Imagining Change, Creating Impact

Francisco Cerda, psychology major, and Veroinca Nunez, phyical therapy major,  work on mapping out a grid and counting plants during biological science class 2 in the greenhouse in the Biological Science Lab buidling on Tuesday January 13, 2016 at UC Davis.  The students are learning out to apply thier estimations of diversity in tropical understory plant community and carnivorous plant community.

About Public Scholarship and Engagement 

Public Scholarship and Engagement (PSE) is cultivating and fostering a culture of engagement at UC Davis that recognizes and rewards research, teaching, and learning that serves the public; builds the collective capacity for scholarly excellence of the UC Davis community; and increases the university’s impact through mutually-beneficial relationships that have local, regional, statewide, and global reach.


To recognize and reward research, teaching and learning that engages the public and has a broader impact.


UC Davis research, teaching and learning that serves society and makes a positive difference in the world.


  1. Reward and recognize public scholarship in research, teaching, and creative practice
  2. Develop and improve community-based learning experiences
  3. Increase mutually beneficial community engagement and public impact
We strive to execute our mission through the following strategic actions:
  • Coordinating communication that promotes the value of public scholarship, shares existing resources, and enables relationship building.
  • Facilitating collaborative activities across colleges and schools, and in local and regional communities and beyond.
  • Encouraging, incentivizing, and rewarding public scholarship through grants, awards, training, and acknowledgement in merit and promotion.
  • Measuring and assessing the impact of publicly-engaged research and learning in communities, public policy, and the improvement of learning outcomes through evidence-based approaches.

How does PSE serve the mission of UC Davis?

PSE is a university-wide unit under the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor working to define the future of UC Davis’ land-grant mission—to use scholarship, research, teaching and knowledge to serve the public. UC Davis is widely viewed as an engine of engagement through the many activities carried out by individual faculty, students, and staff. However, the collective impact of these actions lacks visibility both on and off campus, and will greatly benefit from an integrated and coordinated approach that explicitly acknowledges, rewards, and communicates the value and impact of university public scholarship. PSE will also convene university and non-university individuals and groups, and facilitate the creation of community-university collaborations with the goal of assisting different communities to access university resources.

The four primary roles of PSE are to:

  • Communicate the value, importance, and impact of engaged scholarship and engaged learning. 
  • Convene individuals and groups to build collaborative relationships, partnerships, and networks. 
  • Collaborate on university and community partnerships, training, workshops, and events.
  • Champion public scholarship to increase resource support and change the institutional system of rewards and recognition.