Get involved

There are lots of ways you can get involved with public engagement in the Faculty of Health and Life sciences. This includes opportunities organised by the Faculty or your Institute and events coordinated by external organisations. You can also develop your own activity or event.

This page details up-coming opportunities to engage, and if you would like help getting involved or support developing your own event contact Laura Winters, Faculty Public Engagement Officer. We also want to hear about your public engagement work, so do get in touch to let us know about up-coming events or things you’ve been involved with, or tweet about your event to
We can also advertise your event on our Events for the Public Page and if you would like to do this, please send the details through to Laura Winters.

 

Include public engagement in your research grant application

When applying for a grant, the majority of research funders in the UK (including the Wellcome Trust and the Research Councils), will now ask applicants to explain what public engagement they will be doing alongside their research, and you can request funding to support this.  For example, the Wellcome Trust encourage “researchers to involve the public in dialogue and debate about their work for the duration of their grant and throughout their careers.”

This shows the importance the funders put on public engagement, and gives you a great opportunity to share your research with the public.

You can engage the public at all stages of the research process, including involving them with the grant application itself e.g. through helping to shape the direction of the research, or giving feedback on the lay summary. How you engage the public depends on what you want to achieve through the engagement, your target audience and your research project but resources to help you start thinking about what type of public engagement might be best, can be found on our Resources and Toolkits page. You could also engage the public with your research by contributing to one of the activities listed on this page.

  • Faculty of Health and Life Sciences Public Engagement and Involvement Awards 2019

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    Faculty of Health and Life Sciences Public Engagement and Involvement Awards 2019

    Have you run a brilliant public engagement or involvement activity? Are you a member of staff or a postgraduate student in FHLS? Then we want to hear from you!

    The Faculty will be presenting public engagement and public involvement awards to celebrate the work happening in these areas. We know that there are lots of excellent activities taking place and we want to recognise and reward these - so we want to hear from you about the work that you’ve been doing!

    Activities can take any format, as long as the audience was a group outside of the University and the activity was around engagement/involvement with Faculty research, so can include activities such as science festivals, public talks, patient involvement groups, workshops …. the list goes on! Your activity can have been run by a group or individual, but the activity must have taken place between September 2018 – September 2019.

    All shortlisted applicants will be invited to present their project at the Faculty Public Engagement and Involvement Showcase Event on Wednesday 13th November 2019, where it will be judged by a panel including the APVC for Research and Impact for HLS and the Faculty Academic Lead for Public Engagement. There will be two award categories; Best Public Engagement Activity and Best Public Involvement Activity. There will be prizes of £150 for the winning entries, and this is also an opportunity to raise the profile of your work and celebrate the activities that have taken place.

    More details about the application process and judging criteria can be found in our FHLS Public Engagement and Involvement Awards‌‌ document.

    To apply for an award please complete the Public Engagement & Involvement Awards - Application Form by 5pm on Friday 18th October 2019 and submit this via email to laura.winters@liverpool.ac.uk  

    Please contact laura.winters@liverpool.ac.uk with any queries.

  • Pint of Science Liverpool

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    Following the sell-out success of Pint of Science Liverpool 2017, 2018 and 2019 the Pint of Science Festival will be returning to Liverpool from the 11th - 13th May 2020. Pint of Science sees brilliant scientists chat about their latest research and findings with the public in a pub! The first Pint of Science Festival took place in 2013 and since then has grown rapidly with other 50 cities across 9 different countries involved, and in 2015 it reached an audience of 25,000 people.

    We'll be looking for people to give short talks about their research or to take part in our Shots of Science competition where you're challenged to explain your research in just three minutes, without the use of powerpoint slides! Applications will be open to anyone at postgrad level and above in all three Faculties.

    Applications for 2020 are now open! Click here to apply. Deadline Friday 21st February at 5pm.

    For more information about Pint of Science and what's involved - Pint of Science - Call for Speakers.

    Find out more about Pint of Science

  • Meet the Scientists

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    Meet the Scientists events are interactive, hands-on science days for all the family, where researchers from the University share cutting edge science with the public through fun activities and experiments.

