About public engagement stories

Boy investigating model of the brain

Universities’ role in society is changing. They must now be more open, flexible, responsive and engaging to the public than ever before, where appropriate linking academic research with real-life situations.

Public engagement at the University of Bristol includes all the ways in which our staff and students interact with members of the public, including giving talks and participating in debates, working with the media, running stands at festivals, working with schools and developing research with different communities. Many of our staff and students are also involved in volunteering activities and, in some cases, tackling real-life problems as part of their degrees. We also continue to have a vibrant life-long learning programme, which allows people with other commitments to return to their studies in the evening or at weekends.

Young person working on a studio desk

We hope that the case studies on this website will encourage you to become involved in engagement, whether you are already associated with the University or not. If you are inspired by a particular story please contact the organiser or our Public Engagement team.

Everyone featured in these stories wants to share their ideas and many are keen to be involved in continuing activities which may be bigger or better if they can involve more people.

We want to ensure that public engagement is truly woven into the fabric of this institution and hope that you enjoy reading this collection of stories as much as the academics, students and members of the public enjoyed making them happen.

About the Public Engagement team

Our team supports and promotes public engagement with research and teaching across the University. This involves brokering collaborations between academics and third sector organisations to design and conduct research and teaching, running programmes of public talks and festivals, and helping academics to engage with the public by working with them to attract funding and providing appropriate training.