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Open Access Supporting future scholars of engaged research

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Researchers in the UK are taking on new roles and responsibilities to meet the requirements of an expanded agenda for generating and evidencing social and economic impacts from research. Within this wider context, culture change programmes have identified learning as an important driver of change. Here we outline a professional development programme designed to train postgraduate researchers studying environmental sciences in core engagement, influence and impact, governance and organization skills for research. We argue that training is an important step in further catalysing progressive culture change. However, our research- and experience-informed critical reflections in supporting researchers suggest that there is still significant work to be done: (1) to offer consistent messages to researchers at all grades about social impacts from research and (2) to ensure that engagement is seen as an aspirational activity, embedded within research.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2017

More about this publication?
  • Engagement with research goes further than participation in it. Engaged individuals and communities initiate research, advise, challenge or collaborate with researchers. Their involvement is always active and they have a crucial influence on the conduct of the research.

    Research for All is a peer-reviewed journal focusing on research that involves universities and communities, services or industries working together. Contributors and readers are from both inside and outside of higher education. They include researchers, policymakers, managers, practitioners, community-based organizations, schools, businesses and the intermediaries who bring these people together. The journal highlights the potential in active public engagement for robust academic study, for the development of involved communities, and for the impact of research. It explores engagement with different groups and their cultures, and features theoretical and empirical analysis alongside authoritative commentary to explore a range of themes that are key to engaged research including the development of reciprocal relationships, sector-specific communication and participatory action research. The journal is co-sponsored by the UCL Institute of Education and the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement.

    The journal welcomes relevant articles. See the publication homepage for details, or contact [email protected]

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