Current projects

We run projects to build our staff and students' capacity and confidence to engage, create connections with community and cultural partners and to provide a supportive culture of engagement across the University. Below are some examples of our current projects. For more information about any of these projects, get in touch with the Public Engagement team.


Two women wearing VR headsetsFUTURES is a festival of discovery in Bristol and Bath, which celebrated European Researchers' Night on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 September. European Researchers' Night is a Europe-wide event that takes place every year to celebrate cutting-edge research across Europe. It is funded by the European Commission through Horizon 2020. 2019’s events involving over 260 researchers and students and engaged over 3,500 people across Bristol and Bath. To find out more about the FUTURES project please contact the FUTURES team.

Skills Bridge

Nature Challenge - little girl using magnifying glassSkills Bridge aims to harness the potential of Bristol’s students to solve local and global challenges. We help organisations to connect with students at the two universities in Bristol, setting up projects which utilise the skills and knowledge of both students and the community to work in partnership for the benefit of all. We support businesses, social enterprises, schools and colleges, local authorities, charities and community groups to access student volunteering, internships and research projects. Skills Bridge is a joint initiative of the University of Bristol and UWE Bristol.

Thinking Futures

Man laughing in workshop.Thinking Futures is the University's festival of social sciences. The festival explores the unique ways in which social sciences help us think about and imagine our collective futures, in collaboration with communities and organisations across the city. It is part of the ESRC's national Festival of Social Science. The festival brings together researchers and communities to explore topics that are relevant to both through interesting, creative and innovative activities. It runs during the first week of November. For more info contact Ben Meller or Viv Kuh.

Shape Your World

Drawing of a robotShape your World is coordinated in partnership with Widening Participation, as part of the Future Quest initiative. It is a collaborative project bringing researchers and school students together to explore topical issues and current research in the Faculties of Engineering and Science using a Philosophy of Science approach, with a focus on climate change, robotics and digital health. It aims to develop researchers' engagement skills and raise students' aspirations. For more information contact Suzi Wright.

Thinking Science

People discussing at tablesThinking Science is a collaborative project between our team, the Centre for Science and Philosophy and the Cabot Learning Federation to create resources based on Philosophy of Science research. The resources map onto the secondary school science curriculum and are free for science teachers to use. We also coordinate training to accompany the resources which aim to improve students' thinking skills and engagement with science and increase teachers' confidence in facilitating dialogue activities in the science classroom. For more information contact Ellie Cripps.

EPQ Mentoring

Workshop settingEPQ Mentoring provides support and guidance for sixth form students undertaking the Extended Project Qualification alongside their A Levels. University academics and postgraduate students support the students by providing subject-specific knowledge and advice on developing research methodology and skills at a "Mentoring Fair" every year in November. Mentoring students in the EPQ is open to researchers at all career stages and is a great stepping stone to other forms of engagement with schools. Register your interest in taking part in future events by getting in touch with the Public Engagement team.

Public Art at the Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus

Three artists from the TQ residencyIn 2018-19 three artists were commissioned as artists-in-residence alongside the early development of the new campus site. Two interdisciplinary artists Jay Bernard, Paul Hurley and poet Vanessa Kisuule produced VR, film and poetry that reflect on questions of place and the intersection of different communities and voices around the site. From September 2019, an ambitious three-year programme of public art will run alongside the campus development. Curated by the Contemporary Art Society and involving art organisations and communities across the city, this programme will include three large scale commissions. It will include a world-class permanent artwork contributing to the arrival experience and welcoming local and international audiences; a longitudinal project to animate the site as it changes and work with Bristol communities to co-produce a shared narrative of place;a project to explore ecology at the campus and across Bristol, using the access to the waterfront as a platform for examining the bigger picture of ecologies and wild spaces in the city. For more information contact Martha Crean.

Curiosity Challenge

Workshop table for Curiosity Challenge (credit We the Curious)We have been collaborating with the Jean Golding Institute and We The Curious to create this competition for researchers to design a new exhibit for We The Curious as part of their redevelopment. The aim was to create a “Curiosity Toolkit” which visitors could interact with to develop some of the skill needed to be a researcher and for their ideas to feed into current data science research. The winners were Oliver Davis and his team from the Integrative Epidemiology Unit. All the partners will work together to create the Toolkit over the coming months. For more information contact Ellie Cripps or visit the Curiosity Challenge webpage.


Group standing in a circleRe-Cognition is a European Horizon 2020 funded project delivered in collaboration with partners across Europe (Italy, Greece, Romania, Switzerland, Netherlands, Slovenia). The project aims to enable zero-energy buildings by creating buildings that utilise and store energy from multiple renewable energy technologies (i.e. solar, wind). By pairing this technology with AI software that can learn the exact energy requirements of the building at any time, buildings will be able to efficiently produce and use their own energy. We coordinate the Responsible Research and Innovation framework. Through training, focus groups and public engagement initiatives we will challenge partners to anticipate the positive and negative impacts of the project on society, reflect on the purpose and goals of the project and to be reactive and modify the technology in response to diverse stakeholder engagement. For more information contact Hannah Berg or visit the Re-Cognition website.