    The Meet the Scientists series is run by the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences in partnership with the World Museum, Liverpool and supported by the Wellcome Trust.

    In the academic year 2019 - 2020 three Meet the Scientist events are taking place, each with a different theme. All events take place at the World Museum and run from 10am – 4pm. The up-coming events are:

    Saturday 23rd November: Disease Detectives
    Saturday 7th March: Inside the Body
    Saturday 6th June: Our Wonderful World

    Meet the Scientists is open to all staff and students and no previous experience is needed.

    How can I help …?

    • You can run a hands-on activity about your research - we can offer help with developing an activity and funding to buy resources
    • You can be a general volunteer and help with the overall running of the event
    • Or you can help with one of our ready-made activities – we have lots of activities that have already been developed and are looking for people to help run them at the event

    Why volunteer for Meet the Scientists…?

    • Great way to gain transferrable skills for your CV
    • Help inspire the next generation of scientists
    • Taking part in public engagement activities is part of many research grants now
    • It’s fun and rewarding
    • There’s a free lunch!

    If you’re interested in taking part, or would like more information, please contact:
    laura.winters@liverpool.ac.uk, tel: 0151 795 9393.

     

  • Faculty of HLS Public Engagement Showcase Event 2018

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    Faculty of HLS Public Engagement Showcase Event 2018

    The second annual FHLS Public Engagement Showcase Event took place on Tuesday 20th November 2018. This event, which was open to all staff and postgrad students, showcase some of the best public engagement activities from across the Faculty and highlighted opportunities and support for people to get involved in public engagement.

    The event included talks from:

    • Rebecca Jones, Research and Engagement Relationships Manager at Wellcome – Who gave an inside look at Wellcome’s new approach to public engagement, and shared some top tips when applying for a Wellcome engagement grant!
    • Prof. Tom Solomon, HLS Academic Lead for Public Engagement – Who highlighted some of the public engagement events that have taken place across the Faculty and Institutes, opportunities to get involved with public engagement and the support we can offer; including funding and training workshops.
    • Dr. Suzi Gage, Lecturer in Psychology –Who spoke about her experiences of public engagement from her ‘Say Why to Drugs’ podcast to her recently awarded, Wellcome Engagement Fellowship.

    At the event we also gave out the first Faculty Public Engagement Award. Six projects were shortlisted for the award, and one the day each group gave a flash talk about their project and showcased their work through interactive stands and posters. All projects were of exceptionally high quality and they were judged on the day by Malcolm Jackson, APVC for Research and Impact and Tom Solomon and Rebecca Jones.

    Details of the winning and shortlisted projects are as follows:

    1st Prize: KIND Outreach Team (IACD) – The KIND Outreach Group, led by Caroline Staunton,  worked with the local charity, Kids in Need and Distress to develop a week-long ‘WOW Scientist’ event. The event was aimed at disadvantaged young people who engage with charity, and during the week, a team of over 15 researchers and staff from IACD ran novel hands-on science activities all linked to the national curriculum. This initial event has led on to further work with the charity, training for KIND staff to enable them to run the activities throughout the year, and a photo from the event was awarded a place in the Physiological Society photo competition.

    2nd Prize: Sara Ronzi (IPHS): Facilitating change: working with communities and stakeholders to enable access to clean household energy and improve the lives of economically disadvantaged women and children in South West Cameroon - This event aimed to: raise awareness of the negative health effects resulting from cooking with firewood and the benefits of switching to clean fuels and to facilitate a two-way dialogue between study participants, key stakeholders, and community members, about how best to support communities in transitioning to clean household energy. The event was held at the Museum of Handicrafts in SW Cameroon and was based around an exhibition of participants’ photographs and stories.

