The Centre for Public Engagement (CPE) has awarded funding for nine projects in their annual Large Awards funding round, offering grants up to £20,000 to enable staff and students to engage the public with university research and learning through public engagement projects.
This year’s successful applications come from various academic disciplines and cover many engagement methods, from creating digital spaces for collaboration and debate to educational activities using real research data. They also aim to target a wide range of different groups in a range of locations, from civil society to filmmakers, East London to Cape Verde.
Space Sound Effects (SSFX) Short-Film Competition
Martin Archer, School of Physics
Space Sound Effects is an online short-film competition for independent/amateur filmmakers to submit entries featuring and inspired by sonified satellite data, made publically available by the School of Physics.
Winning submissions will be shown at a special film screening event, toured around UK film festivals and eventually released online.
The creative input of filmmakers aims to produce new insights for researchers, expose audiences that wouldn’t ordinarily attend science events to the research, and open up dialogues between scientists, filmmakers, and film-goers.
Alison Blunt, School of Geography
‘Home-city-street’ will explore what it means to feel at home or not at home in the city through a series of events, workshops and activities based around the Kingsland Road in Hackney, East London.
The project will feature a street party, intergenerational workshops, home-city biographies and the production of short films, feeding into the creation of materials for collections and exhibitions at the Geffrye Museum, partnered with QMUL through the Centre for Studies of Home.
Intercultural Space: Creating a Digital Space around the Season of Bangla Festival
Alistair Campbell, School of English and Drama,
Kazi Ruksana Begum, Tower Hamlets Arts & Events Service, London Borough of Tower Hamlets
Established in 2003, the Tower Hamlets Season of Bangla Drama Festival is the biggest and most influential Arts Festival of the Bengali diaspora in Europe. Through performance and debate the festival acts as a catalyst for academic, artist and community engagement, opening up a safe space to explore crucial social issues.
Intercultural Space will build on QMUL’s long-standing participation by consolidating and expanding conversations in an open access digital platform for skills exchange and research.
The virtual space will allow a wide range of contributors to take part in online plenaries and discussions where the complexities of identity politics can be not only voiced but harnessed as a resource available to all.
Computer Science for Fun (CS4FN)
Paul Curzon, School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science
This project will build on the success of the globally reputed Computer Science for Fun magazine to work with primary school teachers, making computer science and electronic engineering research topics accessible for primary school students in a fun way.
This expansion of the CS4FN initiative will allow existing successful activity to reach new teachers and students, engaging them within the wider learning network already established through work at secondary level.
Frontiers for Young Minds
Fulvio D’Acquisto, William Harvey Research Institute
East London school teachers will be provided with CPD support and workshops to connect local schools with the Frontiers for Young Minds initiative, an open access scientific journal that publishes ground‐breaking science in language reviewed by teachers and their classes for accessibility.
Through the project teachers will join the journal’s editorial board, continuing to work with QMUL staff to develop their peer-reviewing activities. The ultimate goal is to then use these networks to create a London-based community of science mentors/classes.
Turtlebase - A globally accessible database for turtle conservation and education
Christophe Eizaguirre, School of Chemical and Biological Sciences
The Cape Verde Archipelago is a biodiversity hotspot, with sharks, Whales, dolphins and turtles utilizing its productive waters. Past public engagement on the islands has allowed collection of the largest turtle-dataset to date, which this project will make freely available through a user-friendly online database.
This publically accessible database will be matched with educational activities using the real scientific data to inform schools and the public about conservation and marine environments. The activities will be tested and delivered by student ambassadors in Cape Verde and UK schools.
The International State Crime Initiative's State Crime Film Club will use a series of film screenings to bring together scholars, filmmakers, activists, diaspora communities and journalists to promote wider awareness and understanding of diverse aspects of state crime.
Through collaborative interactions, workshops, and network building with civil society, the project will create opportunities for participants to engage in-depth with the complex issue of state crime, providing a space for new connections to be made, and for information to be shared, contributing to the work of academic departments, external groups and civil society institutions.
Through the eyes of Joseph Merrick – a walking tour of Victorian Whitechapel
Richard Meunier, Institute of Health Sciences Education
Nadia Valman, School of English and Drama
This audio walking tour showcases the bustling life of Victorian Whitechapel through the eyes of the Royal London Hospital’s most famous patient, Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man, whose life will be told as part of the history of the Royal London Hospital and surrounding area.
Staff with expertise in the history of medicine, pathology and local history used sources from local archives and bring these to life with a research-based script featuring a mixture of narration, voices from the archives, and expert contributions.
The walking guide is available to download via the IZI Travel app and QMUL website.
The walks will use real texts to focus attention on the writers’ experiences of displacement, expectation, belonging and change and provide the opportunity for participants to experience these in the locations in which they are set, engaging in discussion about their context and interpretation.