Engaged research

Strategy themes

At Heriot-Watt University, we define public engagement with research as the wide range of ways we engage specific members of the public with our research design, process, and outputs. Engaging the public and our communities with our research is vital to the University's mission to create and exchange knowledge for the benefit of society, and an integral part of Strategy 2025.

Engaged Research Strategic Plan

In 2021, we launched our Engaged Research Strategic Plan, which sets out how we will embed our vision, driving public dialogue around issues that will affect all of us in the future.

As an engaged university, our researchers strive to embed public engagement within their research, through informing, consulting and collaborating with identified publics, ensuring our research benefits society and is driven by societal need.

Spectrum of public engagement

We know that public engagement is of increasing strategic importance for higher education, and research and innovation, to strengthen relevance and accountability and to build trust. Societal transformation, like rebounding from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, progress towards net zero and the increasing prevalence of robotics and AI, needs strategic engagement to prepare publics and build relationships and understanding. 

You can read our Engaged Research Strategy online, or check out the video from the launch event to find out more about the key themes.