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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.


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