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Public Engagement

Current Large Grants

The Large Grants round for academic year 2021-22 is now closed. The round for 2022-23 is expected to open in Autumn 2022.

The Centre for Public Engagement has awarded 7 projects as part of the 2021-2022 Large Grants. You can find out more about each project below:

Who do you Trust?

Dr Jennifer Randall, Wolfson Institute of Population Health; Ceri Durham, Social Action for Health; Daniel Saul & Rachel Davies, R&D Studio Ltd

“Who Do You Trust?”  responds to and extends a dedicated piece of research recently conducted in Tower Hamlets by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and Social Action for Health (SAfH). Focused on understanding barriers to Covid-19 vaccine take up, the research demonstrated widely varying levels of trust among local community groups relating both to local and national government programmes, and to Covid19 vaccine public health messaging. As part of this project, students will be trained to become creative workshop facilitators, continuing engagement, debate and research among Tower Hamlets populations on the issue of “trust” and the shared desire across the community for good, sustainable public health - but where the initial research indicates that people most at risk of health inequity are the least likely to trust government and related public health messaging.


Rediscovering the Bow Heritage Trail

Prof. Alastair Owens, Humanities and Social Sciences; Justine Kenyon, QMUL Centre for the Creative and Cultural Economy; Rosie Vincent, Roman Road Trust CIC

Rediscovering the Bow Heritage Trail will revisit, update, modernise and celebrate the Bow Heritage Trail to suit the Bow of today. Working with the Roman Road Trust, the project will assess the local history that is included in the current version as well as seeking to make visible aspects of the area’s heritage that have been hidden or overlooked by creating brand new trails and transferring them online. These new trails will be informed by and designed in collaboration with local residents of Bow.


Peer-led Cirrhosis User Forum Project

Emma Michael & William Alazawi, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

The cirrhosis peer led user forum project will work with the British Liver Trust (BLT) charity to improve patient engagement in liver disease research at Queen Mary. Liver disease is the third leading cause of premature death in the UK, with deaths having increased by 400% since 1970 however, it remains underfunded and overlooked as a result of the stigma surrounding it and a lack of patient and public awareness.

The project will train four cirrhosis patients’ as peers, who will lead the development and chairing of monthly forums available to all cirrhosis patients under the care of the Royal London Hospital (RLH). These forums will provide a platform to promote meaningful and engaged discussion between patients and Queen Mary liver disease research teams.

The Stages Toolkit

Micaela Signorelli, School of English and Drama; Shana Swiss, People’s Palace Projects; Kerry Hunt, Stage 3 Company

In collaboration with Stage 3 Company, this project will work with theatre directors, school students and teachers to pilot an online Toolkit which uses creative and interactive exercises to help students and young people embody learning and life skills. It will provide new ways to have difficult conversations and discussions on complex topics such as citizenship, and will be based on a creative methodology developed through Stages, an arts for social change initiative from People’s Palace Projects at Queen Mary School of English and Drama.

On The Art of Teeth

David Mills, Institute of Dentistry & Janetka Platun

A collaboration between the Institute of Dentistry and artist Janetka Platun, this project engages two sets of participants at different stages of their life to explore how teeth have a precarious existence inside our bodies. When teeth are removed they lose their vulnerability and outlast every other part of the body - Queen Mary’s research with micro tomography scanners uses light to see inside extracted teeth. A series of workshops will work with children and elders to explore different disciplinary perspectives which reveal a more human way of understanding teeth.


Stuart Negus & Gail Schofield, School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences

DRONESPOT will develop a free, interactive educational game to allow public audiences to view wildlife and their threats in a new and exciting way. The rise in popularity of drones for research and leisure provides opportunities to obtain information on distributions and interactions with wildlife over outstanding geographical large scales. Players will explore real-world distributions of marine animals and threats using innovative software which allows the huge volumes of imagery data produced in drone flights to be analyzed at the tap of a button using citizen science techniques.

Wild-Live Streaming

Samuel Shrimpton, Ana Cecilia Hijar Islas, Eugenie Yen, Stuart Negus and Laura Sivess, School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences

Wild-live Streaming will allow audiences to experience conversation biology first-hand via video commentary and interviews with experts and NGOs. The high costs associated with volunteering with international conservation projects present a significant barrier to many people experiencing this work. This new platform will foster new opportunities for young people, people interested in nature conservation and NGOs, utilising interactive live streaming sessions, in situ camera traps and Q&A sessions.


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