Understanding the public’s connection with R&D  

To explore the public’s relationship with R&D, we are working with the agency Public First to conduct a major audience research project.  

Commencing in April 2022, the project is spending 6 months gathering comprehensive field data from focus groups across the UK and polling covering 10,000 people. This quantitative and qualitative data will be compiled into an open-source and interactive online resource for R&D advocates operating across universities, industry, charities, public engagement organisations and think tanks. We hope this will become a new ‘gold standard’ resource for advocates across the sector. 

We aim to better understand the pattern of support for R&D within UK society, and identify the ways in which advocates can best connect with new supporters. We will identify what terminology is most effective when talking about R&D, which voices are trusted as advocates, and what motivates those who support (or don’t support) R&D as a priority for the UK’s future.  

This research will interpret ‘R&D’ in its broadest terms, and will be exploring all R&D disciplines, all R&D organisations and actors, and all parts of the UK.  

We will be publishing the data in late 2022 or early 2023, alongside a set of ideas that put the findings into action. By taking an evidence-led approach, we hope to identify promising ways for R&D advocates to connect with new supporters. 

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