Public Engagement

Contact the Centre for Public Engagement

The Centre for Public Engagement is here to support all Queen Mary students and staff with their public engagement journey. 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:

By Phone

+44 (0)20 7882 6115

This line is monitored between 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday.

By Email

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

By Post

The Centre for Public Engagement
Office of the Principal,
Queen Mary University of London
CB100, Queens' Building
327 Mile End Road,
E1 4NS

By Twitter

The CPE Team:

Emily Burns
Director of the Centre for Public Engagement

Emily joined the team as Director of the Centre for Public Engagement in March 2020. Emily leads the CPE in their mission to embed public engagement in QMUL's research, teaching and core business. 

Previously Emily was Head of Research Communications at Diabetes UK, where she built the charity's capacity to engage people with diabetes, healthcare professionals, journalists and the wider public in the latest diabetes research and its implications. 

Emily has also worked in research communications at the MS Society, and has supported Cancer Research UK and the Francis Crick Institute to develop ways to have productive conversations with the public about their research. 

Emily has a PhD in Structural Biology from University College London.

Sarah Barnes

Sarah Barnes
Public Engagement Manager

Sarah is the Public Engagement Manager and leads on public engagement training, funding advice and external opportunities, and manages the CPE team.

She runs training for all staff and students, starting with a basic introduction to public engagement as well as training focussed on specific audiences and engagement methods.

Sarah has worked at the University of Surrey and the Institute of Physics, leading on their science engagement activities at events ranging from small school workshops to national music festivals. She has also spent the past 5 years working at the Science Museum in London, presenting science shows to visitors of all ages.

Sarah also has a background in theatre production, and has worked on a number of productions across the UK, including 3 years as Company and Stage Manager for a theatre company based at the Roundhouse, Camden.

Sarah has a degree in physics from QMUL, and is a member of the Institute of Physics. 

Sarah Gifford
Community Engagement Officer

Sarah is the Community Engagement Officer 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.

Sarah 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.

Sarah previously managed the student volunteering programme at Queen Mary Students' Union for 7 years.

Sarah has a degree in history from QMUL.

Natt Day
Public Engagement Officer

Natt is the Public Engagement Officer and is the first point of contact for general enquiries for the CPE. She is also responsible for the CPE's communications, providing advice and guidance for engagement projects, the management of the small and large grants, and developing methods to disseminate best practice.

Prior to joining the team, Natt has been working in public engagement and outreach for 3 years. She worked at the central public engagement teams at University of Southampton and Bournemouth University running a variety of support and training initiatives, as well as delivering events and platforms like science festivals, research engagement roadshows, and public lectures. Natt has also been designing and delivering a number of public engagement activities around lung health, asthma, and the common cold—which has included working with the My Asthma in School team at Queen Mary.

Natt has a PhD in Infection and Immunity from University of Southampton.

Kimberley Freeman
Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellow
On secondment from the Centre for Public Engagement

Kimberley Freeman is currently on secondment as a Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellow. During this secondment, she will be exploring ways to overcome current challenges facing Universities and the public engagement sector. She will be using a think-tank style approach to redress the balance of power between research institutitions and publics beyond academia during engagement. She will also be creating networks of empowered public engagement professionals who have the skills, support and opportunities to change things

In memoriam of 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.

You can read more tributes to Peter here.