Kath Maguire

Dr Kath Maguire

Kath Maguire is a public engagement champion who works tirelessly to make health research accessible to anyone and everyone. Her engaging models and games, designed to demystify research, have caught a wide range of people’s attention and imagination. Kath studied for her first degree at Cambridge as a mature student and became involved in health research as a lay expert. Last year she gained her PhD in Public Involvement in Health Research, developed as a member of PenPIG (Patient/Public Involvement group for PenCLAHRC, the NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care South West Peninsula). She says she takes great pride in “supporting patients and members of the public to contribute to and benefit from research.”

The philosopher Eva Feder Kittay has been an important and poignant role model. Kittay’s research has focused on feminist philosophy, ethics, social and political theory, metaphor, and the application of these disciplines to disability studies. Kath says she finds her particularly inspiring “because of her courage in using personal experiences of grief and vulnerability in academic work.”

On the theme of equality for women being progress for all, Kath argues: “Disadvantaging any gender suppresses human potential as a whole. Creating a society that enables and supports people to develop and grow their knowledge, skills and abilities can make all of our lives richer.”

In her current role as a public engagement champion, Kath shares with students and colleagues public involvement and engagement tools and techniques, community development practices and inclusive and accessible ways of working.

She adds: “The single piece of advice I would give to others is that it is good to aim high. That way you get a better view during the journey, wherever you might land.”