The Medicine, Health and Life Sciences Faculty Engagement Hub enshrines a commitment to public engagement as core to the mission and strategy of the Faculty, facilitating high quality engagement and the building of beneficial links between our teaching and research and the public.
FMHLS APPROACH TO PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT
The distinctiveness of the Faculty's approach to Public Engagement is to position PE within a broader context; developing an integraged approach, which encompasses and incorporates Public Engagement across five main strands:
ENGAGED RESEARCH: to broker and support opportunities for researchers to collaborate and co-produce their research with external partners and organisations
PERSONAL AND PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT (PPI): to establish a framework and guiding principles for FMHLS involvement activities; aligning to and supporting existing charities, support networks, the patient client council and those with invaluable embodied knowledge and lived experience
SCHOOLS AND TEACHERS ENGAGEMENT: to provide central support, co-ordination and oversight of schools engagement activities; supporting teacher CPD and driving initiatives to address the NI STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Agenda and transform attitudes in the take-up of STEM related subjects
BUSINESS ENGAGEMENT: to support the Public Engagement Unit in their programme of Chief Executive Club and Intertrade Ireland events, but also build a portfolio of discipline and sector specific industry events and partners (Balmoral Show, BITC, CTU Showcase, New Scientist Live, Healthcare Awards)
PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT: to identify, facilitate and deliver a series of planned activities to showcase FMHLS research, ultimately increasing the ‘Science Capital’ and STEM aspiration of public audiences (Festivals, Public Lectures, Conferences, Soapbox Science etc.)
Cutting across, and instrinsically weaved into all of these engagement strands are three distinct themes, to ensure that the work is supported, valued and rewarded:
PROMOTING PE: The Hub promotes a range of external opportunities for staff to get involved in public engagement. ‘Seed’ or development funds invite researchers to pilot new PER projects or improve existing activity, encouraging excellent practice, and stimulating new ideas and connections.
DEVELOPING PE: The Hub enables and delivers training, develops learning resources, creates networking opportunities, improves evaluation and supports and develops innovative forms of PE.
REWARDING AND RECOGNISING PE: The Hub inspires staff and students as to the purpose, value and meaning of PE and always works to reward and recognise exemplars, both at an institutional level, but also locally at a Faculty level through showcasing creative PE projects, celebrating role models and achievements, and raising awareness of the personal and professional rewards to be gained through involvement in PE.
POSITIONING THE FACULTY ENGAGEMENT HUB
The discipline of Public Engagement necessitates that practitioners build strong networks with other teams seeking to mobilise culture change and as such Faculty Engagement works closely with other Queen’s departments such as Widening Participation, Science Shop, Graduate School, Research & Enterprise, Strategic Marketing & Recruitment, Postdoctoral Development Centre and Queen’s Foundation. Indeed, collaborating with others working in the same disciplinary space, or where there is overlapping priorities or audiences, highlights the interdisciplinarity and collaborative nature of engagement and allows for collective conversations to build a shared PE culture and narrative.
Furthermore, development of strong, sustained partnerships and alliances with external organisations are essential and recognise the significant value partners bring in terms of expertise in their discipline, and in providing platforms for researchers to collaborate and co-produce. Mutually effective relationships with people and organisations from a broad range of sectors and backgrounds extends the reach and increases the impact of Faculty engagement interventions.
Public Engagement within FMHLS enjoys a healthy visibility amongst both PE and STEM communities and influencers, locally and nationally; (NCCPE, Campus Engage, Wellcome, Matrix, Sentinus, STEM Ambassadors Network, HeaTED, HSCNI, PHA, Education Authority, Northern Ireland Science Festival, New Scientist Live).