The Engagement Blog gives a space for those involved in public engagement to discuss their projects, comment on learning from specific elements of public engagement, and explore the broader themes emerging in the field.
What colour are you feeling today? Using the arts to explore mental health in the classroom
3 March 2023
In this blog, Small Grant recipient Caitlin Aspinall writes about a workshop QMUL researchers ran with local school children to design a logo for the Youth Resilience Unit.
Happy Healthy Minds: a public engagement activity at the Festival of Communities
3 February 2023
In this blog, Giorgia Michelini and students from QMUL write about the activity they ran at the Festival of Communities in 2022. If you would like to get involved in this year's Festival the call for activities is now open.
Wild-Live Streaming Makes A Splash! A CPE Large Grant Project
5 January 2023
In this blog, find out more about the Wild-Live Streaming project funded by the CPE's 2021-22 Large Grants scheme.
CPE Small Grant: Bengali Resistance in the East End
5 December 2022
In this blog Small Grant recipient Ansar Ahmed Ullah writes about his project on 1970s anti-racist activism; ‘Bengali Resistance in the East End’.
How can researchers better engage with people from minoritised communities in health research?
14 October 2022
The CPE Small Grants scheme has reopened for the academic year so we wanted to share reflections from previous recipients of the grants.
The following reflection is written by Ratna Sohanpal from the INCLUDED study who was awarded a Public Engagement Small Grant in February 2022.
Queen Mary receives Platinum - so what's next?
8 December 2021
On Thursday 2nd December, Queen Mary University of London became the first university to receive a Platinum Engage Watermark. This recognises our continued commitment to, and support for, engaging people with the work we do at Queen Mary.
In Review: Engagement and Impact Awards 2021
6 July 2021
“After such a challenging 18 months, it is heartening to see that engaging with the outside world and making contributions to society continues to be a priority for staff and students”—Professor Colin Bailey, President and Principal
Contributing to life in east London together
3 June 2021
Ever since Queen Mary’s founding institutions were dedicated to improving local health and education, our university has been a part of east London. Even today, thousands of our staff and students come from and live in the local area.
Preserving a generation of stories from home
14 May 2021
Tower Hamlets is home to one of the largest Bangladeshi communities in the UK, with families speaking different languages between generations. Emily Burns, Director of Queen Mary’s Centre for Public Engagement, caught up with the team behind Stories from Home to find out how this unique project aimed at ensuring stories and heritage languages are passed on to the next generation – a key part of cultural history and identity – came to be.
Particle physics, puzzles, and the public
28 April 2021
Seth Zenz, a Lecturer at Queen Mary’s Particle Physics Research Centre in the School of Physics and Astronomy, recently won the South East Physics Network’s 2021 Public Engagement Champion Award. Emily Burns, Director of the Centre for Public Engagement, caught up with the Higgs boson expert intent on colliding CERN with schools.
From end-users to co-designers: exploring the use of assistive technology amongst wheelchair users
27 April 2021
Ildar Farkhatdinov, Lecturer in Robotics from the Centre for Advanced Robotics, and Stuart Miller, Lecturer in Biomechanics from the Sports and Exercise Medicine Centre tell us the story of their Large Grant project engaging with the wheelchair community.
Engaged Topics Network: Engagement in the age of social distancing
23 February 2021
Many of our engagement projects rely on being able to interact face-to-face with our audiences to spark conversation; so how do we engage when these in-person interactions are no longer an option? At our latest Engaged Topics Network meeting, we explored how those at Queen Mary have adapted their work to engage online and the lessons they've learnt along the way
Running a creative film festival based around space science
4 January 2021
Martin Archer, a UKRI Stephen Hawking Fellow in Space Physics and Public Engagement, tells the story of his Large Grant project 'Space Sound Effects'
Reflecting on 2020
17 December 2020
Before we say goodbye to 2020, the CPE team thought it would be good to reflect on what has been a challenging year for many, and take some time to send thanks to all across Queen Mary who have continued to share knowledge and work collaboratively with the public throughout.
