About Beltane

The Beltane Public Engagement Network is a partnership between Edinburgh Napier University, Heriot-Watt University, Queen Margaret University and The University of Edinburgh. The mission of the Beltane Network is to support and advance a culture of public engagement with research at its partner universities.

The key contacts for each partner university are:

  • Dawn Smith (Edinburgh Napier University) dawn.smith@napier.ac.uk
  • Laura Wicks (Heriot-Watt University) hwengage@hw.ac.uk
  • Miriam Smith (Queen Margaret University) MSmith3@qmu.ac.uk
  • Fiona Murray (The University of Edinburgh) f.murray@ed.ac.uk

Read the Manifesto of the Beltane Public Engagement Network

The Manifesto was written and approved in the autumn of 2018 by:

  • Sarah Anderson, Public Engagement and Community Engagement Programme Manager, and members of the Public Engagement Strategic Coordination Group, The University of Edinburgh
  • Kim Gilchrist, Head, Research and Knowledge Exchange Development, Queen Margaret University
  • Dawn Smith, Public Engagement Officer, Edinburgh Napier University
  • Laura Wicks, Public Engagement Executive and Lead, Heriot-Watt University

The Manifesto was approved at a senior leadership level within the Beltane partner universities in November 2018 by:

  • Brigid Daniel, Dean of the School of the School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management, Queen Margaret University
  • Lesley McAra, Assistant Principal Community Relations and Director of the Edinburgh Futures Institute, The University of Edinburgh
  • Garry Pender, Deputy Principal (Research and Innovation), Heriot-Watt University
  • Alistair Sambell, Senior Vice Principal and Deputy Vice Chancellor, Edinburgh Napier University


The Beltane partnership was originally formed in 2008, when the universities in Edinburgh were awarded over £1 million of funding to become an RCUK Beacon for Public Engagement. From 2012-2017, the Network was funded by the four universities in Edinburgh to provide a central team based at The University of Edinburgh. This funding has now ended, but the partnership continues, in keeping with the pooling and collaborative approaches that are characteristic strengths of the Scottish higher education sector.