Public Engagement

Engagement and Enterprise Awards 2017

The Public Engagement Awards recognise projects that involve groups and individuals outside of higher education with research and learning across six categories: 

Inspire Award - For those who have inspired others by finding creative and engaging ways to communicate their research; such as to raise young people’s aspirations or enthuse new and different audiences.


Digesting Science
Alison Thomson, Harriet Smith, Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

Digesting Science

Digesting Science is a set of educational activities that teach children aged 6-12 years old with a parent with Multiple Sclerosis about the science behind the chronic disease. The activities were co-designed with Barts MS researchers, clinicians and nurses, families with MS, designers and a drama teacher. 

The Barts MS team have been running Digesting Science events in and around London since 2013, communicating their research through practical activities involving plasticine, food modelling and games to their patients and their families.


The Physics Research in Schools Programme
Martin Archer, School of Physics and Astronomy

Physics Research in Schools allows school students to experience and contribute to current Physics research through collaborative projects with QMUL, culminating in student conference presentations. Running over two years the project has worked with 14–18 year old students at five schools in London from a range of areas and backgrounds. Students are given an initial prescribed activity to gain confidence in the project area, before moving on to 6-month independently motivated investigations in small research groups.

BCI STARS: Science Training for Aspiring Research Scientists
John Marshall, Barts Cancer Institute

BCI STARS (Science Training for Aspiring Research Scientists) was developed by John Marshall from the Barts Cancer Institute in 2013 to offer year 12 students from widening participation schools a week-long laboratory-based experience which includes the opportunity to act perform experiments in tissue culture, biochemistry and molecular biology with QMUL PhD students. The programme also trains and supports PhD students as demonstrators to improve their science communication skills.

Involve Award - For activity where the public can contribute their knowledge, expertise or time to research, such as citizen science, patient involvement and collaborative research projects.


Sophie Harman, School of Politics and International Relations


PILI is a feature film co-produced with women living in Pwani, Tanzania, based on their stories of everyday risk of HIV/AIDS, single parenthood and informal employment. 

The film’s story is directly based on the stories, experiences and knowledge of 85 women from Miono, Mbwewe and Bagamoyo in Tanzania and draws on Sophie Harman’s research on gender, global health, and African agency.

Steve Reich’s Clapping Music
Marcus Pearce, Samantha Duffy, School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science

Steve Reich’s Clapping Music

Steve Reich's Clapping Music is a free iPhone/iPad app designed to engage audiences with a new music genre, using a novel interactive game-based approach. Players learn to play an iconic minimalist composition, Clapping Music by Steve Reich. 

The aim was to inspire curiosity about a music genre that may previously have been unfamiliar to players, whilst collecting data to investigate what makes one rhythm more difficult to play than another.


Diabetes Research Lay Panel Group
Gillian Hood, Angela Hancock, Ann Prescott, Genomics & Child Health Centre

For the last 10 years the QMUL/Barts Health Diabetes Research Team has involved a group of 20 people with diabetes to enhance local research.  The group's activities include undertaking diabetes research awareness events, enhancing patient information sheets, improving research proposals and advising on study recruitment and dissemination, all of which has led to substantial improvement in patient outcomes.

Katie’s Team
Jahvani Daru, Doris Lanz, Ngawai Moss, School of Medicine and Dentistry

is a women’s health patient and public involvement (PPI) group for the Katherine Twining Network consisting of local mothers, pregnant women and their families. These individuals help shape research ideas, develop new studies and broaden the reach of the Women’s Health Research Unit (WHRU) beyond Queen Mary.


Interact Award - Recognising the partnerships, collaborations and community connections that are essential to public engagement, so seeks to celebrate excellent engagement and the partnerships which underpin these projects.


Child Migrant Stories

Ethnie Nightingale, Centre for Childhood Cultures, School of Geography ; Teresa Hare-Duke, V&A Museum of Childhood ; Mitch Harris, Mitch Harris Films ; Linh Vu

Child Migrant Stories draws on research into people who have migrated under 18 to Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Newham from 1930 to the present day to stimulate interest in, and open up debate about, the experiences of child migrants both in the past and present.


