What is Public Engagement with Research?

Public Engagement with Research (PER) is a range of ways of engaging members of the public with the design, conduct and dissemination of research - all with the goal of generating mutual benefit by enhancing the quality and socio-economic impact of research.

About PER at Oxford

Engaging the public with the design, conduct and dissemination and research can enhance the quality and impact of research. Oxford has a thriving community of researchers actively involved in PER, and the department is highly supportive of any researcher undertaking PER.

Within the department

Mareli Grady (External Engagement and Project Manager) is available to advise and help to plan PER activities. She has helped to facilitate and run many PER events, including a Mathematical Escape Room, videos with the Ashmolean, the Oxford Maths Festival and more. She can also assist with drafts for funding applications with a PER requirement.

Alex Landucci is able to assist with grant applications including a PER requirement.

The MPLS division

The division has many programmes, courses and resources (including equipment) for researchers looking to get in involved in PER.  Key programmes are

Science Together: Oxford Researchers and Communities is a pilot programme that explores what challenges can be overcome or opportunities seized by local community groups when they are given access to the world class skills, knowledge and resources of our researchers. 

Oxford Sparks: the University's digital engagement platform for sciences, and produces high quality media such as podcasts and videos, as well as managing social media channels.

The University

Further information, examples and guidance on PER is also available from the University's Public Engagement with Research webpage

Funding for PER

Research Councils often offer funding for grant-holders or those carrying out research in their core areas to carry out PER activities. 

In addition, the University runs annual funding calls for PER: 

The PER Seed Fund is a small grants scheme provides funds for researchers to develop, deliver and evaluate Public Engagement with Research projects and activities. Applications are welcome from those new to or experienced in Public Engagement with Research. Funds (typically £2k to £4k) can be requested to pilot a new project or enhance an existing activity.

The PER Culture Change Fund is an internal grant scheme to support building capacity for Public Engagement with Research (PER) at the departmental level. Applications are invited from those representing departments / faculties (hereafter referred to as ‘departments’). Applicants can be researchers, public engagement professionals and other staff. Students are welcome as co-applicants.