A Bit of CS4FN: Mini computing magazines for primary schools
9 December 2020
Jo Brodie, the Public Engagement Co-ordinator for Computer Science for Fun (CS4FN) tells us the story of their Large Grant project 'A bit of CS4FN'
"Engaging with society has never been more vital"
17 November 2020
In our latest blog, the Director of the Centre for Public Engagement Emily Burns reflects and shares her opinion on why now, more than ever before, it's vital to engage with society.
CPExplores: Should we be taking our engagement projects online?
1 May 2020
The current situation has been raising lots of questions for all our public engagement work. In our latest blog series 'CPExplores', the Centre for Public Engagement will be setting out to explore the lay of the engagement land answer some of your most pressing engagement questions.
Being Human in Ice Age Hackney
17 December 2018
As part of last month's Being Human Festival, Claire Harris and Rob Davis, School of Geography, ran family workshops at Hackney Museum. Find out what they learnt-including the importance of a lie in!
qLegal: free legal advice and the entrepreneurship community
10 December 2018
qLegal is a law clinic based at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University of London. Its mission is to provide free legal advice to entrepreneurs and start-up businesses across the UK. Clemence Tanzi, Centre for Commercial Law Studies, explains how it works.
Recharging your batteries at the Science Museum
3 December 2018
As part of the Year of Engineering, Dr Ana Jorge Sobrido was given the opportunity to delivery na activity related to her research at the family festival We Are Engineers at the Science Museum London. Find out what they learnt below:
Finding a venue for your public engagement event
26 November 2018
Digesting Science is a set of educational and interactive activities, run as an event, to explain multiple sclerosis to children aged 6-12. It was developed by the Barts-MS team at Queen Mary University. Below, they share their tips for finding a suitable venue for your event:
Languages in our Lives
19 November 2018
Devyani Sharma, Department of Linguistics, shares her experiences running Community workshops as part of the Languages in our Lives.
East London Speaks: East London Listens
13 November 2018
East London Speaks : East London Listens was an event run by Amy Corcoran, a PhD student in the Law School, and funded by the ESRC as part of their Festival of Social Science. The festival aimed to bring social science research out of the academy and to new audiences. Amy used sound as a way of collecting and disseminating social science information to the public in a manner more accessible than academic reports, articles or conferences.
Countdown to Annihilation: Genocide in Myanmar
12 November 2018
At the 2018 Engagement and Enterprise Awards, the International State Crime Initiative, School of Law, were awarded an Influence Public Engagement Award. The Influence Award recognises activity where research has been used to influence a shift in attitudes or the way that things are done, whether this be organisational change, influencing policy or how people think about a topic and their actions. We caught up with them to find out what winning meant to them.
The science-policy interface
5 November 2018
In a survey of QMUL researchers that revealed that were ‘slightly’ knowledgeable about science-policy but ‘not at all’ aware of how they could get involved, Elly Tyler, Postdoctoral Research Assistant at the Blizard Institute, took it into her own hands to organise 'The science-policy interface' event, bringing together science-policy professionals and researchers in order to ask the questions: How researchers can contribute and why we should. Below, she shares her insights.
Diabetes Lay Panel: Our nomination for the Engagement & Enterprise Awards
5 November 2018
As we open nominations for the 2019 Engagement and Enterprise Awards, showcasing outstanding contributions to pPublic Engagement, Media Relations, Academic Innovation and Student Enterprise, we catch up with a previous finalist to find out, when there's so much else going on, why you should nominate yourself for the Awards.
Visual Reflections of Mental Health: Realities of Severe Mental Illness for Ethnic Minority People
29 October 2018
Kristoffer Halvorsrud, Centre for Psychiatry, Wolfson Institute of Preventative Medicine, successfully applied for a 2017 Large Grant to work with patients from ethnic minority backgrounds with severe mental illness to create a series of photographic exhibitions showcasing the realities of severe mental illness. As a new display opnes in the foyer of the Queen's Building, he reflects on his experience working with the patients.
How a group of school students discovered the sounds of solar storms
17 October 2018
Case closed: Legal Advice Centre and community engagement
15 October 2018
With the 2018 Community Engagement Awards ceremony just around the corner, we catch up with Frances Ridout from the Legal Advice Centre about their winning projects from 2017.
