The Principal's Prizes for Public Engagement with Research are intended to recognise individuals who have made an outstanding contribution in the field of research-led public engagement. Research-led public engagement involves interactions with communities outside academia, which is inspired or driven by research activity. The Prize is a measure of institutional support for public engagement with research at the University of Aberdeen. Prizes are awarded by a panel of judges comprising internal and external members.
Heather’s commitment to engaging publics with her research has been consistent during her career to date. Being awarded prizes in three consecutive years is great recognition for all the work she does in this important area. Over the last couple of years, Heather has also inspired others to be more active in public engagement work. She established and leads our public engagement group within the Unit and we now organise and deliver a range of activities for public audiences throughout the calendar. Additionally, Heather supports public engagement with research activities across our Institute of Applied Health Sciences, working closely with our University’s Public Engagement with Research Unit.
Heather said: “For our research to really make a positive difference for society, we need to engage with the people who make up that society. By creating and seizing opportunities to talk with as many people as possible about the work we do, we can increase the relevance and impact of our research. This is not a one off: it’s about ongoing conversations, learning from each other, working together.”