Our public engagement activities

Public engagement activities

We welcome all staff and students to participate in a number of different types of public engagement and public involvement activities. Examples of our recent activites are listed below.

2018 activities


Association of Science Education Laura Bonnett, Biostatistics

Laura gave a talk to 30 primary and secondary school science teachers on “Fit to Drive”.  It was part of a series of lectures described as “Frontiers of Science” which aimed to widen school teachers’ understanding of science.

St Edward’s College Laura Bonnett, Biostatistics

Laura gave a talk to 120 sixth form students entitled “Driving is a Risky Business”.  The school regularly invite expert speakers as part of their enrichment programme which exposes students to non-curriculum material and introduces them to the concept of lectures in preparation for university.

Meet the Scientists Laura Bonnett, Andrew Cutts, Gabriela Czanner, Sarah Gorst, Juhi Gupta, Andrea Jorgensen, and Maria Sudell, Biostatisitics

As part of the Meet the Scientists event a team from Biostats ran 3 stalls. The event welcomed an amazing 1500 children. The activities were “sociable cards”, “can you beat The Bolt”, and “meerkat mix-up”!


Liverpool Vs Cancer Bryony Parsons and Jenna Kenyani plus volunteers Katherine Abba and Mike Davis across ITM

As part of Bryony and Jenna’s Welcome Trust Public engagement project and interactive magnetic board dispelling myths and highlighting facts was taken to central station.

Hope Academy Science Festival Sarah Gorst and Helen Clough, Biostatisitics

Sarah and Helen attended to promote careers in statistics to pupils aged from 12 to 18 years.  All year groups attended the event.


Meet the Scientist -“The Superhero Team in Your Body” Angela Midgley, Anna Surace, Jennifer Davies, Rachel Corkhill and Sarah Northey from Dept. of Women's and Children's Health at Alder Hey Hospital

As part of the Meet the Scientist series, Angela and her team designed several hands on activities describing the cells that make up our immune system as superheroes with superhero powers. Approx. 1000 people attended this event.


Generation R Young People's and Parent Advisory Group Jenny Preston and Sammy Ainsworth, AlderHey

Young people and parents came together for the first time at Alder Hey Institute in The Park to play a vital role in the design and delivery of clinical trials.


5th National Pancreas Diseases Patient and Public Forum ITM and the Royal Liverpool University Hospital

The 5th National Pancreas Diseases Patient and Public Forum attracted a total of 78 delegates including patients, their relatives and carers, pancreatic charities focussed on pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer, health care professionals and University staff. Invited speakers included Professor Robert Sutton, Professor Andrew Hart (Professor of Gastroenterology, University of East Anglia), Dr Michael Goulden (Consultant in Anaesthesia and Pain Management, RLBUHT), Dr Lynn Greenhalgh (Consultant in Clinical Genetics, Liverpool Women’s Hospital) and Ali Stunt (Founder and CEO of Pancreatic Cancer Action and Chair of the World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition) who was diagnosed with and treated for pancreatic cancer in 2007. The day’s programme focussed on the power of the patient voice and what patients can achieve to improve their experience and outcomes. Breakout sessions were held to encourage open discussion, sharing experiences and themes for research in the future. The forum ended with a ‘Question Time’, giving delegates an opportunity to discuss issues with the panel of speakers.

Pint of Science Number of talks from across the faculty. ITM talks from: Jeff Barcely, Bertrum Müller-Myhsok, Laura Bonnet, Alexander Haragan, Daniel Perry

This is part of national event where universities organise three nights of science talks from their researchers in the pub. The talks took place in Dockleaf bar, Hus and Leaf. Each event was sold out.

Shots of Science Competition winner from ITM: Elinor Champman

As part of the Pint of Science events there was a competition for researchers to do a 2 minute talk on their project with the audience voting for their favourite.

Operational Research Society training event Laura Bonnett, Biostatistics

Laura briefly introduced the hands-on statistics activities that have been developed by the Royal Statistical Society Education & Statistical Literacy committee at a training session for 20 STEM Ambassadors.

Meet the Scientist “Being human” Joint led with IPHS with total of 21 ITM volunteers

This is a family friendly event which takes place at The World Museum in Liverpool. Two stands were provided from ITM with one being from the NWCRC lead by Prof Sarah Coupland and Dawn Kohler. Over 500 people attended this event.


People with CRPS Day 2018 Pain relief institute and The Walton Centre, Led by Andreas Goebel

A PPI day with a total of 76 public members of patients suffering from CRPS, their loved ones or carers attending. The day was split into two sections with the first half being a small focus group giving input into a project after a talk from invited researchers from London. The second part of the day was a larger discussion with presentations from Andreas. These ranged from new trials being designed to explaining some of the research to discussions about therapies.

Mathematical Marvels, Laura Bonnett, Biostatistics

Laura contributed to the on-campus Year 12 STEM Masterclass with a session on Mathematical Marvels.  The 25 students had the opportunity to experience a university-style lecture and undertake analysis of real-life data.


