If you’re planning a public engagement project around your research, it’s useful to think about the impact you’re hoping to have. Are you planning to increase people’s knowledge about your research area? Or do you want to empower them to become scientists, or to seek out scientists? And what about yourself? What are you hoping to get out of the project? Thinking about these questions will also help you evaluate the success of your project later on.
This coffee break, fill in an impact grid
This grid is based on one that was used at the evaluation workshop of the 2019 London SciComm Symposium, but there are other ones floating around online. You can change it to reflect your own needs.
Download the grid as PDF or draw your own.
Filling in the grid doesn’t take very long if you already have a project in mind, so it’s a perfect coffee break activity.
You don’t need to use every field, but try to balance it so that you don’t just think about your audience, but also consider what you want to achieve.
What have you learned?
After this exercise, you should have a better idea of the specific aims of your project, and how it’s going to bring about change for both yourself and your audience. You can take this and further develop it into objectives, and figure out how you’re going to measure the success of the project.