Embedding engagement at the University of Dundee

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Public Engagement is essential for the University of Dundee's mission to transform lives through the creation, sharing and application of knowledge.

Our Public Engagement Strategy shares how we define public engagement. It also outlines how engagement is a pathway that delivers many benefits to all who participate.

The Public Engagement Strategy builds on the University’s Strategy, where our social purpose is integral to all that we do.

Our University is committed to the highest standards of public engagement. We are proud to be a signatory of the Manifesto for Public Engagement. In 2020, we became the first University in Scotland to receive a Gold Engage Watermark.


Our Public Engagement Forum is a group of leaders and champions of public engagement from all of our academic Schools and professional services Directorates. 

This Forum drives the embedding of public engagement throughout the University. It provides a channel for discussion and development for committed public engagement champions. The work of the Forum complements the leadership for public engagement from our senior managers.


We communicate our commitments to public engagement through our strategic vision. The University’s five‐year Strategy to 2027 reinforces our commitment to social purpose through our Engagement and Enterprise Strategy. Our strategic commitment to engagement is supported by University-wide communications and our engagement portfolio.

We share opportunities to participate and engage through all of our established communication routes. These include our Public Engagement Newsletter, on social media, and at events and conferences. We share our public engagement stories online and in publications, and in conversations with our partners and funders.


Many people across the University support our staff and students in their public engagement work. They include our security, technical and cleaning teams and colleagues that help us plan, communicate and record activities. Safety Services advise us on managing risk for our projects.

Our public engagement professionals are people with a dedicated responsibility for supporting advising or delivering engagement. They meet regularly at the University’s Public Engagement Network to foster collaboration and co-ordinate our engagement work.

Through the Public Engagement Network, our Public Engagement Forum, and individual Schools, we work together to share best practice. This joint effort helps us create opportunities where people work more closely between different areas of the University.

The University provides opportunities to engage with the public through our supported events and festivals. Funding is also available to help our staff and students develop their own activities. Through a variety of budgets including those held in Schools and Directorates.


The University of Dundee is committed to sharing our aims, consulting and collaborating with our audiences and partners, evaluating our practices, and tracking the impact to people’s lives. We have a long‐standing record of offering training in the area of Public Engagement.

We create a space to share best practice in our Public Engagement Network. At the Network we share knowledge and learning of what has and hasn't worked, to enhance the quality of our engagement activity.

Our team of public engagement professionals also provide bespoke training that fits the needs of staff and students in their School or Directorate. By linking training events with outreach opportunities, we allow researchers a chance to practice their newly‐acquired skills while they are still fresh in their minds.


Public engagement is embedded in our academic workload planning, our promotion criteria and in annual staff appraisals process (Objective Setting and Reviews).

The Stephen Fry Public Engagement Awards recognise the work of our outstanding staff and students. These awards highlight people and projects that engage a wider audience with the University, and the benefits this brings to society. We recognise staff and students by nominating them for national public engagement awards.


There are many ways in which are staff can participate in engagement.

We provide training, advice through drop-in sessions, and information during staff induction to raise awareness of engagement opportunities. There are structured opportunities for many staff members to get involved in public engagement through our series of annual events and festivals. Each School and Directorate has a public engagement champion who acts as a point of contact for staff.


Our students can develop their communication and engagement skills through our undergraduate courses and postgraduate training. The University works closely with DUSA and its societies to support extracurricular activities.

The University believes that engagement opportunities are an excellent way to enhance training and to gain real‐life experiences that bolster skills needed for employment. This is reflected in the Dundee Plus award.


Since our foundation in 1881, the University has been a university ‘for the city’ not just ‘of the city’. We recognise that effective engagement is achieved through strong and effective partnerships that anchor us in our community.

Our Museums, Archives Services, Cooper Gallery and Botanic Garden provide excellent access to the University’s work and research.

Through Shabnam Wasim, our Community Engagement Officer, and the work of our Schools and research centres, we are embedding our University locally.

Members of the public can contact engage@dundee.ac.uk with any enquiries they have, and find out more on our Get Involved page.