NHS Roadshow Several activities and volunteers from ITM

Number of interactive and informative activities were taken to The Royal Hospital, Alder Hey Hospital, The Walton Centre, Aintree Hospital and Liverpool Women’s Hospital.

Work Experience placement Laura Bonnett, Biostatistics

Laura supervised one student from St Edward’s College for a week of work experience.  The year 12 student spent the week investigating outreach activities based on medical conditions and developed, tested, and filmed her own activity for retinal detachment.

Big Bang North West Laura Bonnett, Sarah Gorst, Sarah Nevitt, Van Nguyen, Maria Sudell and Wenyue Zhu, as well as special guests; Marianne Scott from the Department of Mathematical Sciences and Lucy Teece from Keele University

The Statistical Ambassadors team exhibited at the Big Bang North West event on Tuesday 10th July. Over 7000 school students and their teachers from schools all over the North West of England attended the event at the Exhibition Centre, Liverpool and enjoyed the hands-on statistical activities and games with the Statistical Ambassadors. Attendees learned about percentiles and growth charts with the help of Meerkats and tested if their reaction times were faster than Usain Bolt. A waddle of penguins taught their audience all about populations, sampling and mean values, while statistical magic was witnessed in every game of over-sized sociable cards.


Women in Science Organised by LBIH. Number of lab activities and volunteers from ITM

Around 20 14-18yr old girls from Holy Lodge Girls Collage and Social Mobility came on to campus to take part in a number of different science related activities and listen to some talks from scientist past and present.  

Patient and Public Engagement (PPI) group Harris-Wellbeing Preterm Birth Centre

Past patients of the preterm birth prevention clinic came together to form our patient and public involvement (PPI) group.

STEM Showcase at the RSS Conference Laura Bonnett, Biostatistics

Laura launched set 2 of the hands-on statistics activities that she has co-developed with Simon White (MRC BSU) and the Royal Statistical Society.  The 40 statisticians in attendance were part of a live demonstration of “capture recapture”, “sociable cards”, “how many penguins”, and “radiotherapy: finding the right dose.

Rosalind Franklin Award Lecture at the British Science Festival Laura Bonnet, Biostatistics

Laura delivered a talk entitled “In the driving seat: what’s the risk with epilepsy” to 400 members of the public as part of the British Science Festival in Hull.

All About STEM Training Laura Bonnett and Maria Sudell, Biostatistics

Laura and Maria provided training to 20 local STEM Ambassadors on all 8 hands-on statistics activities: www.rss.org.uk/hands-on


School talk “Biomarkers for lung cancer early diagnosis” Lakis Liloglou, Clinical Cancer Medicine

Talk for 60/70 school children at Merchant Taylors Boys School                 

Manchester Science Festival “The Superhuman body” Several activities and volunteers from ITM

Family friendly event with a number of hands on activities at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester. Over 900 people came to the event. Three of the event stands were designed and run by ITM members. These stands were: “Can you beat the Bolt?” run by the Biostatistics team; “The Superhero team in your body” run by Angela Midgley and team from Women’s and Children’s Health at Alder Hey; “What makes a superhero?” run by Jenna Kenyani and volunteers from across the Institute.

Heart and Kidney Care for Patients Open Day Ahmed Al-Naher and Dr Jennifer Downing

This event was conducted as part of the PERMIT project. The open day involved talks given by researchers as well as the patient’s giving accounts of their experiences with heart failure and their views on how improvements could be made. The event was closed out by a questionnaire survey and discussion with the members of the public asking their opinions on the latest advances in heart failure care.


Faculty Public Engagement Showcase

The Faculty held the second annual Public Engagement Showcase to highlight the exciting, innovative and important engagement work that is taking place across the Faculty. Tom Soloman, the academic lead for Public Engagement in Health and Life Sciences, opened the event by discussing the importance of Public Engagement. This was followed by an interesting talk from Rebecca Jones, Research and Engagement Manager at Wellcome Trust. Rebecca talked about the opportunities available through Wellcome Trust for engagement but also talked about what direction engagement is taking and the importance of well thought-out engagement activities that support and direct research when applying for grants. Dr Suzi Gage from IPHS rounded off the first few talks with her experiences in doing public engagement and how this had let her to be recently rewarded with a Wellcome Engagement Fellowship.

For this showcase the first Faculty Public Engagement Prize was awarded. Staff across the faculty were asked to submit applications on any public engagement events they had organised. The shortlisted individuals or groups were invited to the showcase to present a flash talk on their project as well as displaying a stand or poster over lunch. The judges: Tom Soloman, Rebecca Jones and Malcolm Jackson, APVC for Research and Impact awarded a first prize of £150 high street vouchers to KIND outreach team from IACD and second prize of £100 vouchers to Sara Ronzi from IPHS. Shortlisted candidates from ITM: Harris-Wellbeing Preterm Birth Centre and Dr Laura Bonnet.


