Engaged research at Oxford | University of Oxford
Image of the Radcliffe Camera building; part of the University of Oxford
Image of the Radcliff Camera building; part of the University of Oxford

Engaged research at Oxford

Researchers at the University of Oxford have been engaging the public with their research for many years. Have a look at some of the short films below for excellent examples of Public Engagement with Research (PER) activities which Inform/Inspire, Consult and Collaborate with the public.

Inform / Inspire

LiveFridays (Social Animals)

PER Background:

Purposes / objectives: To explore new ways to engage the public with the University’s cutting-edge social sciences research, and bringing new insight to the Ashmolean collection

Target audiences: Adult Oxfordshire museum goers

Methods: Interactive displays, talks & demonstrations, usage of Ashmolean collections as basis for discussion and interaction.


What makes you tick: Circadian rhythms

 PER Background:

 Purposes / objectives: Inform and entertain the public about sleep research being conducted at the University of Oxford

Target audiences: Young people/ school students in the UK

Methods: Short animation, hosted in Oxford Sparks website and the University YouTube channel.



 'Smart Glasses' offer help to near-blind people

PER Background:

Purposes / objectives: To consult with relevant publics, for whom this research is most relevant, about the direction and use of research on vision enhancement.

Target audiences: Vision impaired individuals who could benefit from improved vision technology, i.e. those who still have minimal sight left

Methods: Conduct research trials with the public, consulting on the direction and progress of the research


Mobilising against hypertension

PER Background:

Purposes / objectives: Consult with patients about their health behaviours in order to tailor research and medical help more effectively for the target population

Target audiences: Individuals in South Africa with high blood pressure

Methods: Using mobile phones to help with adherence to blood-pressure monitoring & disseminating relevant medical advice


New parenting programme promises to reduce child abuse in Africa

PER Background:

Purposes / objectives: Create evidence-based child prevention program by consulting with relevant publics about issues surrounding child-abuse in this particular community

Target audiences: Individuals in South Africa at high risk of child-abuse

Methods: Randomised control trial on different intervention techniques, based on consultation with the relevant publics


Big Cat Conservation in Africa

PER Background:

Purposes / objectives: To confer with the local community to design a suitable program, with local input and buy-in, for harm reduction for local lion population

Target audiences: Young men of the Barabaig tribe, Tanzania, as well as other tribes on the vicinity

Methods: Consultation with local tribes to create attitude change and conservation programs  to reduce lion hunting in the area



 Stopping floods on the cheap: A success story from Yorkshire

PER Background:

Purposes / objectives: Manage flood risk using local community knowledge to inform research and implementation.

Target audiences: Local residence in areas in the UK at high risk of flooding

Methods: Work with local communities to inform research practice in controlling flood risk


African honey bees change lives and save elephants

PER Background:

Purposes / objectives: Use local knowledge to find alternative ways to protect Kenyan farmers and farms from elephants.

Target audiences: Farmers in Kenya in elephant roaming zones

Methods: Using local knowledge that elephants are afraid of bees to inform research on utilising beehives as a natural elephant deterrent – one which is appropriate to the target audience and sustainable.


Translating ancient lives

PER Background:

Purposes / objectives: Recruit relevant publics to collaborate in research translating ancient Egyptian texts

Target audiences: Amateurs, professionals, school children and others interested in Egyptology, with internet access and spare time

Methods: Use citizen science methods to participate in research translating ancient Egyptian texts



PER Background:

Purposes / objectives: To allow for collaboration on astrological research with hundreds of thousands individuals, enhance research and understand how galaxies form

Target audiences: Amateurs, professionals, school children and others interested in astronomy, with internet access and spare time

Methods: Create a platform to allow for ‘citizen science’ participation in the research process, and use it to improve research on the classification of galaxies


Penguin Lifelines

PER Background:

Purposes / objectives: To invite audiences to collaborate with researchers in the process of analysing data gathered in the Arctic about penguin colonies.

Target audiences: Audiences with internet access, an interest in arctic ecology, and spare time to contribute to research

Methods: Engaging with interested audiences to take part in conducting research by tagging research images (Citizen Science)