Leadership for outreach and public engagement


Researchers working in outreach and public engagement leadership roles often have to exert influence in ways that traverse organisational management structures. They need to take a strategic role in championing activity within their departments and promoting it across their universities.

I am delighted to 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 is targeted specifically at those who have a strategic role in championing outreach and public engagement within their department or who are supporting others to deliver high-quality activities and programmes.

The Leadership Programme

The leadership programme consists of a blend of workshops, one to one mentoring, peer support and webinars over ten months. It will begin in February 2021 and finish in December 2021. Designed to fit around academic roles, with an expected minimum commitment of two-three hours per month throughout the programme. It will be participant-led supporting the objectives of the Ogden Outreach Programme and STFC Public Engagement Fellowship. For example, it will cover:

  • Developing your leadership style
  • Advocating for outreach and public engagement at a senior department level
  • Navigating change
  • Writing strategic documents
  • Leveraging your institution’s mission and priorities
  • Project management and overseeing budgets
  • Line management
  • Writing business cases for roles and budgets

Meet the facilitators

David Owen, Gurukula Ltd.

David has over fifteen years’ experience working with leadership teams in UK higher education institutions supporting the embedding of outreach and public engagement in strategy. He has previously worked with the University of Bath developing resources on public engagement and leading change and their SEEPER programme, investigating the impacts on the take up of training and CPD to develop more effective practice. David is an ILLM level 7 equivalent accredited coach with a wealth of facilitation, training and mentoring experience. Competent with both online and in-person delivery and blended learning since the COVID-19 pandemic he has successfully delivered continuing professional development courses, research and advocacy courses and brought stakeholders together on a $25 billion investment to review progress and identify action plans.

Helen Featherstone, PhD, Independent Consultant and Head of Public Engagement at the University of Bath

Helen has been leading on Public Engagement in Higher Education since 2012 and has been working in the public engagement and science communication sector for over 20 years. Helen is known for her excellent training and professional development interventions – with participants particularly valuing the expertly facilitated opportunities to learn together, to bring new ideas to their practice, and to hear real-life examples drawn from Helen’s own experiences. Helen recently led on the UKRI-Funded SEE-PER project: ChallengeCPD@Bath, which examined public engagement training and professional development for academics. Helen was involved with setting up the NCCPE’s Engage Academy and has been a mentor since its inception. She is also a mentor for public engagement leads in Wellcome-funded research centres.

For further information download the publication below or contact me.

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