At Queen Mary we realise that in order to generate the greatest impact and the most change, our research needs to be shaped, conducted and shared with publics external to the university as partners in this process. Our rich culture of engaging communities in our research ensures two-way conversations are had, mutual benefit is generated, and meaningful partnerships are formed.
Below you can see some examples of this approach in action.
My Asthma in School
The My Asthma in School project looks to improve asthma control and peer-support for asthma in young people in London through a series of educational workshops and a theatre performance in secondary schools.
To develop the workshop and theatre piece, the group worked with local school children with asthma to hear about the lived experiences of their condition so that they could design workshops that met the wants and needs of young people with asthma, and addressed the points that they felt were most important for improving their health in future. The team also worked with young people in schools to get their insight on the theatre piece and whether it raised their asthma awareness.
The final programme was delivered to a number of schools across London and other asthmatic young people agreed that the workshop and theatre piece changed how they think or feel about their own condition.
The Centre for Studies of Home
The Centre for Studies of Home was established in 2011 as a partnership between Queen Mary University of London, and The Museum of the Home, London. The centre is an international hub for research on the home, past, present and future, enabling innovative research and learning on the theme of ‘home’.
The partnership provides seminars, knowledge exchange workshops and learning resources for visitors of the museum and new audiences.
A key element is the provision of joint PhD students, who are co-supervised by the museum and Queen Mary. This partnership lends the richness of the curator's experience and archives to the academic process of studying for a PhD and provides a direct pathway to sharing research findings with local visitors of The Museum of the Home.
Turtle Conservation in Cape Verde
Since 2010, a team of researchers in the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences at Queen Mary have collaborated with NGOs and stakeholders in a community-based conservation project, the Turtle Project, to protect the loggerhead turtles of Cape Verde.
Through the Queen Mary research team, the importance of small nesting sites has been elevated. The team have provided training, education opportunities and volunteering homestays to local residents in areas where traditionally there has been little conservation presence. Ten local community groups have now been formed, where the sharing of local knowledge, expertise and resources ensure that cutting-edge conservation research can take place.
Local community groups are now supporting the conservation of the loggerhead sea turtles on all islands and islets of the archipelago. This is important for conservation activities to be sustainable in the long-term. The Turtle Project forms the largest environmental citizen science project in Cape Verde to date.