen Featherstone, PhD, Independent Consultant and Head of Public Engagement at the University of Bath. It will build on our combined work in Continuing Professional Development and consist of a blend of workshops, one to one mentoring, peer support and webinars over ten months.

Academics in outreach and public engagement leadership roles are not homogenous in their roles and responsibilities, but these are just some of the reasons why such a programme is timely:

  • They often have to exert influence in ways that traverse organisational management structures.
  • They are often expected to take a strategic role in championing activity within their departments and promoting it across their universities.
  • They may not necessarily have budgetary responsibility.
  • They will have to influence up to Heads of Department, Deans or Pro-Vice-Chancellors, across to peers in similar roles and downwards to more junior staff such as Early Career Researchers and Doctoral Students.

Participants in the programme will receive support for a wide range of leadership challenges, including leveraging their home institution’s mission and priorities and advocacy at a senior department level. If you're interested in finding out more about public engagement leadership, professional development and leadership more broadly, I've shared a link to an article below in Research for All which summarises our thinking.

Rethinking professional development for public engagement with research: A way to improve uptake and impact of training? (Research for all)

You may also be interested in Vitae's Public Engagement Leadership Lens. Published in 2020 it builds on the Researcher Development Framework. I also really value the work by the Kings Fund, particulary on distributed leadership.

Public Engagement Leadership Lens (Vitae)
Leadership in context: Lessons from new leadership theory and current leadership development practice (Kings Fund)

I'll update later in the year with details, but in the meantime if you would like to find out more head over to the projects page.