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Celebrating a year of the Warwick Institute of Engagement

Somehow a whole year has whizzed by since WIE was founded. It has been a jam-packed year, made all the more challenging by Covid19. We’re excited (and a little bit proud!) to take this opportunity to look back and reflect on what we’ve achieved so far. That includes 84 live events and collaborations in the community with our Resonate Festival as part of Coventry City of Culture year.

The Institute has appointed 99 Fellows and created 14 learning circles to tackle key challenges. We’re delighted we’re already starting to see successes from these, such as a change to the academic promotion criteria to better reward staff for their engagement work; and the initial designs for the STEM Public Engagement hub that will be built as part of the University’s STEM Grand Challenge project.

Public Engagement is a huge part of learning and research, which is why we’ve also been growing our support for students too. We’ve helped lead changes to schemes like the Undergraduate Research Support Scheme (URSS) to help students gain some vital public engagement experience.

A huge year for engagement

Infographic showing the highlights of WIE's 1st year. Data shown is repteaded in the plan text below.

The infographic above shows the impact of what we’ve been able to deliver in just one short year – and we’re just getting started!

Festival delivery

A huge part of our focus this year has been on delivering the Resonate Festival. We’ve had 170+ staff and students involved in delivering 84 live events as well as 20 online activities and resources that have been created. We’ve reached 2,500 live audience members with people from our local area across Coventry and Warwickshire, along with 3,446 (and growing!) online event views. And those numbers are only going to go up as we deliver the remaining months of the festival and bring it all together with our grand finale – our on-campus festival on 19-21 April 2022. We’d love to see you there so do save the date! We've pulled out a few of the highlights and some of our favourite feedback quotes from attendees - you can read them in depth here.

The ESRC Festival of Social Science has been another key event, with 17 individual events in 2020 and 13 more that just happened in November this year.

Hand in hand with our local communities

We couldn’t have done all this without working closely with the incredible people on our doorstep. We’ve worked with community groups, individuals and organisations to collaborate on a huge range of activities.

We’ve been able to work with 57 local organisations and develop relationships with 40 professional artists and creatives. Through this WIE has given £10,000 to 11 community groups to co-create activities, alongside our staff and students.

Deepening relationships further

Separately to the Resonate Festival, WIE has also just closed our first call in our new Collaboration and Co-Production Fund. The fund awards up to £3,000 to support building new (or strengthening existing) relationships between our staff and students and external partners. If you missed it, don’t worry, there is a second call, closing in February 2022.

Warwick staff and students rising to the challenge

Inforgraphic shows highlights of WIE's sucess in working with staff and students for 1 year. Data shown repeated in the text below.

WIE couldn’t have done all this without the incredible input from our staff and student community, which is clear to see from the infographic above.

Our first cohort of Fellows

We were overwhelmed by the positive response we got when we launched WIE and the applications we received to become Foundation Fellows. We were able to recruit 88 staff and 11 students to become our first cohort of WIE Fellows – you can meet them here.

Since they’ve been appointed, they’ve helped us spread the word about what engagement is and why it matters across their home departments. They also work as part of 14 learning circles to set the direction of our work and drive forward change at Warwick. Phil Jemmett, a Foundation Fellow, and Jack Jones, one of our student Fellows, have shared in depth their experiences of Fellowship here.

Institutional change

One of our proudest success stories from these learning circles so far has been undertaking a review commissioned by the Provost of the University’s Promotions Criteria. The review expanded the examples of evidence used to demonstrate Impact, Outreach and Engagement.

Thanks to these changes new guidance has been developed to support staff in using their engagement examples as evidence towards their promotions case. We’re delighted that more people are able to be recognised for their invaluable public engagement efforts and we’re keen to do even more to support staff recognition in the future.

Learning and development

Since launch, we've delivered 48 hours of training to 416 staff and students at Warwick (we didn’t lock them in a room for two days straight – promise!). We’ve delivered 3 guest lectures for modules in psychology, humanitarian engineering, and design thinking too.

The Institute has offered dedicated support sessions for 63 students undertaking URSS projects in 2021, with plans to expand this support even further as we move to support all students completing an Undergraduate Research project as part of the scheme to build in a required public engagement element from 2022 onwards.

Last, but by no means least, we’ve developed 19 different online resources covering everything from how to run events online, how to make a podcast, and how to make and use zines for engagement, to how to find an audience, get funding and plan your evaluation. These are all available via our Skills Festival which aims to make online training fun and easy to dip in and out of.

Public Engagement IATL module

Did you know that the Institute has its very own ‘Public Engagement: Connecting Communities to Research’ module in IATL? So far we've worked with 23 students. We spoke to Dorotta and Helen from our 2020 cohort who've shared the fantasic things they've been up to since.

We have also hosted 4 placement students in the Institute – you can hear about their time with us here.

Come and join us

Image shows the routes to join in with WIE - repeated in the text below

For everyone

There’s still five more months of our Resonate Festival, including the campus festival. Remember to save the date 19-21 April 2022 for that on-campus event. We're excited for a jam packed programme of arts and cultural events, including a fun filled family day on Wednesday 20 April.

Want updates straight to your inbox? Subscribe here to all the latest events, news and ways to get involved.

For staff and students

We’re on the hunt for new Fellows! Applications are open now and we’d love for you to apply if you’re excited about all thing's engagement. Deadline for application is 6th January 2022.

If you’ve got an idea about how we can work more closely with our local community, you can apply to the second call for our Collaboration and Coproduction fund, closing in February.

Want to stay in the loop with WIE and engagement news? Sign up to our WIE Network.

For students

We’re happy to support you with a public engagement URSS project, so do go ahead and apply. And dont forget there's lots of Public Engagement training support available for you too in our dedicated Undergraduate and Postgraduate Skills Festival pages.

We're so proud of all we've achieved over the last year. We couldn't have done it without the help of the hundreds of staff and students we've been working with. Our infographics show off the scale of what we've achieved, but these are some of the fantastic stories that sit behind the numbers...


Come and join us!

For everyone

Come along to the Resonate Festival.

For staff and students

Apply to be an Institute Fellow.

And don't forget to sign up to our WIE Network.

For Students

Lead your own summer engagement project with URSS.