Our Priorities

Below are some of our priorities for public engagement within the School and via our flagship public engagement project, the national Being Human festival.

  • Connecting humanities researchers with communities and cultural partners 
  • Promoting collaborative, co-produced public engagement that increases the impact of humanities research 
  • Enabling small-to-medium scale public engagement projects not supported in others ways  
  • Leading innovation and best practice in public engagement delivery and methods 
  • Providing a locus for media interest in humanities research locally, regionally and nationally via the national Being Human festival
  • Improving inclusion and diversity in the Being Human festival programming and provision 
  • Emphasising place-based activities, representing a range of communities and interests across the four nations of the United Kingdom, creating a national humanities festival that is rooted in local place

Our Priority Audiences

Across all our public engagement work we seek innovative, exciting public engagement that has been designed with the needs of audiences firmly in mind.

We actively welcome applications for the Being Human festival and the SAS Public Engagement fund which celebrate inclusivity, equality and diversity. We are particularly keen to see public engagement work which engages with underrepresented groups in a researcher's community, and/or groups who share a particular protected characteristic (defined under the Equality Act 2010).

We encourage researchers to be specific about intended audiences when developing public engagement activities. We will not knowingly support events or activities which include speaker line-ups that lack appropriate diversity, including all-male or ‘about us, without us’ activities – where a subject is explored without representation from those affected by it.

We endeavour to keep learning and improving our processes, so please contact us at engage@sas.ac.uk if you have any feedback or would like to discuss this with us.

We are particularly keen to support public engagement activities which demonstrate capacity to do one or more of the following things: 

  • explore innovative and realistic approaches to public engagement;
  • engage with communities who are under-represented within universities and research organisations, or people who have never engaged with a university or IRO;
  • engage with under-served communities (See the ‘Young participation by area’ information on the Office for Students website);
  • engage with communities in areas without a university;
  • provide programming for families and young people (16-25 year olds);
  • are relevant to local communities (for example, place-based activity highlighting unexpected aspects of local history and/ or contemporary culture, addressing topical debates with local communities);
  • feature an element of co-production; and,
  • have potential to make a small change happen locally and/ or leave a legacy beyond the duration of the project or activity (if applicable).