Arthritis in the CiTI
8 October 2018
For Arthritis Awareness Week, we caught up with Annabelle Scott, Centre Manager for Centre for Inflammation and Therapeutic Innovation, about their Arthritis in the CiTI event, supported through our Community Engagement Grants scheme.
Work experience at William Harvey Research Institute
1 October 2018
In Spring 2017, the Centre for Public Engagement piloted a new Community Engagement Grants scheme, for QMUL staff and stduents to develop community initiatives responding to the needs of the local community. The team at William Harvey Research Insitute piloted a work experience programme. Below, Adewale Kukoyi, Brampton Manor Academy, London shares his experience being aprt of the programme.
What do universities have to learn from Museums?
27 September 2018
Our Public Engagement Officer, Katherine McAlpine, is part of the Museums Association Transformers scheme. Not a robot in disguise, but a changemaker. Below she reflects on her first day, and what universities might have to learn from museums.
Hidden maths: Talking numbers at the Science Museum
24 September 2018
As the Science Museum prepares to celebrate ten years of Lates, Emily Pickett (Marketing and Communications Officer) shares her experience taking a team of students from Queen Mary’s School of Mathematical Sciences to August’s Lates to share the Maths behind magic tricks and a mysterious plastic computer.
More than a meal: telling a different story about migration and refugees
17 September 2018
In May 2018, we supported Olivia Sheringham, School of Geography, through the Small Grants, to deliver an event at Walthamstow Garden Party with chairty, Stories and Supper. Below she reflects on how such events can change the dominant narrative about migration and refugees.
Centre of the Cell goes into the community
10 September 2018
Earlier this year, the Centre for Public Engagement launched a Community Engagement Funding stream. Centre of the Cell used the money to take their science shows into the local community at the Ideas Store in Whitechapel. Very different from their usual classrooms or their Pod at the Blizard building, what did they learn from the experience?
Back to school with the Institute of Research in School
3 September 2018
As students head back to school in their droves, we catch up with Dr Lizzie Rushton, Head of Evidence and Evaluation, Institute for Research in Schools and Honorary Senior Research Associate, UCL Institute of Education, on their innovative public engagement scheme to bring cutting edge research into the classroom.
Seeing STARS: Public engagement through mentoring and performance
27 August 2018
Through our Small Grants scheme, the CPE supported Mojisola Adebayo, School of English and Drama, to host a staged reading of her play STARS-along with a mentoing week at Ovalhouse Theatre. Below she shares her experiences.
Mole rats on display
20 August 2018
Chris Faulkes, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, and Julie Freeman, School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, were invited to take part in the 2018 Royal Society Summer exhibition with their RAT Systems project. As the deadline to be part of 2019 approaches, they share their experiences of the exhibition:
The Love Machine: Exploring the Neuroscience of Romance at the Science Museum, London
13 August 2018
Do opposites attract? Do the opinions of friends and family matter? Are arguments a healthy part of a relationship? As part of the Science Museum's Pride Late in June, David Saunders, supported by a CPE Small Grant, produced the Love Machine: a series of immersive audio-visual performances to share his research into the history of attempts to answer those questions.
Europe at all costs- how can researchers visually change the message about migration
5 August 2018
Sarah Wolff, School of Politics and International Relations, has collaborated with an anthropologist, Aziz Hlaoua and film maker Laurent Fontaine Czackzes as part of her research on migration. She tells us about her experience of filming in Calais and the challenges arising from filming a documentary with and by people in exile.
‘The doctor will see you now’
30 July 2018
How do you get teenagers with asthma to take control of their condition? The Centre for Public Engagement awarded the Asthma in Schools project a small grant in November 2016 to develop films to explore how teenagers can communciate with their GPs about their condition.
Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund Tissue Bank (PCRFTB)
18 July 2018
Earlier this year, we piloted a new PPI Grants scheme support active public involvement in health-related research at QMUL. We supported the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund Tissue Bank at Barts Cancer Institute hosted an interactive discussion-led event with patients and families. Rhiannon Roberts shares her experiences of the day
Fake a knee at the Science Museum
15 July 2018
As part of The Science Museum's recent Women in Engineering Family Festival led by the Science Museum, Dr Tina Chowdhury built a fake knee with families as part of her project The BioEngineering experience.
