People development

Engaged Research Team

The Engaged Research Microsoft Team is a place to bring together everyone who is involved in or interested in engagement with research (replacing and building upon what was previously known as pepnet).

The purpose of this team is
  • to be the go-to place for all things related to Engagement with Research
  • to bring like-minded people together to build a community including academics, researchers, and professional staff
  • to provide support and resources in one place you can come back to
  • to bring people together across the University to maximise synergies around engagement (at the minute that’s Public Engagement, Policy Engagement and Patient Involvement, with a view to expanding further in future)
  • to promote funding and engagement opportunities to researchers across the institution
  • to provide regular networking events and highlight training opportunities related to engagement

To join, open Microsoft Teams and select ‘Join or create a team’. When prompted, enter the code fc84jre. An administrator will then approve your request – all are welcome!

Pepnet meetings

Pepnet meetings are regular forums/sessions for sharing best practice on all things related to engagement with research. These meetings are currently advertised and held virtually through the Engaged Research Microsoft Team (see joining details above).

The next pepnet meeting is:

Pepnet #34: Getting more out of the Engaged Research

Wednesday 27th January, 2-3pm

Engagement Excellence Scheme (EES)

Application for the Engagement Excellence Scheme is now closed for the academic year 2020-21.

About the EES

The competitive Fellowship scheme began in 2014 and runs on an annual basis, offering mentorship and coaching support for up to six Engagement Fellows to progress and deliver engagement and impact plans and activities.

Monthly meetings throughout the academic year are held with academic lead Professor Sue Pavitt, Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellow Delia Muir, and Dr Alexa Ruppertsberg from the PE team.

Fellows use public engagement and patient involvement to increase the impact of a project in their group, institute or school and can develop their skills to become a champion for engagement. Most continue and become members of necnet.

Read reflections from previous Fellows.

PE-related training

The Engaged Research Microsoft Team is home to a comprehensive and up to date list of training opportunities (internal and external) and resources for staff.

Feel free to approach us for bespoke workshops on PE, e.g. for research away-days.

Engagement Champions Network (necnet)

Engagement Champions are members of staff who demonstrate support for public engagement in their work roles and/or practice public engagement of a high quality.

They champion public engagement and play an active part in enhancing the spread and adoption of engagement practices in their school/institute/service.

They can act as a more local contact for a colleague who prefers to talk to someone from their school or faculty.

The network operates on a membership system and if you would like to join, contact the PE team.

 Patient Involvement and Engagement Forum (PIEF)

Created in 2018, the PIEF is specifically for staff members whose role contains a significant part of managing patient involvement and engagement (PIE) work in teaching and research (PIE managers, officers etc.).

The Forum is there to provide professional support and development, and a clearer understanding of the PIE activities that happen across the University.

We encourage sharing resources, ideas and experience in order to reduce duplication of effort.

We aim to meet about four times a year over lunch (please bring your own) with a presentation in the first half and a working meeting in the second half.

If you are interested in joining the Forum, including receiving invitations for meetings, please contact the PE team.

Next meeting: TBC

Previous meetings:

  • 19 September 2019: NHS Leadership Academy and Patient Involvement
  • 30 April 2019: Presentation from VOICE (online PPI tool)
  • 31 January 2019: Payments and Expenses for PIE in Research
  • 19 September 2018: PIE and GDPR
  • 19 July 2018: Inaugural PIEF
PE in promotion criteria

PE and outreach activities can be used as part of the academic promotion process (either under the academic leadership, research and innovation route or student education route). See the HR pages for further information.

26% of all successful academic promotion applications in 2016-17 used the PE criterion. This has increased now to 35% in 2017-18, equally distributed across all grades (Grade 8 to 10).

The Public Engagement with Research Awards

The Public Engagement with Research Awards is an annual scheme which aims to recognise people for excellent public engagement or patient and public involvement and engagement, and to raise awareness of innovative high-quality practice.

There are three awards, one for each stage of the research cycle: the research development stage; the research doing stage; and the research dissemination stage. Each award comes with £400 and is judged by a panel of external judges.

The awards scheme did not run in 2019.

2018 winners2017 winners2016 winners

Symplectic: Recording PE activity as part of your impact profile

Within Symplectic ( you can now also record PE activity under the professional activities tab.

This allows you to record your activity on an ongoing basis and can form a useful repository for your academic review, promotion application, and also REF case studies as the information in Symplectic feeds through to IRIS, the REF supporting software.

Please note that this system is now the University’s way to collect data to fulfil its obligation for part of the HESA-HE-BCI return.