Enhancing place-based partnerships in public engagement

All Projects

The UK is currently one of the most regionally unbalanced nations in the developed world, with huge disparities in terms of wealth, access to secure employment, health and levels of education depending on where you live. In response, place and inequality is becoming increasingly significant focal point for science and innovation policy.

The enhancing place-based partnerships in public engagement is a competitive funding scheme to support eligible research organisations UK-wide to pilot place-based public engagement partnerships and activities. Launched in 2019, I was commissioned by the NCCPE to undertake a scoping review that would eventually inform the funding process and delivery.

The review explored:

  • The state of the art in current thinking and sense-making about ‘left-behind places.’
  • The key interventions being made, and by whom
  • How HEIs / researchers might contribute to the needs of these places and support partners working there
  • Potential partners or initiatives that research funders and HEIs may wish to work within this area

‘Place’ is an increasingly important principle for a range of policy interventions, including within research and innovation and in economic and community development.

The review identified three critical areas of challenge in developing effective place-based approaches to research and innovation:

  • Citizen  / community-led working: There is a significant opportunity to develop our understanding of how to conduct research and innovation in citizen-centric ways. This goes beyond the provision of research to     communities. We need to explore how researchers can build community leadership, resilience, inclusion and equity; creating the conditions for communities to articulate and act-on the research innovation challenges they want to address.
  • Being sensitive to inequality: We need to better understand how research and innovation funding can be targeted to contribute value to places     experiencing significant disadvantage.
  • Working     in system-oriented and collaborative ways: Researchers should not ‘go it alone’ but need to work collaboratively with others. There is an opportunity to better embed collaborative practice in research culture, at different geographic scales, and to clarify how Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) can work more productively with organisations committed to achieving social outcomes.

The review was conducted between May and June 2019, and the work I did for this included:

  • A synthesis of existing knowledge/practice
  • Interviews with stakeholders and experts
  • Working with the NCCPE to facilitate a stakeholder workshop
No items found.

We offer a wide range of support

Further Details