Published: 19 April 2021

ESRC IAA Spotlight on Public Engagement May 2021

Engagement with the public is so important to validate, strengthen and make social science research accountable, the ESRC IAA team are offering a series of short, FREE training courses with engagement experts, to Surrey researchers.


o   Getting your research work on social media may be easy, but how do you ensure the content is popular, meaningful, and reaches the right people?

o   As the world has moved online it’s essential to make your voice stand out, but how do you find and connect with your audience to create a live experience that goes beyond the average Zoom meeting?

o   Do you have a research story worthy of a global audience, but don’t feel confident in storytelling in a way that will make people listen?

o   Are you keen to create new and exciting engagement activities, but lack the time, space and creativity to do it?

o   Want to engage with the public but you’re unsure how to make it a two-way mutually beneficial experience?

Can you afford to give up an afternoon, or two, to discover the key to successful public engagement? Perhaps the question is, can you afford not to...?

ESRC IAA Public Engagement Training Courses

We’re working with engagement experts at Skillfluence and the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement, to help social science researchers take confident steps towards effective external communication.

Through our series of Zoom based short courses, lasting just a few hours, you’ll learn from professional trainers who are award winners at helping researchers promote their work to public audiences, online and offline.

You’ll have the chance to learn about developing videos, blog posts, social media content and activity plans, whilst building skills and confidence in storytelling and communicating about your work.

Our trainers will help you identify opportunities to engage with audiences and will support you to strengthen and grow the impact of your research.

We will also guide you through the application process to potentially receive ESRC funding to deliver a ‘Festival of Social Science’ event about your work, in Autumn 2021.

If you can see the benefit in giving up a few hours of your time to access valuable bespoke engagement training, we look forward to seeing you on our courses!

Places are limited and you will need to register your interest via Eventbrite. We will then contact you to confirm your place and provide joining instructions.

Course/Trainer Information & Registration Links

Getting Social - A Guide to Social Media for Researchers

5th May 2-5pm

Trainer: Dr Jamie Gallagher

Eventbrite: Getting Social - A Guide to Social Media for Researchers Tickets, Wed 5 May 2021 at 14:00 | Eventbrite

Overview: Getting your work on social media may be easy - but making it popular is more challenging. This workshop takes you through the main social media channels and looks at how to create short, sharp, sharable messages. Discover how to use social media to foster meaningful interactions and share your work with as many people as possible.

Online Engagement for Researchers

6th May 2-5pm

Trainer: Dr Jamie Gallagher

Eventbrite: Online Engagement for Researchers Tickets, Thu 6 May 2021 at 14:00 | Eventbrite

Overview: As the world turns to the online space to meet, connect, and share it is essential to make your voice stand out. As our projects move online, we need to adapt our engagement practices, tools and processes. Discover how to find and connect with your audience and create an experience that goes beyond the average Teams meeting or Zoom quiz. Discover how to make events as accessible as possible and create professional live events easily. The session uses a mix of online tools, group discussion and presentation allowing you to explore and experience a range of online engagement.

Storytelling for Researchers

10th May 10-12pm

Trainer: Duncan Yellowlees

Eventbrite: Storytelling for Researchers Tickets, Mon 10 May 2021 at 10:00 | Eventbrite

Overview: Explore why storytelling can help you engage your audience, learn easy to use techniques and tools that are applicable to research presentations and find out how to speak so people listen. In this introduction to storytelling participants will explore why storytelling can be an effective tool for engagement. These ideas can be powerful and will help participants wanting to use storytelling techniques in presentations, public engagement activities and workshops as the base concepts that drive engagement via storytelling are transferable.

Communicating with Impact for Researchers

12th May 2-5pm

Trainer: Zach Sorrells

Eventbrite: Communicating with Impact Tickets, Wed 12 May 2021 at 14:00 | Eventbrite

Overview: Proven communication techniques that help researchers inspire, influence and achieve big impact. This fast-paced, interactive and applied masterclass helps researchers ‘connect the dots’ between effective communications, successful funding applications, societal impact and career success. Researchers learn impactful communication tools and techniques used in academia, business and the dramatic arts. The tools and skills they learn will help participants create compelling and persuasive research proposals and funding applications, deliver engaging presentations, have productive conversations with industry partners and investors and effectively engage with a wide range of community stakeholders.

Creating Activities - Helping Researchers Design Quality Engagement

19th & 20th May 2-4pm  *This is a two day course

Trainer: Dr Jamie Gallagher

Eventbrite: Creating Activities - Helping Researchers Design Quality Engagement Tickets, Wed 19 May 2021 at 14:00 | Eventbrite

Overview: Finding the time, space and creativity to come up with new and exciting activities for engagement can be challenging. This workshop will arm you with the tools for good event planning and challenge your creativity as you design and develop quality engagement projects. Explore how to create the perfect public engagement tailored to your skills and subject. Discovering how to create a lasting impression and generate impact as you explore the research engagement landscape. Whether you are new to engagement or looking to get new perspectives on what you can do to improve, this workshop is packed with tips, tricks and strategies for making the most of your time.

Public Engagement Training with NCCPE

27th May 2-4pm

Trainer: Dr Helen Featherstone

Eventbrite: Public Engagement Training for Researchers Tickets, Thu 27 May 2021 at 14:00 | Eventbrite

Overview: This event has been created particularly for University of Surrey social science researchers who are interested in delivering a public engagement event for the ESRC's Festival of Social Science (FOSS) event for 2021, either online or in person. The workshop is being delivered by the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE), who deliver a range of training courses across the UK and online to support researchers in developing high quality engagement work. The NCCPE say, "participants are enthusiastic about the experience we deliver, appreciating the interactive approach we take to training, whilst developing effective skills that they can use in their work." 

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