This week we meet Dr Dom Galliano, Head of Public Engagement within the UCL Engagement team. Here he chats to us about the latest Beacon Bursary funding round, which is currently open to UCL staff until 13 December.
What is your role and what does it involve?
I’m the Head of Public Engagement within the UCL Engagement team where we enable brighter ideas through deeper connections with our community partners. My team looks after Public Engagement with Research and Teaching. We do this by running core Funding, Training and Networking programmes along with providing support for individual academic projects across all of UCL.
How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?
I’ve been at UCL for just over three years. I still feel like I’m finding my way round - the research and teaching here is so vast and varied! Previously, I was Director of Outreach & Public Engagement for the South East Physics Network (SEPnet), a partnership of ten physics departments who were working together on their Outreach & Engagement programmes.
What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?
Project managing the Rapid Evaluation Advice and Learning (REAL) Service was a highlight. Camden Council were changing their services rapidly throughout 2020 and folks from our team, the partnerships team within Innovation & Enterprise and the Research Impact team came together with Camden Council to set up a service which matched Camden staff looking for evaluation support with UCL staff who had evaluation experience. The team was amazing, we learned so much from each other, playing to each other’s strengths. Camden staff were very satisfied with the support and UCL staff who volunteered their expertise found the experience rewarding and felt connected to our neighbours.
Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of your to-do list?
At the moment top of my list is running our Beacon Bursary funding round, which is in its thirteenth year. I sit on the funding panel, so it’s a fantastic opportunity to find out what is going on with Public Engagement across of UCL. The deadline is midday on Friday 13 December, so get your applications in!
What is your favourite album, film and novel?
- Kylie Minogue’s Aphrodite - pop perfection.
- Julieta by Pedro Almodóvar - though it was a difficult pick with some of his other films.
- The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K Le Guin. I cried. Loads. So so good.
What is your favourite joke (pre-watershed)?
I only know post-watershed ones, sorry folks. I blame the company I keep!
Who would be your dream dinner guests?
Armistead Maupin - he’s so lovely. I met him a few times and his Tales of the City novels have gotten me through tough times. I’d also invite Christopher Isherwood too as I’d love to hear about his time in pre-War Berlin, and would love to get his views on the modern LGBTQ+ community.
Sandi Toksvig, as I met her once and she was so warm and so knowledgeable. Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P Johnson would finish the guest list. I’d want to find out what actually happened in Stonewall and get inspiration on keeping your energy up as an LGBTQ+ activist.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Come out sooner - you’ll have a lot more fun then!
What would it surprise people to know about you?
I used to be a transport planner many lifetimes ago. I even worked on early bus models of the 2012 Olympics.
What is your favourite place?
Anywhere up a mountain or hill. At the moment, some of the South Downs way ranks highly after walking the initial half earlier this year, but this is bound to change by my next walking trip! I feel terrible for my partner Andy who isn’t as keen a walker, but he’s getting better at keeping up!