Ben Wilcock – Academic Research and Engagement Coordinator
Academic Research and Engagement Coordinator
What does your role as Academic Research and Engagement Coordinator for the National Trust involve?
It’s my job to identify ways that universities and the places that the National Trust looks after can work together, and to make sure that future collaborations meet their full potential in moving, teaching and inspiring visitors. I work with seven ‘pilot’ properties in the North: Dunham Massey; Little Moreton Hall; Lyme; Nostell; Sizergh; Speke; Quarry Bank. My role is to evaluate what these properties already do in terms of working with academic research, and to identify new ways for the properties to underpin the stories they tell with academic research. I work as a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Associate, and my project will run until September 2019.
Tell us more about your role as a KTP Associate
My role is joint-funded by the National Trust and the Arts and Humanities Research Council through the University of Manchester. Before starting this KTP I taught history at the University, and I’ve always been interested in widening public engagement with research. This KTP allows me to share exciting university-based research with a wider audience – it’s a really brilliant opportunity.
What’s a typical day like?
There isn’t really a typical day! Some days I’m working with Visitor Experience teams at properties to help plan, inform and deliver their in-house programme. On other days I’ll work with Ranger teams to see how we might make best use the research done by Environmental Science academics, or I’ll be at universities working with academics or students on projects related to our properties. It’s a varied role and I get the opportunity to meet lots of different people working on lots of different projects.
What do you do in your spare time?
I love being outdoors, and learning about nature and the history of places and people. So the National Trust is the perfect for me to work! I also like to cook (and eat), and I enjoy reading, running and swimming.
Tell us the best part of the job!
I really enjoy creating new partnerships between the properties I work with and academics. It’s exciting to identify where research interests overlap, and to develop ways of working together that benefit both sides. It’s also great to work with National Trust colleagues and volunteers who have such varied specialisms, knowledge, and interests.