Track Record

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Programme-wide evaluation of RAS200 for the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS)

RAS200 is a £1 million, 7-year programme to engage under-represented audiences with astronomy and geophysics, which has funded 12 projects for charities, cultural and research institutions to work with specific audiences (e.g. carers, young people, prisoners and people with autism). The evaluation includes: developing a framework and core questions to collect consistent and comparable audience feedback; conducting annual surveys and interviews to assess projects’ progress towards aims; capturing audience feedback directly; formative evaluation to determine outcomes for audiences and funded organisations; plus evaluation of learning and legacy for RAS outreach and engagement strategy.

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Summative Evaluation of a National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) Project for South London Botanical Institute (SLBI)

SLBI is a botanic garden, library and herbarium and centre for plant education, running courses, workshops, school visits and community events. It was awarded an NHLF Resilient Heritage grant for an 18 month strategic project to build long term financial and governance resilience; optimise income generation and audience engagement; and develop a 5-year business plan. The evaluation involved: reviewing relevant documents and reports; interviewing trustees, staff and consultants; and observation of project meetings. The findings included an assessment of achievements with regards to intended heritage, people and community outcomes plus learning for SLBI. They were presented in a form relevant to both the evaluation requirements of the NLHF and to SLBI’s future planning.

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Baseline, Formative and Summative Evaluation of a Community Engagement Project for the Centre for Regenerative Medicine (CRM), University of Edinburgh

Evaluation of a two-year community engagement project delivering community science festival & community and school science activities; plus pupil mentoring, paid internships and apprenticeships. Funded initially by Scottish Government, the project sought to improve attitudes and understanding around science within communities that are among the most-deprived in Scotland and although geographically close, traditionally have little engagement with science or CRM. The work involved design and implementation of conventional and creative tools to assess baseline opinions and attitudes, plus evaluation of experiences, impact and learning for pupils, teachers, families, community partners, and CRM itself. Findings and recommendations informed the expansion of CRM’s community engagement work.

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Evaluation of projects’ impacts and learning & evaluation frameworks and plans for is a user-led charity running an online network for people with Multiple Sclerosis (MSers). With funding from a range of sources (e.g. Wellcome, Nominet, Comic Relief) it creates projects and activities to engage and empower MSers in managing their personal circumstances and interactions with experts more effectively. We have devised and conducted evaluations collecting feedback from: patients and patient groups; friends and families; professional communities (e.g. healthcare professionals, industry experts, researchers); decision makers (e.g. public sector health funders, policy makers); and other stakeholders – NHS, commercial sponsors and charities. Additional support has helped Shift management develop evaluation plans and present them as part of funding applications.

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Interim Evaluation of Clock Control of Inflammation in the Lung Public Engagement Project for Vocal

Vocal (formerly Public Programmes) is a not for profit organisation, hosted by Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with The University of Manchester, that brings together people from all walks of life, with all kinds of experiences, and connects them with health research. This interim evaluation of a 3-year (2018 to 2021) public engagement project funded by a Wellcome Research Enrichment Grant comprised: a comprehensive review of existing monitoring and evaluation data, reports and records followed by interviews with key stakeholders. The report reflected on impact, outputs, processes and finances to date and identified opportunities for optimising delivery and impact in future, making recommendations for the remainder of the funding period and beyond.

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5-Year strategic evaluative review and annual evaluations (2015-2019) of Being Human festival of the humanities

Being Human aims to engage diverse audiences with humanities research by supporting researchers, often working in partnership with museums, collections and the arts. It is led by the School of Advanced Study with funding partners the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Academy. Building on the annual evaluations, the 5-year strategic review involved: reviewing annual audience feedback, plus interviews with researchers and other stakeholders to assess long-term impacts and learning for participating institutions, local contexts, partners and the wider landscape for public engagement. Individual and institutional outcomes, success factors, learning points, future opportunities and recommendations were documented in a final report and presented to SAS and the funding partners.