Celebrating public engagement success

The University marks another year of fantastic public engagement work, with the 2017 Public Engagement with Research Awards and the graduation of the latest cohort of Engagement Fellows.

Researchers from the Schools of Dentistry and Education have been awarded 2017 Public Engagement with Research Awards.

The standard of all the entries for this year's Awards was high, and the judging panel, which included:

  • Jenni Chambers, Head of RCUK Public Engagement with Research
  • Laura Cream, Head of Public Engagement at University College London
  • Greg Oldfield, Head of Public Engagement and Impact at University of Sheffield

had a tough job choosing the winners.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation, Professor Lisa Roberts presented the awards.

Winner of the award for outstanding PE/PPIE: doing research in partnership 2017

Professor Sue Pavitt and her team from the School of Dentistry received the award for their work with Batley Girls School on the RAISED in Yorkshire project (ReseArch in Schools Evaluating Dental Health).

It was developed as a consequence of the pupils experiencing the
Don’t Smile play, which was part of an award-winning project to raise awareness of oral health organised by Professor Pavitt’s team last year. 10 pupils from Batley Girls School approached the School of Dentistry to continue the partnership and were keen to co-develop participatory dental research in their school community.

School_of_dentistry_with_Batley_Girls_School_2017The judges’ comments recognised that it had changed behaviour of the students, increased their confidence, and empowered them to go on to do further study.

Winner of the award for outstanding PE/PPIE: disseminating research results

Lecturer in Language Education, Dr Lou Harvey, together with the theatre company, Cap-a-Pie, developed The Translator, a work-in-progress theatrical performance based on her research into the language and intercultural learning experience of UK Higher Education students from abroad.

The major finding from her doctoral project was that participants experienced communicative difficulties in their intercultural encounters as a result of a lack of awareness and understanding of UK norms; Dr Harvey theorised this in terms of intercultural responsibility i.e that successful communication is the responsibility of the listener as well as the language learner.

The Translator allowed Dr Harvey to investigate students’ experiences of intercultural responsibility through two participatory performances which were followed by 30 minutes of audience discussion.

The_Translator_by_Lou_Harvey_and_Cap-a-pie_2017Commenting on the project, the judges said: “It is evident that Lou Harvey is passionate about exploring her research outcomes with non-academics and she has chosen an innovative format with which to do so. It is an excellent piece of work worthy of wider recognition.”

Engagement Excellence Fellows

This week has also seen the graduation of the 2016/17 class of the Engagement Excellence Scheme, a programme which aims to support upcoming stars in PE/PPI, and contribute to improve impact and dissemination of research.

Engagement Excellence Scheme class of 2016/2017:

Lou Harvey (Education)
Up and up and up towards: Co-producing a public performance of language education research - exploring how ‘speaking English' feels in an intercultural society: communicating in a language and a context that are unfamiliar.

Mary Madden (Healthcare)
The generation and use of visual images to enhance engagement and involvement in research into wound care – improving communication beyond the ‘yuck’ factor.

Cat Scott (Earth and Environment)
How much are Leeds’ Trees worth? - understanding the value of urban woodlands.

Liz Gaston (Design)
The LIGHT HOUSE aims to help participants understand how we perceive colour and pattern and the relativity of colour - creating the Light House a knitted tent-like structure.

Clare Harley (Healthcare)
Getting to grips with medicines for advanced cancer - improving understanding of how patients manage their medicines to improve compliance, safety and avoid suboptimal practices.

On commending the graduates and the winners of the PEWR awards, Professor Lisa Roberts said: “Every single one of you deserves praise and congratulations for doing such inspiring work on top of your academic work”.

The deadline for submitting PE activity on Symplectic for the 2016/17 academic year is 20 October; this system is now the University’s way to collect data to fulfil its obligation for part of the HESA-HE-BCI return.

For queries, please contact the PE team.

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