Our guidance is based on research that SFI has either commissioned or supported in the areas of public engagement in STEM. It aims to provide useful information and data that will inform and cohort public engagement activity on a national basis. Learn more about the SFI Science in Ireland Barometer 2020 and see all SFI Publications.

Education and Public Engagement Framework and Impact

This guidance document has been prepared primarily to provide you with an overview of SFI’s vision and expectations for Education and Public Engagement (EPE) within large-scale research awards such as SFI Research Centres and Strategic Partnerships.

Guidance Document

To assist you in planning your EPE activities, we've broken the process down into eight sections:

This section sets out why EPE is a core objective of SFI large-scale research awards and summarises the main aims of EPE activities. 

Section 1

This section sets out SFI’s Vision and Mission for EPE in large-scale research awards.

Section 2

This section sets out SFI’s expectations regarding fostering a culture of EPE, engagement with stakeholders, types of EPE activities, features of effective public engagement and approaches to effective public engagement, funding EPE activities and leadership roles.   

Section 3

This figure illustrates the range of type and depth of EPE activities.

Section 4

This section sets out the approach taken to reviewing EPE activities during site reviews of large-scale awards.  It also sets out planning and reporting requirements. 

Section 5

This section sets out a glossary of commonly used terms in EPE and a suggested approach to developing a logic model.

Section 6

This section sets out sample criteria used by, and sample guidance provided to, reviewers in relation to site visits.

Appendix 1

This section sets out the current EPE KPI which is used to quantitatively evaluate EPE activities on an annual basis.  This KPI is reviewed periodically and is subject to change; however, this is the current format in place for large-scale awards. 

Appendix 2


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This video goes through why evaluation is important. The aim of the video is to identify the pertinent points to assist EPE practitioners in relation to evaluation of their activities

Evaluation toolkit

This Toolkit aims to provide you with a basic understanding of evaluation, how to embed evaluation into project planning stages, and to identify various methodologies for evaluation data collection, analysis and dissemination. All events and projects are unique, so it is up to you to apply the most appropriate evaluation methods for your project.

To assist you in navigating the different stages of project evaluation, we've broken the process down into seven steps:

Toolkit steps

This section introduces the main concepts involved in project evaluation, offers advice on getting started, and explains terms such as public engagement and evaluation.

Evaluation should be part of your project from the start. This section describes how to incorporate evaluation into your project, from the planning stages right through to completion.

It is vital to know what you want your project to achieve, and to measure its impact as you proceed and when it is complete. This document gives you tips on how to measure the impact of your project.

There is no 'one size fits all' approach to evaluation. This section offers a number of evaluation types to help you choose which would best suit your project.

Once you know what you need to evaluate, you will need to choose an evaluation design that can best help to achieve this. This section offers some suggestions, and explains the difference between experimental and quasi-experimental designs.

There are many ways to collect data on your project. This section lists some of the main methods, and how to analyse it appropriately.

Have you answered the evaluation questions you set yourself? Now it is time to report the answers to your stakeholders.