KE Communications Community of Practice
Aspect is organised into cross-institutional, cross-disciplinary communities, designed to capture and share knowledge across five core areas of practice. The KE Communications (KE COMMS) Community of Practice (CoP) seeks to develop good practice and raise the profile of social sciences, humanities and arts (SHAPE) knowledge exchange (KE) in all its forms.
The COP is led by a rotating chair. To find out more, or to join the KE Communications CoP, please contact the Aspect Programme Team COP liaison, Britta Wyatt (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Who is involved?
The KE COMMS CoP is made up of volunteers drawn from the founding Aspect member institutions, who have some responsibility for supporting the translation of social science, humanities and arts research to business and vice versa (i.e., communicating about the opportunities for ‘knowledge exchange’ linked to their organisation.) Knowledge exchange in this context spans multiple other Aspect COP areas, including research commercialisation and business engagement, but could also include sharing of best practice, and suggesting methods for communicating about Aspect activities or producing shared resources and training materials.
Current CoP members’ roles, for example, include: Knowledge Exchange and Impact Officers; Director of Communications; Marketing, Communications and Engagement Officers/ Managers; College or Departmental Communications Officer; Business Engagement Communications Managers; and Commercialisation Professionals with responsibility to liaise with internal marketing teams and communications teams.
What do we do?
The KE COMMS CoP provides a platform for members to share and exchange good practice. Through its activity the COP aims to:
- Better equip and train support staff within the COP, but also across other COPs.
- Overcome barriers in terms of social sciences, humanities and arts academics understanding what KE is.
- Overcome barriers in terms of industry understanding what social sciences, humanities and arts can offer.
- Support the development of knowledge exchange, impact literacy and the translation of social sciences, humanities and arts ideas into outputs.
We meet monthly and/or as needed to support these aims, with meetings focussed on sharing best practice and exploring challenges and solutions. Some of the questions the COP is keen to explore in its meetings include:
- How to engage SHAPE academics and change culture to be more open to KE?
- How to embed KE comms alongside SHAPE research?
- How to make KE comms cross-cutting across Aspect’s COPs?
- What internal and external comms channels do COP members use, what works and what doesn’t, and how to maximise impact of our SHAPE KE comms?
- What examples of SHAPE KE (including research commercialisation, business engagement, collaboration) can we share amongst COP members, and how can we use these examples in our KE comms?
- How to share best practice on KE comms across institutions?
- How to encourage a culture shift from social sciences to SHAPE, by demonstrating effective internal communications and utilising updated terminology more relevant and better suited to SHAPE?
CoP members are encouraged to contribute by:
- Presenting a case study or sharing an example of ‘good practice’ from your institutions at a COP meeting
- Posing a challenge or topic you would like to explore at COP meeting (i.e., an informal discussion or workshop format)
- Contributing to the development and/or delivery of training sessions (i.e., via the ‘Train the Trainer’ funded project)
- Contributing to shared marketing campaigns aimed at social scientists, including building the existing library of case studies
- Volunteering to host/chair a COP meeting (chair currently rotates every 2 months).
This COP is also supporting the development of ‘Train the Trainer’ materials, which Aspect member will be able to use within their institutions to teach staff how to best communicate and engage with SHAPE academics. The project is intended to kick-off in January 20201 – further details will be made available on the Aspect website. To find out how you can get involved in the project, contact project lead Louise Jones (L.Jones2@lse.ac.uk).
Previously the COP has supported the development of a Marketing Toolkit for social sciences. The Aspect-funded project completed in September 2021, and the outputs are available here: https://aspect.ac.uk/about/aspect-funded-projects/marketing-toolkit/