Spotlight On... Audrey Tan


This week, we talk to Audrey Tan, Public Engagement Manager. Find out about her previous involvement embedding EDI values throughout UCL and the upcoming Beacon Bursary awards. We also discover the reasons why she favours the UK over Canada, and Spotlight’s cattiest joke yet.

What is your role and what does it involve?

I’m the Public Engagement Manager for Arts, Humanities, Laws, Social & Historical Sciences, & Institute of Education based with the UCL Engagement team. I design, deliver and organise public engagement training for staff and students and support UCL Engagement’s public engagement funding schemes. I also provide guidance on public engagement activity for staff and students in my faculties and support them in developing their own engagement activities.

How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?

I’ve been at UCL for 3.5 years, and this is actually my third role with the University. Previously, I was the Policy Engagement Facilitator for Life and Medical Sciences in the UCL Public Policy team. I developed and delivered training to help UCL researchers build their capacity in engaging with policymakers, brokered relationships between researchers and policymakers and coordinated written responses to Parliamentary and Government consultations.

What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?

A large part of my previous role as a Public Policy Engagement Facilitator focused on embedding values of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) into our ways of working and also building capacity amongst UCL researchers from under-represented groups to engage with public policy. My work through initiatives such as the Public Policy Engagement Masterclass Series, Public Policy Engagement: Online Series, and Policy Engagement and Impact Fellowships were recognised as part of the UCL Inclusion Awards where I was shortlisted for the Provost’s Award for Embedding EDI.

Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of your to-do list

I just launched the 2022-2023 round of the Beacon Bursary funding scheme. The aim of the scheme is to advance the practice and culture of public and community engagement within UCL. We received some incredible applications last year and have been working with a diverse and inspiring 2021-2022 cohort so I can’t wait to see the next round of applications. If people want to learn more about the scheme they can check out the Beacon Bursary

What is your favourite album, film and novel?

Rumours by Fleetwood Mac, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Pride and Prejudice.

What is your favourite joke (pre-watershed)?

If the Earth was flat, cats would have knocked everything off it by now.

Who would be your dream dinner guests?

Leonardo da Vinci and Queen Elizabeth I.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Don’t listen to your parents, they’re usually wrong.

What would it surprise people to know about you?

People are often surprised to hear that though I’m Canadian, I’ve chosen to live in London. However, not being one for -30 winters, snow, vicious mosquitoes, hiking or camping, I’ll take the moderate winters, history, diversity, and 10 Ryanair flights to continental Europe any day!

What is your favourite place?

The Cotswolds.


UCL’s Beacon Bursary funding round is now open for 2022/23 - the deadline to apply is 19 October 2022. Find all the information here to apply.

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