Muscling In!
Suzanne Eldridge, William Harvey Research Institute
Ameerah Khan, Katie Chambers, Centre of the Cell

Muscling In! is a new science show which teaches the musculoskeletal system of the human body that has been developed with 8 local schools and Centre of the Cell. The show covers the ‘muscles and bones’ section of the National Curriculum for Science and is aimed at pupils in key stage 2 and 3. Over 100 school pupils (aged between 7-14 years) provided a real influence on the content and demonstrations in the show from them thinking about the best ways to interactively communicate the curriculum in a fun way whilst enhancing their retention of the topic, to assisting in the making of props for the show.

Teenage Bedrooms
Carey Newson, Centre for Studies of Home
Eleanor Black, Eleanor John, The Geffrye Museum of the Home

‘Teenage Bedrooms: like a house inside of a house’ is an exhibition at the Geffrye Museum of the Home, which brings together images, objects, testimony and an installation to explore the themes of the teenage bedroom and its material culture. The teenagers engaged in the research were involved throughout, from selecting the items on display and in recreating their rooms’ wall collages, to attending the exhibition launch with their friends.


Influence Award - Recognising 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.


The Verbatim Formula
Maggie Inchley, Sylvan Baker, School of English and Drama
Sadhvi Dar, School of Business and Management

The Verbaitim Formula

The Verbatim Formula works with looked after children and care leavers to provide positive interventions for this often disadvantaged cohort, while collecting testimonies for research into the care system. 

Workshops use applied performance techniques to build confidence and encourage positive aspirations while recording testimony from those that have experienced the care system first hand.


The Aylesbury Estate as Home
Richard Baxter, Centre for Studies of Home

‘The Aylesbury Estate as Home’ exhibition provided a biography of the ‘vilified’ modernist high-rise estate, created with and displayed at the Geoffrey Museum of the Home. The exhibition used text, interviews, audio recordings and research photographs to explore the estate’s utopian beginnings, decline and drawn out regeneration.

Museum of the Normal
Sarah Chaney, Helen Stark, Emma Sutton, Centre for the History of the Emotions

In one unique evening 230 visitors were invited to visit the ‘land of the abnormal’, a pop-up research showcase using interactive activities to explore the meaning and study of ‘normality’. On admission, visitors underwent tests of normality, designed to be failed, initiating discussions to be subsequently explored in more detail through a range of activities.


The Hawking Award for Developed Understanding of Public Engagement

Named for Lucy Hawking, novelist and daughter of Stephen Hawking this award reflects Lucy’s qualities of reflexive, cooperative working, and her understanding of how to bring together research and engagement. 

The award is given to a project to acknowledge their  critical thinking in the field of public engagement.

Paul Edlin


Awarded to Paul Edlin, Director of Music

As Director of Music, Paul Edlin has integrated public engagement within an innovative music programme incorporating the translation and representation of research through a diverse range of public activities and events.

Through Paul’s boundless energy and enthusiastic leadership, Music @ QMUL has succeeded in reaching throughout the university, fostering collaboration across faculties and extending beyond our walls to develop long lasting, meaningful collaborations with external organisations from London Chamber Orchestra to the East London St Pauls Way Trust School.

The Garriott Award for Leadership in Public Engagement

Named for Richard Garriott, entrepreneur and astronaut this award reflects Richard’s qualities of innovation and leadership, being at the forefront of his field. 

The award is given to an individual to reflect the extensive work they have done in pushing forward the public engagement agenda, and developing others around them.

People's Palace Projects

Awarded to People's Palace Projects

People’s Palace Projects has spent the last twenty years creating and debating art that makes a difference to people’s lives. From London to Brazil, Liverpool to Azerbaijan, their creative projects and cultural exchange programmes have sought out contexts where art matters most and worked with those for whom art makes a true difference.

Since their conception by Paul Heritage in 1996 the Centre has consistently paved the way in exploring the ways in which the arts can respond to urgent social crises and through both cutting edge research and long term international collaborations their work has, and continues to have a tremendous impact on local communities in London and across the world.