     

    Shortlisted Projects:

    • Iain Young (IIB): Future Food Challenge Team– This pioneering project challenges Year 9 students to find solutions to tackle the issue of global food security, focusing on way to grow more food in our cities using aquaponics, supported by researchers and the Farm Urban team. The young people developed their own business idea and the exhibted this to a panel made up of academics, business leaders and experts in the field.
    • Laura Bonnett (ITM): Hands on Statistics – Laura Bonnet with help from members of the Royal Statistical Society’s (RSS) Education and Statistical Literacy Committee devised a total of 8 activities which inspire people to think positively about numbers and statistics. The activities have been at a number of events in Liverpool and across the country including the Hay Festival and Big Bang North West, and alongside the activities are videos and resource packs showing how to run the activities.
    • The Harris-Wellbeing Preterm Birth Centre (ITM): Harris-Wellbeing Preterm Birth Centre Public and Patient Involvement Group – The Harris-Wellbeing Centre was formed to improve our understanding of preterm birth and how to prevent it. Past patients of the clinic came together to form a PPI Group, and this Group and Centre have worked together on a range of projects including developing a peer support group for families attending the clinic, developing research applications and raising the profile of preterm birth in the national media
    • Andrew Jones (IPHS) – Portion Distortion! Improving Public awareness of portion sizes in food and alcohol: Andrew together with other staff and students from IPHS, developed a series of innovative activities based around improving the public’s knowledge of serving sizes. These activities were run at a range of events including the Green Man Festival and Cheltenham Science Festival, and using data from the events they published a peer-reviewed paper.

     

     

    For more information about the event, please contact laura.winters@liverpool.ac.uk

     

  • STEM Ambassadors

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    STEM Ambassadors use their enthusiasm and commitment to encourage young people to enjoy STEM subjects. STEM Ambassadors get involved in a huge range of activities, including:

    • Giving careers talks or helping at careers fairs
    • Providing technical advice or practical support to STEM projects in the classroom
    • Supporting projects in after-school STEM Clubs
    • Devising or delivering practical STEM experiments or demonstrations

    STEM Ambassadors contribute to their local community and at the same time boost their own professional skills, experience and confidence.

    STEMNET’s regional and local network keeps STEM Ambassadors up to date with the wide range of opportunities and requests that they receive from teachers and schools. Ambassadors can choose to volunteer for any of the activities in the regular emails and updates, or can come up with their own ideas. Ambassadors are asked to commit to a minimum one activity per year.

    If you are over the age of 17 with skills or interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and/or Mathematics you can register as a STEM Ambassador.

    Find out more

  • Institute Public Engagement Activities

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    Throughout the year the Institutes run lots of different public engagement activities working with a variety of audiences. There is also a Faculty Public Engagement Working Group, which brings representatives from each of the Institutes together to plan public engagement events and training. You cna see see contact details for the members of the Faculty Public Engagement Working Group and find out who the representative is in your area here - Faculty Public Engagement Working Group Members

    Some of the Institutes and research groups also have dedicated pages within their websites where you can find out more about the public engagement activities that are happening:

  • The Victoria Gallery & Museum

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    The Victoria Gallery & Museum (VG&M) is part of the University of Liverpool but also somewhere that is open to the wider public. We organise a range of events throughout the year for audiences including families, adults and schools. We often involve academics in our events, which could include a talk about their research, an activity within a family workshop or a designated session such as Summer Science Club for 8-14 year olds. The VG&M also has a team of student volunteers who regularly help at family, adult and school events.  If you are interested in getting involved with the VG&M please contact Kirsty Hall, VG&M Education Officer for more details.

    Find out more

  • British Science Association

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    The British Science Association is a charity whose mission is to support, grow and diversify the community of people interested and involved in science; and to strengthen their influence over science's direction and place in society.

    There are lots of ways you can get involved with the British Science Association including; running an event at the annual British Science Festival, supporting their work with schools and colleges; volunteering with your local British Science Association branch and by signing up to Science Live, a platform which connects speakers and content providers with people organising events.

    Find out more

  • I’m a Scientist Get Me Out of Here

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    I’m a Scientist Get Me Out Of Here is a free online event where school students meet and interact with scientists. It’s an X Factor-style competition between scientists, where the students are the judges.

