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Public Engagement

The Centre for Public Engagement

The Centre for Public Engagement was first established in 2012 to help support Queen Mary staff and students integrate public engagement into their work. Today we remain committed to supporting our staff, students, and the local community throughout their public engagement journey.

Building on the success of our 2021 ‘Platinum Engage Watermark’ awarded by the NCCPE, we aim to enhance our support for public engagement across the University, and broaden our work with communities locally, nationally and internationally to engage with new groups whilst also strengthening the connections we already have.

The CPE works to embed public engagement within the university by:

  • Removing barriers to engagement through providing advice and support, training, and providing funding for staff and students at Queen Mary
  • Celebrating the excellent work underway
  • Advocating for an engaged Queen Mary
  • Building relationships within the local community
  • Championing the need for engaged universities at a national level

You can contact us at any point to discuss all aspects of engagement and to receive further information on how to access our support services. The CPE has a core team of four members of staff who are here to help.

Contact Us:

This mailbox is monitored between 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday. Please allow up to 48 hours for responses. 

The Centre for Public Engagement
Office of the Principal,
Queen Mary University of London
E116, Queens' Building
327 Mile End Road,
E1 4NS

The CPE Team:

Headshot of Ife Akinroyeje, a young Black woman wearing a pink, red and blue striped jumper.

Ife Akinroyeje
Community Engagement Manager

Ife is the Community Engagement Manager and leads on Queen Mary's local community engagement. She works with a wide range of community groups, organisations and charities in Tower Hamlets and east London, to connect them to the breadth of projects, research and teaching taking place at Queen Mary. She connects Queen Mary staff and students to the wealth of knowledge, expertise and opportunities in our local communities with the aim of generating new connections, partnerships and mutually beneficial working.

Ife also leads on the annual Festival of Communities, a leading event in Tower Hamlets which brings residents, community organisations and Queen Mary staff and students together to explore living and learning in the borough.


Daisy Payling
Public Engagement Officer

As Public Engagement Officer Daisy is the first point of contact for enquiries about the CPE's services. She manages the CPE's Small and Large Grant schemes, provides advice and guidance for public engagement projects, and manages the CPE's communication channels. 

Previously Daisy worked as a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of History at the University of Essex and, before that, in the Centre for History in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine where she developed and ran a number of public engagement projects based her research.

She has a PhD in History from the University of Birmingham. 


A headshot of Briana: a young Black woman wearing black glasses, a black turtleneck, silver hoop earrings and a silver nose stud. Her hair is braided and piled on top of her head and she is smiling.

Briana Applewhite

Health Inequalities Research & Partnerships Manager

Briana is the Health Inequalities Research & Partnerships Manager, as part of the Tower Hamlets NIHR funded Health Determinants Research Collaborative (HDRC).  Her role focuses on building and maintaining relationships with the local council, different community organisations and the wider university sector, connecting them to research and opportunities with the overarching goal of improving health inequalities within the borough of Tower Hamlets.

Briana has a vested interest in health inequalities research and has previously worked as a Researcher on a multitude of studies focused on improving the mental health outcomes of diverse communities.

She has an MSc in Mental Health Studies from King’s College London and is currently working on her PhD at the University of Oxford in Psychiatry.

A white woman with long brown hair wears a red dress in front of a colourful wall

Aoife Sadlier

Participatory Research Officer

Aoife Sadlier is the Participatory Research Officer at CPE. In this role, she supports, trains, and co-ordinates funding for researchers seeking to undertake participatory research.

Previously, Aoife worked as a postdoctoral researcher on participatory projects related to sport, culture and education for sustainable development (‘New Development Frontiers’, ESRC, Loughborough University) and user/survivor-led mental health (‘EURIKHA’, Wellcome Trust, King’s College London). She holds a PhD from the Department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries, King’s College London.

In addition to her role at CPE, Aoife is a Lecturer in Sustainability in Practice at MLA College (in partnership with University of Plymouth) and an academic editor. She is also a fiction writer. Aoife is currently working on a novel about a young queer woman’s search for joy in the aftermath of loss, narrated by a motley crew of myth-defying animals, and a short story collection, inspired by magical realism.

In memoriam: Professor Peter McOwan

Queen Mary’s Vice Principal for Public Engagement and Student Enterprise, Professor Peter McOwan passed away in 2019. Peter was instrumental in setting up the Centre for Public Engagement and his leadership and guidance led to Queen Mary being the first institution to be awarded a Gold Engage Watermark for Public Engagement in 2016.

Peter was posthumously awarded the Queen Mary Medal for his exceptional contribution to Queen Mary and his legacy is reflected in the outstanding public engagement projects delivered by staff and students, as well as the work of the Centre for Public Engagement.

In 2021, the 'McOwan Award for Leadership in Public Engagement' was introduced as one of the categories in the Engagement and Impact Awards to commemorate Peter's qualities of inspirational and transformational leadership and his passion for engagement. 

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