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People’s Vision for R&D: Stakeholder Workshops Report

04 Apr 2024


CaSE’s Discovery Decade programme is seeking to drive a behaviour change in how the research sector advocates for R&D. Our audience research suggests that if advocates want R&D to be seen as a societal priority then the sector must work towards a society-centred vision for R&D in the UK.

To do this, we must first understand whether UK publics feel they have a stake in the UK’s research system, and explore what would need to change to build a greater sense of involvement and ownership among the public.

CaSE has commissioned the National Centre for Social Research’s Centre for Deliberation and the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement to conduct a public dialogue exercise. This will bring together 40 members of the public, chosen to be reflective of UK society, to explore the extent to which participants feel agency and ownership in the UK’s R&D system; what could change to increase that; and how this could contribute to a society-centred vision for R&D.

It is vital that these discussions are informed by the work being carried out across different parts of the research system, that the questions are framed around the sector’s realistic abilities, and that the outputs are useful and usable for those working in UK R&D.

To understand stakeholders’ perspectives, CaSE hosted five workshops to gather views on the priorities, barriers and solutions that could help build a stronger relationship between the public and the R&D system, as well as collect examples of existing best practice. These reflections will inform materials for the public discussions.

Download the full report


Workshop locations and approach

CaSE heard from around 50 organisations through the workshop series, which comprised one online workshop for UK-wide organisations and four in-person events, held in London, Glasgow, Manchester and Cardiff, with each having representatives from at least two of the UK’s regions.

Organisations were chosen to represent a mix of views from across UK R&D, including funding bodies, industry, academia, learned societies and representative bodies, charities, public engagement and communications professionals, museums and science and discovery centres.

The workshops introduced the Discovery Decade programme, including a summary of the findings of our public attitudes research, and the scope and plans for the public dialogue project. Discussions were framed around three areas that the delivery team, working with CaSE, had identified as areas with potential for greater public ownership.

These were: shared decision-making, such as budget setting or funding awards; public involvement in research, such as co-designed projects or citizen science; and engaging the public in the cause of research.

For each, participants were asked to consider existing examples of how the public have agency or ownership in UK R&D, and discuss the barriers, benefits and solutions, along with inherent trade-offs, in increasing public involvement in R&D.

Participants were also invited to consider the overall approach proposed by CaSE and the delivery team, and what the most useful outputs would be from this piece of work. This report summarises the common themes identified across all workshops.


This report was written by Rebecca Hill, who can be contacted on

This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust [222853/Z/21/Z]