Opportunities for Public Engagement
Current outreach opportunities
IF Oxford 2023
The IF Oxford festival explores science and ideas through an exciting mix of presentations and interactive activities. Thousands of visitors come to dozens of venues across the city and connect online. The call for Festival Expressions of Interest is open now and will close on Friday 31 March 2023. Whether you plan to lead an activity or would just like to volunteer your time and enthusiasm for science to deliver existing activities, please get in touch. There may also be opportunities to volunteer at stalls like OPEWG and Shaping Destiny advertised nearer the event date.
Read more about IF Oxford and how to get involved.
Are you interested in helping to break down the barriers that prevent young people from disadvantaged backgrounds embarking on a career in science, technology, engineering or maths? In2scienceUK is looking for volunteers to help this year by hosting Year 12 students on placements at their workplace.
How it works:
- Volunteer hosts and Year 12 students apply to the programme
- Students are shortlisted and matched in groups of approximately three to a suitable host
- Matched Hosts receive training and guidance to plan and deliver the in-person work placement in July or August
- Students also have access to induction events, online skills and careers workshops and public engagement competitions run by In2scienceUK throughout the summer
Volunteering for In2scienceUK you will:
- Make a real difference to the prospects of disadvantaged students through just a small time commitment
- Receive expert training and support from experienced and friendly staff
- Gain skills and experience communicating with young people
- Promote diversity and inclusion in STEM by sharing your knowledge and experience with underrepresented students
Apply here: the deadline for applications is 31 March.
Any questions? Check out our Host FAQs or email email@example.com
Would you like to share your research with audiences in North Oxfordshire? Are you keen to reach people who don’t normally turn up to science festivals?
Cherwell Collective is a not for profit environmental company which supports community groups in North Oxfordshire. They regularly run drop in events based in Exeter Hall, Kidlington. They help support Cherwell Larder and focus on lowering the community's carbon footprint with easy and cost-saving recycling, up-cycling and re-using as well as direct redistribution of surplus to support a local circular economy.
Cherwell Collective would be delighted to hear from you. They can offer you a warm dry space, a table or two and a willing and interested audience as well as support with a variety of materials. The rest is up to you. Contact Emily L Connally, DPhil with any queries or to book a table.
Communicate your science digitally with Oxford Sparks!
Oxford Sparks is a portal for engaging with a wealth of exciting science taking place across the University. Alongside some shiny new branding, Oxford Sparks will be creating live action video content which will be shared across the Sparks website and social media channels. Would you like to share your research with others? Submit an expression of interest now!
Explore the website – Oxford Sparks and submit an expression of interest
Ongoing outreach opportunities
Please check individual links for current status of initiatives and events.
Digital outreach ideas and events
- Check out MPLS's tips for Using Social Media to Communicate Your Research.
- The Conversation - The University of Oxford is a member of The Conversation, an online source of thought-provoking articles written by researchers and academics for the public in the UK and globally.
- Oxplore - An innovative digital outreach portal from the University that aims to engage 11-18 year olds with debates and ideas that go beyond what is covered in school.
- Skype a Scientist - matches scientists with classrooms around the world without having to leave the lab!
- I’m a Scientist, get me out of here! Online activity where school students connect with real scientists about real science. It’s a competition between scientists, where students are the judges.
- I'm a Researcher, get me out of here! Online activity where school students connect with academic researchers. It’s a competition between the researchers, where students are the judges.
Within the University
The Forum - a new termly series of events for Oxford's research community to explore and debate Public Engagement with Research practice and policy and provide opportunities for sharing learning and networking.
- The Museum of Natural History - ScienceSaturdays and SuperScienceSaturdays enables families to explore the collections, take part in interactive activities and meet the University's scientists. Get involved with exhibitions and regular events at the museum. Contact Carly Smith-Huggins for more information.
- TORCH - The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities, offering opportunities for medical humanities interdisciplinary collaborations. Contact Victoria McGuinness for more information.
- Gardens, Libraries and Museums (GLAM) - information about how to engage with GLAM's Public Engagement with Research programme.
External events and activities
- Big Bang Fair - the largest stem science fair for young people in the UK.
- Cheltenham Science Festival - Annual 6-day celebration of science, with discussions, schools shows, hands-on workshops, performances and interactive exhibitions.
- IF Oxford Science + Ideas Festival - Annual event to engage audiences with research in Oxford.
- Soap Box Science - Public outreach platform for promoting female scientists and their work.
- Bright Club - Organises collaborative events between comedians and researchers.
- MRC Festival of Medical Research - annual organised events for MRC-funded units, centres and institutes to showcase and discuss their work throughout the UK
- Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition - week long festival celebrating the cutting edge of UK science.
- Science Cabaret - informal talks in bars, cafes and other public venues.
- Opportunities from the NCCPE - includes Engage Academy, Engage Researchers' Academy and PEP Network.
- Science Swindon - Science Swindon launched a new science festival with support from the Science Museum.
- There is a central University Engagement Opportunities page with information about festivals and programmes that provide opportunities to work with the public.
- See more information on festivals and events available for researchers to engage with the public.