In its emphasis in working with users of research throughout the processes of pedagogic research, the Teaching and Learning Research Programme (TLRP) has reflected a current interest across disciplines in user engagement to enhance research. The scale of the TLRP and the range of research genres encompassed by it have meant that it has provided a useful site for considering in some detail what is meant by enhancing pedagogic research in this way. The authors draw on a TLRP-funded seminar series which examined a variety of forms of user engagement, their purposes and their implications. The series attempted to understand the intertwined features of new education spaces where research and policy can meet; the negotiations with policy communities that occur there; and the implications for these negotiations and for research design in the production of pedagogic knowledge in partnership with practitioners. The lessons revealed included the following: user engagement strengthens the warrants of research with potential users in both practice and policy communities; it needs to be understood and sustained as an aspect of project management; and research mediation is a developing form of expertise. The authors conclude that TLRP has provided an unrivalled opportunity for the public to `speak back to science? in pedagogic research, and enabled an emerging reciprocity where the public understand(s) how science works but equally science understands how its publics work.