    Students challenge the scientists over fast-paced online text-based live CHATs. They ASK the scientists anything they want, and VOTE for their favourite scientist to win a prize of £500 to communicate their work with the public.

    Events take place in November, March and June and you can apply online to take part.

    Find out more

  • Science Festivals

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    Science Festivals can be a great way to engage with a broad audience from families to retirees and there are lots of ways you can get involved including giving a talk or running an activity or workshop. Some of the main local and national opportunities to take part in a festival include:

  • Liverpool SciBar

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    Liverpool SciBar is literally science in a bar (or pub).

    The idea is simple, each month a scientist or specialist is invited to give a short and informative presentation about their area of research or expertise. We enjoy a couple of drinks, ask questions and discuss the ideas raised.

    It is free, open to all and on the first Tuesday in the month at the Ship and Mitre pub.

  • FameLab

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    Fame Lab is a communications competition open to anyone 21 years old or older, studying or working in science, engineering, technology, medicine or mathematics. You are challenged to present a scientific, engineering, mathematical or medical topic of your choice in just 3 minutes without the use of powerpoint and using only props that you can carry on to stage yourself!

    Entrants start their FameLab journey taking part in Regional Heats and Finals. If successful, all regional finalists move on to participate in a communications masterclass and the UK National Final in London. The winner of the national competition then competes against international finalists to win the title of FameLab International Champion at The Times Cheltenham Science Festival in June.

    Find out more

  • Widening Participation and Outreach

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    If the target audience for your engagement activities is school students, then the Widening Participation and Outreach (WPO) team at UoL could help support you with this and have great links with local schools.

    WPO run a number of initiatives which aim to inspire, engage and enable all those who would not traditionally consider higher education, to fulfil their potential by raising their awareness, challenging barriers and providing opportunities.

    They run activities aimed at students who are under-represented in higher education, specifically learners from low participation neighbourhoods, disadvantaged and low income backgrounds as well as students from targeted cohorts such as looked after children/care leavers, disabled students, adult learners, young adult carers, refugee students and students from ethnic minority backgrounds.

    They have a variety of programmes from Professor Fluffy for primary school students to Merseyside Young Medics for secondary school students who aspire to study medicine.

    You can get involved with the WPO team through supporting one of their programmes, for example by running an activity at the Health and Life Sciences Summer School or acting as a mentor for a young person.
    If you are running an event aimed at young people the WPO team can also support you by helping to advertise the event to local schools, and if the event is aimed at Widening Participation students/schools they may be able to offer further support such as student ambassadors to assist with the running of the event on the day.

    Find out more

  • Big Bang

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    The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair is the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) for young people in the UK, and takes place in March. It is a combination of theatre shows, interactive workshops and exhibits and careers information from STEM professionals, and last year was attended by over 70,000 people.

    As well as the main Big Bang Fair there is also Big Bang North West, which is a regional version of the main fair and takes place in June/July each year. If you are interested in getting involved in Big Bang North West, please contact Laura Winters in the first instance.

    Find out more

  • PSCI-Com

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    PSCI-Com is an email discussion list for people interested in public engagement. Anyone can sign up to it and discussion topics range from people advertising public engagement jobs, to people requesting advice for a project or sharing best practice. It’s a great way of hearing what’s happening in the public engagement world and keeping up to date on the latest opportunities.

    Find out more

  • HLS Research Video Competition and Workshop

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    In 2018 the Faculty ran a video making competition looking for videos which showcase the amazing work taking place here and which are aimed at a public audience and highlight why the research matters. The competition was open to anyone at postgraduate level and above and staff, in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences.

    Entrants were asked to produce a short video (4 minutes or less) talking about their research, and we also ran a video making workshop for those people who were new to video making or who wanted to brush up on their skills. This workshop looked how to use narrative to effectively communicate research, and how to write and film short videos using smart phones or tablets.

    You can see the winning and shortlisted video entries here.

    If you would be interested in hearing about future video making competitions/workshops please email laura.winters@liverpool.ac.uk