Get involved

There are a number of ways to get involved in public engagement at the University of Bristol. As well as opportunities in your School or Faculty, there are a range of opportunities coordinated by the Public Engagement team or by external organisations. Contact the team if you would like help getting involved.

STEM Innovation project for schools: Spring/Summer 2018
The Public Engagement team are leading a project around STEM Innovation to inspire secondary school students. We are looking for three groups of researchers to work with us to develop a workshop around their research, tied to the theme of innovation. The workshop will be delivered at a local school and you will also set Year 9/10 students an “innovation challenge”, which students will present their solution to at an event hosted at the University. Funding for workshop materials, travel etc will be provided. You will also receive training in engaging schools. For more information contact Ellie Cripps.

Project timeline:

  • March: Training for researchers
  • April/May: Workshop development; generate ideas for “innovation challenge”
  • June/July: Workshops in school (dates tbc)
  • July: Event at University (date tbc)

Include public engagement in your research grant
Funding agencies recognise ‘the contribution of excellent research’. If your research is of interest to members of the public, or a particular audience beyond academia, you can describe how you are going to engage them in your grant application. Public engagement funding could cover training, venue hire, design, publicity, materials, volunteer costs, transportation, evaluation, consultant fees or staff time. The format varies with the funding agency; for example all Research Council applications have a Pathways to Impact section while the Wellcome Trust has a Provision for Public Engagement.

Take part in one of our current projects
Check out our current projects for more opportunities.

Take part in a festival
The University organises a number of festivals open to the public (Thinking FuturesInsideArtsPast Matters). These are an opportunity to showcase your work, reach different audiences and try out new engagement methods. For many researchers it is a great introduction to public engagement as well as a lot of fun. Local and national opportunities include Bristol Festival of Ideas, Bristol's Festival of NatureCheltenham FestivalsHay Literary Festival, and the British Science Festival.

Speak at local discussion events and via the media
Speak at local science cafés, Café Philo, Bright Club comedy night, or join Speakezee. Consider public participation events such as Involve, or for public dialogue in policy making see Sciencewise. You can also engage through the media – try blogs such as PolicyBristol or the Cabot Institute, and follow the University’s social media accounts or create your own.

Become a school governor
Volunteering as a school governor can make a positive difference in a local school, as well as helping you to develop a variety of transferable skills. There are currently more than 50 schools in Bristol with governor vacancies; you do not need to be a parent to take part. 

Be a STEM Ambassador
Inspire young people to learn about and consider careers in science, technology, engineering and maths by becoming a STEM Ambassador. You need to commit to visiting at least one school visit per year. Visit the Graphic Science website.

Big Ideas in Science Festival of Nature 2015 240x180