Researchers from across King’s College London and the Biomedical Research Centre attended a workshop event on the Tuesday 22 November, designed to support scientists in planning evaluation into their engagement projects from the outset.

The session aimed to help researchers to understand the significance of their interactions with the public by defining measurable and realistic indicators of success for their projects.

Dr Heather King, a research fellow from King’s College London, was the invited Guest Speaker leading the activity and the discussions around significance, equity and impact. Heather’s has published a number of academic articles critiquing the current approaches to evaluation of engagement activities and she now works in the Enterprising Science team on the concept of Science Capital.

The workshop was hosted by Dr Jenny Cook, Public and Community Engagement Manager at the BRC, and focussed on engagement with health research using air pollution exposure as an example. Dr Cook, said:

“This event was designed to give King’s researchers an introduction to the key principles of engagement. Our case study was the fantastic Pea Soup House initiative, which is a great example of bringing data to life in a creative way.

“During the session, we worked through the plans of a typical research engagement event and discussed questions arising at each stage. We examined what is and what is not possible to measure, and what we can and cannot claim. In so doing we will ask what’s the point of evaluation, and how can we do it better.”

This was the second in a series of events and workshops organised by the King’s Engaged Researcher Network (KERN), an informal group aimed at connecting and sharing good practice in engagement across researchers from all disciplines.

About the King’s Engaged Researcher Network

The King’s Engaged Researcher Network is a group of researchers from across King’s College London and Guy’s and St Thomas’ who support each other in carrying out engagement in all its many forms.

Open to students, researchers and staff from all levels and disciplines with the aim of fostering a growing community to share, develop and celebrate public engagement practices.

For more details of upcoming events, our blog and resources please visit the website and follow us on twitter

To sign up for our monthly newsletter please visit our signup form, or email KERN@kcl.ac.uk