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RCUK announce public engagement with research Catalysts call grant winners

05 April 2012

Research Councils UK (RCUK) today (5 April) announce the result of its public engagement with research Catalysts funding call. The purpose of the Catalyst funding is to embed public engagement with research in UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).

The following researchers have successfully applied for funding for the next three years:

  • Professor Albert Alexander Rodger of the University of Aberdeen
  • Professor Jane Millar of the University of Bath
  • Professor Nicholas Talbot of the University of Exeter
  • Professor Michael Reiss of the Institute of Education
  • Professor Sarah O’Hara of the University of Nottingham
  • Professor Tim Blackman of the Open University
  • Professor Peter McOwan of Queen Mary, University London
  • Professor Richard Jones of the University of Sheffield

This new funding opportunity follows on from the success of the Beacons for Public Engagement initiative which ended in December 2011. RCUK recognise that following the Beacons initiative further support to embed public engagement in the higher education sector is required. This new funding is intended to act as a catalyst for culture change within HEIs to help them embed public engagement with research within their policies, procedures and practices.

Professor John Womersley, RCUK Champion for Public Engagement with Research said: “RCUK believe that engaging with the public should be something all researchers do. This funding will help HEIs build on their current activities and create a culture where public engagement with research is fully embedded within that institution. I congratulate those researchers awarded funding and look forward to their successes serving as a model for other HEIs to adopt in future.”

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Further information

Alexandra Saxon
Tel: 07971 027 335 or email:

Notes to editors

  1. More information about the grant winners is available here.

    In summary:

    • Award winner: Professor Albert Alexander Rodger, University of Aberdeen
      Title: A progressive model for institutional culture change
      Value: £299,856

    • Award winner: Professor Jane Millar, University of Bath
      Title: Embedding public engagement across the research lifecycle at the University of Bath
      Value: £298,415

    • Award winner: Professor Nicholas Talbot, University of Exeter
      Title: The Exeter Catalyst
      Value: £299,370

    • Professor Michael Reiss, Institute of Education
      Title: Public engagement with the research process and research findings at the Institute of Education
      Value: £252,494

    • Professor Sarah O’Hara, The University of Nottingham
      Title: Integrating the human value of research through public engagement - impacts for civil society
      Value: £299,954

    • Professor Tim Blackman, Open University
      Title: An open research university: embedding public engagement within the culture of research at the Open University
      Value: £299,456

    • Professor Peter McOwan, Queen Mary, University London
      Title: Centre for Public Engagement
      Value: £299,888

    • Professor Richard Jones, University of Sheffield
      Title: Remaking the civic university: creating new cultural standards for public engagement
      Value: £299,951

  2. Research Councils UK (RCUK) is the strategic partnership of the UK's seven Research Councils who annually invest around £3 billion in research. We support excellent research, as judged by peer review, that has an impact on the growth, prosperity and wellbeing of the UK. To maintain the UK’s global research position we offer a diverse range of funding opportunities, foster international collaborations and provide access to the best facilities and infrastructure around the world. We also support the training and career development of researchers and work with them to inspire young people and engage the wider public with research. To maximise the impact of research on economic growth and societal wellbeing we work in partnership with other research funders including the Technology Strategy Board, the UK Higher Education funding bodies, business, government, and charitable organisations.

    The seven UK Research Councils are:

    • Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC);
    • Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC);
    • Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC);
    • Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC);
    • Medical Research Council (MRC);
    • Natural Environment Research Council (NERC);
    • Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC).