Research engagement is the interaction between researchers and research end-users outside of academia, for the mutually beneficial transfer of knowledge, technologies, methods or resources.
While there are many forms of research engagement, and these vary across disciplines, examples include:
- Collaboration with industry or research partners, such as:
- co-location of industry on campus
- embedded staff or staff exchange
- industry-focused conferences and workshops
- development of university business units.
- Public participation (citizen science): collaborating with public volunteers to expand opportunities for the collection of data as well as disseminating scientific information and findings to the public.
- Providing specialist resources and services to external stakeholders: access to highly specialised equipment, infrastructure and other resources – as well as advice and guidance – providing industry with a market advantage, improving research outcomes and increasing the employability of graduates.
- Provision of specialist training or trainee programs: provision of training material, training and trainee programs to stakeholders and research end-users (from on-the-ground workers to senior staff, domestically and internationally).
Engagement with researchers benefits the community by bringing much-needed expertise to solving complex real-world problems. It improves the health, wellbeing and prosperity of individuals, organisations and communities.
Engagement with end-users benefits researchers by enabling them to understand and solve real-world problems, providing access to research participants and intervention sites, and increasing the competitiveness of their grant applications.
What is a research end-user?
A research end-user is an individual, community or organisation external to academia that will directly use or directly benefit from the output, outcome or result of the research. Examples of research end-users include governments, businesses, non-governmental organisations, communities and community organisations.