Room for Improvement Emma Squib, Sunflowers Charity, Tate Modern, ITM and Pilates for Life

North West Cancer Research Centre and the Institute of Translational Medicine teamed up with Pilates for Life, Sunflowers Cancer Support Centre, NHS Liverpool CCG and artists Richard Meaghan and Fiona Torrance to deliver a Tate Exchange project, inspired by the work of Fernand Leger: New Times, New Pleasures.

Wiki edit-a-thon Laura Bonnett, Biostatistics

Laura worked with a group of 20 secondary school students to edit a Wiki entry celebrating the role of women in STEM.

2019 activities


“So you want to become a scientist?” talk at Liverpool Collage – Thomas Leather, PhD student

Tom talked to 150 pupils from all years but the majority being GCSE level and above. He spoke about his experience in research so far, from leaving school to starting his PhD. He then highlighted some of the actual research he has done, from both master project to PhD project. He finished by talking about the different ways that school leavers can get into a career in science. Tom’s talk went down very well with the students have he received some great feedback including the below statement from one of the students to their teacher:

World Cancer Day in the Royal Hospital – Led by Jenna Kenyani, with help from Elinor Chapman, Nat Coplin, Jo Davies, Adams George, Umair Khan, Ruth Stafferton, Sophie Thornton and Yangu Wan.

This event aimed to go into a public space and bring cancer research to the public in a fun but informative way. This event hoped to not only engage the public in current research but also educate people around some of the common myths surrounding cancer. We also used this as an opportunity to highlight why research is vital as well as the important collaborations between the NHS and the University.  To achieve our aims we had a number of different hands-on activities that had been created by members of ITM. These activities included: the “bowling game” to describe concept of drug resistance and development of new drugs for Cancer; “The Umbrella Game” which demonstrates innovative methods of trial design in cancer clinical trials, biomarkers and targeted therapy in cancer; “Cancer: What is fact and what is fiction?” board which helps to dispel the myths surrounding Cancer.   

World Cancer Day – NCWRC event with UoL – Led by Emma Squibb, Academic speakers: Sonia Rocha, Michael Schmid, Ed Gaynor, Sarah Coupland and Richard Shaw.

This event for World Cancer Day brought together cancer researchers and clinicians, patients, survivors and their families, to celebrate survivorship. Participants were asked to make pledges around the hashtag #IamandIwill. The Centre also created a range of videos highlighting their research that was highlighted on social media throughout the day.  You can see all the videos here - https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/nwcrc/research/our-scientists/


10½ things you may not know about side effects video

The Medical Research Council (MRC) Centre for Drug Safety Science, based at the University of Liverpool, along with Sense about Science, have jointly launched an animation and companion guide entitled “10½ things you may not know about side effects.” This was developed following public workshops, the animation is designed to help people learn more about side effects – why they occur, how to manage them and how medicines can be made safer by reporting them. Full article: https://news.liverpool.ac.uk/2019/03/26/things-you-may-not-know-about-side-effects-3/

Hope Academy Careers Fair - Statistical Ambassadors Wenyue Zhu (IACD), Maria Sudell and Laura Bonnett (Department of Biostatistics, ITM)

Wenyue, Maria and Laura attended an annual Careers Fair at Hope Academy. They engaged year groups 8-13, the next generation of mathematicians and statisticians, with hands-on activities such as “How Many Penguins?” game, which help pupils to learn how statisticians can use penguins’ poo to estimate how many live in Antarctica. They also provided guides to these next generation with career resources in statistics.

World young Rheumatic Disease Day- Dr Eva Smith (Women’s and Children’s Health)

The 18th March was the first “WOrld young Rheumatic Disease Day”, aimed at spreading the WORD that children and young people get rheumatic diseases too! WORD Day was launched jointly by the Paediatric Rheumatology European Society (PReS) and the European Network for Children with Arthritis (ENCA, www.enca.org). The idea for the campaign was conceived by Dr Eve Smith, department of Women and Children’s Health, UoL, and has been made a reality by parents, patient, charities and healthcare professional from across the world! At Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, they were ‘getting wacky for WORD Day’ and had a range of activities including the ‘button challenge’, taking pictures in the WORD Day photo booth, teaching Junior doctors about paediatric rheumatic disease and running a cake sale.

NWCRC Hela Lab tour for Cancer Patients and Survivors – Led by Emma Squib with help from Helen Kalirai, Jodi Alexander from LOORG and Joe Slupsky’s lab group.

A tour was given to 14 patients and survivors and supporters around the story behind Hela cells. The participants had the chance to see Hela cells and the work Haem-Oncology researchers do in Joe Slupsky’s lab as well as a visit to the Ocular Oncology Labs that Sarah Coupland and her lab use and a chance to chat with two researchers about their work. The participants really enjoyed seeing working labs and learning more about the research that is going on to battle cancer.

Some feedback included:

“It is so fascinating to see the processes behind the scenes.”

“I was part of a drug trial, and so it’s great to learn more about how important tissue donation is.”

“Really reassuring to meet these people helping us to beat cancer.”