Apply to become an EPSRC Public Engagement Champion. This initiative aims to encourage the development of a research culture that inspires the public, attracts people to STEM careers and values interaction with the public in all stages of the research process.
EPSRC Public Engagement Champion goals
Successful champions should endeavour to achieve one or more of these strategic goals.
Contribute to ensuring that society is inspired by the contribution that engineering and physical sciences can make to life in the UK and the wide range of benefits that it provides.
Showcase the range and desirability of STEM careers to attract future workforces.
Empower our communities to collaborate and interact with society throughout the research process to achieve the maximum benefits from our funding.
This funding opportunity provides bespoke support to EPSRC researchers from the field of ICT to undertake public engagement activities alongside their core research.
Applicants must be active researchers in research areas within the remit of the EPSRC ICT theme, with a particular emphasis on:
- technological aspects of ICT
- advancing digital skills for different generations of people.
Applicants should think broadly about the issues and challenges associated with their chosen area and how the proposed programme of activities will enable the applicant to make an impact.
Proposals submitted through this funding opportunity must clearly focus around the remit and strategy of EPSRC’s ICT theme.
Below are some examples of existing issues relevant to the ICT community, but we strongly encourage applicants to also consider issues specific to their discipline that may not appear on this list.
For example, influencing decision making and policy in areas such as enhancing digital skills.
Equality, diversity and inclusion
For example, to:
- increase the visibility of a diverse range of role models
- better reach underserved audiences
- widen the future skills base.
For example, to address area differences in the accessibility of the multiple economic, societal and cultural benefits research provides.
To maximise the impact of the award, the programme of activities should be aimed at a well-defined and specific public or stakeholder audience, especially those audiences that are typically underserved by the ICT sector. This could include, but is not limited to:
- individuals of a particular social background or protected characteristics
- individuals in a particular geographical location or region, or economic grouping
- parents, teachers or other educational influencers
- government representatives (including local authority, MPs, parliament and so on).
EPSRC recognises the importance of evaluation and being able to demonstrate and evidence the impacts of the work that we fund. Applicants will be expected to have undertaken a detailed consideration of how the proposed activities will be evaluated.
This must include a plan for measuring impacts on the target audience and the applicants, including their practice in this space.
The evaluation plan could be articulated through a logic model, or other appropriate evaluation tools. This will ensure that the activities are designed with evaluation in mind and that the right data is gathered at the right time.
Guidance and resources on how to evaluate this type of activity can be found in the ‘additional info’ section.
Applicants are encouraged to consider how their proposed programme may be strengthened by the inclusion of appropriate partnerships. Value can be added by appropriate engagement with other relevant actors in the engineering and physical sciences (EPS) or public engagement space and to ensure maximum impact of any intervention is achieved.
Advocacy and leadership
Successful applicants will be expected to act as advocates and leaders for engagement within their organisations, their professional community and wider sectors. This may include:
- raising the profile of public engagement
- championing best practice
- influencing and driving culture change
- strengthening capacity, networks and skills.
They will promote and champion their research discipline and EPSRC research more widely including the impact of EPS research on society.
Champions will be required to:
- participate in annual reporting exercises which will monitor project progress as well as collating and showcasing success stories and case-studies arising from the awards
- inform the EPSRC and invite them to relevant events organised by the champion
- prepare a full equality diversity and inclusion (EDI) plan for the duration of this grant to demonstrate best practice in EDI throughout the lifetime of this funding award. This must be demonstrated at the annual reporting events
- attend and contribute to relevant EPSRC events, for example:
- cohort events
- strategic advisory meetings.
£1.5 million is available through EPSRC’s ICT theme to support up to 10 public engagement champions
Awards are expected to be in the range of £100,000 to £200,000 at 80% full economic cost, between 0.2 to 0.5 full time equivalent for 24 to 36 months.
Applicants will be active researchers in ICT. However, this funding is to support public engagement activities to sit alongside core research funded through other means.
Funding for technical research is not available in this funding opportunity, please refer to standard routes for this funding.
Activities associated with this funding opportunity should aim to go above and beyond what could be supported on standard research proposals or through other existing channels for example impact acceleration accounts.
Resources can be requested to cover:
- staff time, for example:
- postdoctoral research assistants whose activities directly supports the champion’s work
- consumables associated with public engagement activities provided they are specific to the project and are of demonstrable value to the project.
Resources eligible under full economic costing can be requested, for example, to cover:
- training in public engagement or communications
- public engagement specialist staff expertise and support
- materials or venue costs
- travel expenses.
Consumables associated with developing resources for public engagement should be costed under the ‘directly incurred – other cost’ heading.
Equipment over £10,000 in value (inclusive of VAT) is not available through this opportunity.
Smaller items of equipment (individually under £10,000) should be in the ‘directly incurred – other costs heading.
EPSRC guidance on equipment funding.