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Ms Liz Danner

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Professional biography

I’m a researcher, educator and public engagement practitioner passionate about making science and heritage accessible and relevant for broader audiences.

I joined the Open University (OU) in October 2023 as a full time postgraduate student exploring how impact is understood, recognised and rewarded across individuals and institutions, and how we can collaboratively support more inclusive engaged research.  

Prior to this, I worked within public engagement for 14 years, leading sector training, educational programmes and events within museums, universities and heritage sites. As part of the Imperial College London Societal Engagement Team I convened an undergraduate public engagement module and delivered a range of doctoral and staff training programmes. I led staff communication training and schools outreach at Understanding Animal Research, supported youth programmes and STEM Ambassadors at Centre of the Cell in Queen Mary University of London and delivered education programmes across Oxford University’s Gardens, Libraries and Museums as a Heritage Lottery Fund Skills for the Future trainee.

I hold a BA (Hons) in Anthropology (Bryn Mawr College, USA) and MSc in Forensic Anthropology (University of Central Lancashire). I have been awarded Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) for my teaching and training practice.

Research interests

My PhD project is titled ‘What is the impact of the UK’s research impact agenda?’. My research will investigate how funder criteria to demonstrate and measure beneficial impacts of research outside academia has changed how research is conducted- by whom, for whom and with whom.

Drawing on my background as an educator, I am interested in how to best support the professional development of staff and students to lead engaged and impactful research and teaching. By understanding how individuals and institutions navigate this dynamic landscape I aim to develop actionable sector recommendations.

I spoke with Ged Hall on the Research Culture Uncovered Podcast in more detail about the motivations underpinning my research, my research questions and planned methodology. I am applying a triangulated approach across three research phases to 1) analyse documents and 2) conduct interviews to gain a comprehensive understanding of how different universities prioritize engagement and impact processes and training. Then building on these findings, I am to 3) co-develop actionable sector recommendations to change how research culture supports individuals within universities. My ambition is to enable universities to provide more robust engagement and research impacts in the future.


Engagement Career Development: Moving from Introduction to Identity (2024-05-15)
Danner, Liz
In : EUSEA Conference: The Value of Identify: Public Engagement Beyond Boundaries (15-16 May 2024, Tbilisi, Georgia)

Engaged Career Development in the context of the Research (Engagement and) Impact Agenda (2024-05)
Danner, Liz; Holliman, Richard; Gladding, Toni; Khalil, Betul and Grand, Ann
In : Engage Live 2024: Innovating Practice (01-02 May 2024, Bristol, UK)

Have developments in engagement and impact outpaced provision for ‘an engaged PhD journey’? (2023-12-06)
Holliman, Richard; Smith McGloin, Rebekah and Danner, Elizabeth
In : NCCPE Engage 2023: Changing Practices (6 Dec 2023, Online)

Undergraduate Teaching: Exploring Engagement Pedagogy and Practice (2021-12)
Danner, Liz; Iezzi, Francesca and Kay, Naomi
In : Engage Conference 2021: Shaping ideas for change (1-2 Dec 2021, Online)

Accredited Public Engagement: An Undergraduate Case Study (2021)
Danner, Liz
In : Engage Unconference (27 Oct - 23 Nov 2021, Online)

Creating a Conversation: Engaging young people with the ethics and science of animal research (2019)
Danner, Liz
In : Interact 2019: an Engagement Symposium for the Physical and Life Sciences (4 Sep 2019, University of Central Lancashire, Lancashire, UK)

Research Impact & Engagement: Liz Danner's PhD Exploration of UK University Culture [Podcast] (2024-04-17)
Danner, Elizabeth and Hall, Gerard
Research Culturosity, University of Leeds, UK.

Supporting the engaged researchers of tomorrow (2024-01-31)
Danner, Liz
National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE), UK.

Public Engagement Practitioner (PEP) Network: Top Tips for new PEPs (2022-06-22)
Danner, Elizabeth; Coghill, Lorraine and Taylor-Gee, Alice
National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE)