SUPI: Engaging with Schools Training for Researchers

by | Oct 3, 2018

Would you like the opportunity to develop an outreach activity and engage with a local school? Are you passionate about your subject area? Are you interested in taking your research into the classroom? Want to develop your outreach skills? Then this free public engagement training opportunity is for you!

Date/time: Thursday 15th November 2018, 9:30 – 16:30. (Registration from 9:15am, ready for a prompt start at 9:30am).

Title: SUPI: Engaging with Schools. This one-day, interactive workshop for researchers explores the why, what and how of engaging with secondary schools.

Where: The University of Manchester (room details will be circulated to attendees)

Who: Postgraduate Researchers, Postdoctoral Research Associates, Research Staff and New Academics with little or no experience of school outreach. Open to all disciplines.


About the Training: This one-day, interactive workshop for researchers from any discipline who are interested in communicating their research to a secondary schools audience. It explores the why, what and how of engaging with secondary schools.

On this practical course you will:

  • Explore how engaging with schools can benefit you, your research and the schools with whom you engage.
  • Explore the collaborative nature of developing effective working partnerships with schools and teachers.
  • Consider a range of methods and approaches for presenting contemporary research and the research process to secondary school students.
  • Improve your familiarity with the current school environment (including curriculum, operational protocols, and positive learning environments).
  • Enhance a range of skills including communication, collaboration, and project management.
  • Generate activity ideas for bringing contemporary and inspirational research contexts into formal and informal learning to enhance and enrich the curriculum.
  • Develop evaluation and reflective mechanisms for assessing the impact of your activities as well as your own professional development.

And there’s additional funding and support: But we don’t just want to inspire you with great ideas. We want to help you develop those ideas into concrete plans! This course is all about developing confidence, networks, and experience in engaging with local secondary schools. Following the one-day workshop you will look to develop your ideas for an outreach activity to pitch at the follow up Dragon’s Den event. Winning ideas will be given funds and matched-up with a secondary school. And you will be supported along the way with optional drop-in surgeries, where you can talk through the development of your ideas with experienced engaging researchers.

Take a look at some of the projects we have funded in previous years:

Registration: Book your place here:

If you have any queries please email:

What was the School-University Partnerships Initiative (SUPI)? It was a scheme providing opportunities for schools and universities to bring contemporary research to life for young people. Find out more here: and

The legacy of SUPI continues at The University of Manchester through collaboration with a variety of schemes such as The Brilliant Club, a charity that exists to increase the number of pupils from under-represented backgrounds progressing to highly selective universities through sharing the expertise of the PhD community with state schools.

Following a competitive awards process 12 partnership projects, involving universities working with local schools, were tasked with developing long-term school-university partnerships that made a difference to school students, teachers, researchers, and research. Over four years the programme benefited from £2.4 million RCUK funding and this investment was matched by actual and in-kind contributions from the universities and schools involved.

Whist each SUPI developed a bespoke approach, sensitive to contextual factors, they shared four key aims:

  • to inspire the next generation by bringing research into formal and informal learning contexts;
  • to reach secondary school students from a diversity of backgrounds and abilities;
  • to provide researchers with opportunities and training to engage with secondary school students;
  • to support secondary schools and higher education institutes to work together to create structured, strategic, sustainable and equitable mechanisms for school-university engagement.