The University of Birmingham is pleased to have been awarded funding for a project that will enhance public engagement with environmental research across the UK.
As part of the NERC Engaging Environments programme, the University will be leading one of the six projects that aim to change the way the sector thinks about and practices public engagement.
Community focused public engagement is a powerful way to bring research closer to the community that it serves. The ENCOMPASS (Engaging Communities, Publics and Society) project aims to build on this concept by seeking to equip and enable communities to take ownership and drive change.
By introducing environmental science researchers to community organising, ENCOMPASS will provide communities with the tools to articulate environmental issues that resonate with them and therefore enable greater shared ownership of the research agenda. This shared ownership will then lead to greater, more directed impact and open up new networks and creative possibilities for researchers. The ENCOMPASS scheme will also enable researchers to identify and reach underrepresented groups and equip both parties with the understanding and tools to co-develop activities, initiatives and actions that have mutual benefits.
“With a focus primarily on what the benefits are to the community that research purports to serve, we hope to change the way researchers think about public engagement and encourage them to consider it as a part of the research process from an early stage.”
“The link with Citizens UK and environmental research represents a genuinely novel partnership and builds on an already very strong link between Citizens UK and the University of Birmingham, College of Social Sciences. Engaged scholarship requires common understanding and trust to be built and to do this public engagement as the delivery of a research product needs to be reconsidered.”
“ENCOMPASS will work with communities to understand their societal needs and challenges, before co-developing approaches for positive collective action linked to NERC environmental science research at University of Birmingham and beyond. I’m thrilled and hugely excited to be working alongside a range of progressive partners, like Citizens UK and Earthwatch. Together we will explore what successful public engagement really means for all participants.”
- Dr Carl Stevenson, University of Birmingham (Principal Investigator)
- Professor Monder Ram, University of Birmingham
- Professor Alice Roberts, University of Birmingham
- Dr Caroline Gillett, University of Birmingham
- Derren Cresswell, University of Birmingham (project PDRA)
- Becca Kirkpatrick and Saeed Haque, Citizens UK: Birmingham
- Toos van Noordwijk, Earthwatch Institute
- BIFoR (The Birmingham Institute of Forest Research)
- Lapworth Museum of Geology
ENCOMPASS will work with a number of community groups and partner organisations to develop a framework for community focused public engagement. Get more information and updates on the ENCOMPASS project.