London Bound: Being Human Festival Hubs announced
9 July 2018
As Queen Mary University of London is announced as one of only six Being Human hubs across the country, Katherine McAlpine, Public Engagement Officer, shares some of the highlights of the London Bound programme for Being Human Festival.
2 July 2018
In February 2018, Jessica Jacobs, School of Geography, applied for a CPE Small Grant to develop and deliver a workshop with New Orleans residents to map their city. Below she shares her reflections:
Rhythms of the Heart
26 June 2018
Heart & Music explored the connections between music and heart rhythms. The organisers, Elaine Chew, Professor of Digital Media at QMUL’s School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, Pier Lambiase, Professor of Cardiology at UCL and Barts Heart Centre, and Peter Taggart, Emeritus Professor of Cardiac Electrophysiology at UCL reflect on the challenges, aims, and highlights of the event:
A bit of CS4FN - computer science support for primary schools
22 June 2018
QMUL's Computer Science for Fun project uses everyday concepts to help introduce computer science research to young people in a friendly way
Gender in the Contemporary World: reflections from the organisers
18 May 2018
In December 2017, the Centre for Public Engagement awarded Ynda Jas and Elisa Passoni a Small Grant to support their Gender in the contemporary world conference. We caught up with them to get their reflections:
Do the over 65y want technology to help them take their medication?
15 May 2018
In 2015 Anna De Simoni was awarded a small CPE grant to organise two workshops in two community centres in London with over 65 years old on daily medications. The topic of discussion was whether they consider technology helpful with their daily medication taking. Her post summarises these conversations, which have informed a successful National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) programme grant application and offer insights to clinicians and policy makers about the potential role of technologies in medicine taking in this patient group.
Talking Trauma at the Big Bang Fair
16 April 2018
The Centre for Trauma Sciences were awarded a Large Grant from the Centre for Public Engagement last year. Below, we catch up with how they're getting on with their project:
Kiyma Canina: Online self-help programme
7 February 2018
Ozlem Eyelm has created an online self-help programme for managing suicidal thoughts and worries for the Turkish-speaking populations in the UK and in the Netherlands. Nominated for an Public Engagement Award at the Engagement and Enterprise Awards 2018, Ozlem shares her experience.
Syria: A Story of Conflict
1 February 2018
Since September 2016, Chris Phillips has been working with the Imperial War Museum (IWM) as curator for a public exhibition on the Syrian Civil War. Nominated for an Interact Award Public Engagement Award at the Engagement and Enterprise Awards 2018, and the exhibition about to move to IWM North, Chris reflects on his experience.
Muscling In! Developing Science Shows Collaboratively with Schools
11 January 2018
At the Engagement & Enterprise Awards 2017, Suzanne Eldridge, William Harvey Research Institute and Ameerah Khan, Katie Chambers, Centre of the Cell were finalists for an INTERACT award, celebrating the partnerships that often underpin great public engagement. Below, Suzanne Eldridge shares her experience of being part of the project:
Katie's Team - our Engagement and Enterprise Awards nomination
13 December 2017
As nominations close for the Engagement and Enterprise Awards, we asked some of last year's finalists and winners about their projects, and what it means to them.
The Potential of Collaboration between the Arts and Research
4 May 2017
Cathy McIlwaine has collaborated with arts organisations and performance as part of her research into Latin American communities in the UK. Here she discusses how these collaborations can enhance the arts and research while encouraging positive social change.
The Matter of Objects: Putting on an Interdisciplinary Exhibition
20 April 2017
The Matter of Objects: Setting up a collaborative exhibition
6 April 2017
Are we in Control? Giving Back Control to Audiences in Public Debates
23 March 2017
The joy of mobile cinemas: Screening PILI in rural Tanzania
8 March 2017
Subjectivity: The Next Challenge for Evidence-Based Policymaking?
