Paulette Dougnac Quintana

Paulette Dougnac Quintana



I did my undergraduate in Journalism at the University of Chile, and my Master degree in Corporate Communications at the University of Manchester. I've spent most of my working experience in a university setting, in the area of corporate communications and public engagement.

What motivated me to undertake PhD study?

During my work at the university, I became passionate about the unlimited possibilities of cooperation with the society that a university has, and how enriching these experiences can be for both the university and the community. When I did my master degree, I really enjoyed the academic life and became interested in the possibility of becoming a researcher myself. It took me a long time to decide what I was going to study, but finally the idea of researching about university public engagement came as something that really motivated me, as I feel that the topic has the potential for big impact not only in the academic world but also in the wider society.

What makes me passionate about my subject?

I am convinced that university public engagement is a key area for universities to contribute to the society through a myriad of ways. Developing this area a research topic, is a way to enhance the importance of this function, especially in the Chilean context, where it has a very long and rich practical tradition, but scarce development as research topic. I am also very interested in how the public engagement practices of universities can reveal deep perspectives and ideologies regarding the model of institution that they respond to.

What are my plans once I have completed my PhD?

After completing my PhD, I plan to go back to Chile and work for a university. I feel a personal commitment to contribute to the development of public engagement in my country, both as a practice and as a research topic. I wish to stay in contact with the colleagues from all over the world that I have met during my PhD, in order to produce comparative research and contribute to including the Chilean and Latin American experience about public engagement in the international debate about this topic.

Research interests

My PhD research is about a process of reappraisal of public engagement at a Chilean public university, considering the context and the way it was developed, as well as the different stakeholders’ perspectives and expectations and how they were reflected on the process.