The Heriot-Watt Engage team is part of the new Research Engagement Directorate, working in the Policy, Strategy and Impact team to create and support engagement at all levels. The multi-faceted nature of public engagement means the team work closely with colleagues in Researcher Development, Marketing and Communications, Alumni Relations and Student Recruitment.

We provide a range of services to support all staff and students in their public engagement with research activities. We advertise funding, training and event opportunities via our quarterly newsletter. If you would like us to keep you up to date with these opportunities please email and ask to join our mailing list. You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram: @HWEngage.


Dr Laura Wicks, Public Engagement Lead

Laura has over 10 years experience in public engagement, creating and delivering activities to schools and the public. She also has vast experience developing online educational resources.

Laura's background is in marine biology and climate change, completing a PhD in marine biology in New Zealand, and originally joining Heriot-Watt as a Research Associate.


Sandra McArthur, Public Engagement Co-ordinator

Sandra joined Heriot-Watt Engage in August 2018. In her previous role, as Research Administrator for the School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences, she played a leading role in the University's Year of Robotics 2017.

Sandra has over 10 years experience supporting researchers at Heriot-Watt University in a variety of roles including pre and post award finance, project management and research communication, including public engagement activities.


Dr Alison Keir, Public Engagement Project Co-ordinator

Ally joined Heriot-Watt Engage in October 2018 and is responsible for the coordination of the University's contribution to Explorathon 2019 and the Edinburgh International Science Festival (EISF) 2019.

Alison's background is in Archaeology where she dedicated her career to engaging, researching and involving the public with archaelogical research.


Steering Group

The Public Engagement with Research (PER) Steering Group are currently developing the PER Strategy for Heriot-Watt University, to be launched in 2018.

The Board are developing  the strategic PER objectives and priorities of the University, based on public and internal consultations.

PER Steering Group
Name Position Steering Group Role
Prof. Garry Pender Deputy Principal for Research and
Reports to University Executive
Dr. Alicia Greated Head of Research and Enterprise
Advises on industry and research
Prof. John Underhill Chief Scientist Oversight of University-wide
research and engagement
Prof. Rory Duncan Senior Academic Academic Representative
Polly Ashdown Head of Global Communications Communication Strategy
Dr. Laura Wicks Public Engagement Manager Public Engagement Expert
Carolyn Brock Impact Manager Pathways to Impact
TBC Community representatives Community needs
TBC Education representatives Educational needs