7 February 2017
Towards the end of last year Helen McCarthy organised a symposium discussing how humanities and social science scholars can contribute to policy making. Her post summarises these conversations and assesses methods for ensuring subjective experience is considered by policymakers.
So You’re Looking to Run a Research in Schools Project?
20 January 2017
NCCPE Engage Watermark: The Process We Followed
28 November 2016
Capturing Emotional Responses to Music at Barts Pathology Museum
10 November 2016
Discovering Knowledge Traditions through Co-Creation: Learning from and with Communities
27 October 2016
What Goes into Running a Poetry Festival: Globe Road Festival and Engaging New Audiences with Poetry
6 October 2016
CanBuild: Lessons from the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition
26 September 2016
Find Funding for Public Engagement Projects this Summer: Funding Round-up
29 July 2016
What it's like to be part of I'm a Scientist, get me out of Here - hints, tips and experiences
15 July 2016
QMUL Sustainability Engagement Events 2016
1 July 2016
Joints in Space: Outreach at the Festival of Communities
17 June 2016
Festival of Communities - Meet the Organiser
3 June 2016
Community Feeling and Festival Fun at the Tower Hamlets Festival of Communities Fun-Day
27 May 2016
Why are Clinical Trials important for research?
20 May 2016
How to Advise Parliament? Routes into the policy making process
13 May 2016
Join in at the Tower Hamlets Festival of Communities
6 May 2016
Research, Public Engagement and Magic
29 April 2016
Opening up Indian Shakespeares on Screen
15 April 2016
BCI STARS, a great way to deliver and to teach science communication
8 April 2016
Find Funding for Public Engagement Projects this Spring: Funding Round-up
31 March 2016
Travelling Vicariously – Child Migrant Journeys
25 March 2016
Project Spotlight: Engaging Communities, Saving Bees - Using workshops and virtual engagement to change behaviours
11 March 2016
How We Read - Running a successful exhibition on assisted reading technologies
4 March 2016
Ragged Children, Mended Lives: Unearthing Histories of Poverty and Philanthropy for a 21st-Century Audience
26 February 2016
Lived Experience Researchers: Involving Patients and Carers in Research Pt II
5 February 2016
Lived Experience Researchers: Involving Patients and Carers in Research
15 January 2016
Engage 2015 – Reframing impact and strengthening relationships
18 December 2015
Delivering Effective Science Shows and Outreach Activities
23 November 2015
Centre of the Cell goes to Italy
12 November 2015
Influencing Policy through Communities of Practice
18 September 2015
Developing Educational Games with Young Adults
28 August 2015
The Potential of Collaboration between the Arts and Research
14 August 2015
ArtNeuro - Setting up a Collaborative Exhibition
24 July 2015
The Bioengineering Experience
3 July 2015
Reading Emotions: Setting up a Community Book Group
19 June 2015
The purpose of universities – reflections on Going Global and the CPE networking event
5 June 2015
International Clinical Trial Day
22 May 2015
Centre of the Cell Celebrates 5 years
15 May 2015
Filling a CUPP – Starting Programmes of Community University Partnership
24 April 2015
10 April 2015
Sores, Spores and Sickly Bugs
27 March 2015
Science-led turtle conservation in Cape Verde
13 March 2015
Communicating Research through Analogies
2 March 2015
Brian Wecht and The Story Collider
20 February 2015
Being an engaged professional – 'One Team'
6 February 2015
Exploring Issues of Engagement
23 January 2015
Public Engagement in Life Sciences
17 December 2014
A Kind of Magic: The Effect of Engagement on Research, Researchers, and the Public
12 December 2014
Using puppet theatre to engage young families with Genetics
9 December 2014
What’s in a name? – Reflections from INVOLVE 2014
27 November 2014
Art Neuro: The art, and the science, behind collaborative public engagement
21 November 2014
The Sound of Discovery
10 November 2014
An international perspective on Engagement
31 October 2014
Observing attitudes to public engagement at aboutflow
15 October 2014
In September I facilitated public engagement training for fifteen PhD students from the aboutflow programme. The purpose of the week was for each student to leave with a plan for a public engagement project and a better understanding of research communication, but more generally I was interested in their attitudes to public engagement and what affects these.