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Training available to all in MPLS and MSD to help you find out more about public engagement and develop your skills.

Research resources and training

Our public engagement with research training sessions are free and designed to help you learn about and develop your public engagement skills. Unless otherwise stated these courses are available to all (DPhil students, researchers at all levels, and professional services/support staff) in MPLS and Medical Sciences Divisions. 

The 2023/24 programme is now available to view. Sessions will be available to book from 0th Week of Michaelmas term.

ONLINE INTRO TO Public engagement with research

 Click here to take a look at our online course.

Getting Started in Public Engagement with Research

Engagement describes the ways in which we can share our research and its value by interacting with wider public audiences, generating mutual benefit.

In this introductory session tailored to those new to engagement, we look at what public engagement is and some of the reasons why you might want to do it. We’ll highlight the multitude of different approaches you can take, and provide tips on getting started and where to get support.

Ideas to Action: Effective Public Engagement with Research

Ready to bring your engagement idea to life? This 3-hour session is tailored to those looking to explore evidence-based strategies for designing activities/events, apply for PER funding, or get practical tips for organising an activity.

Telling stories that matter: Communicating your research through story

Discover what elements of storytelling and narrative can be used to enhance a profession in the sciences. Craft compelling and moving stories from your experiences as a scientist using these key story elements: character, conflict, structure, metaphor and description. Apply these storytelling and narrative skills to working in the sciences: communicating research to a range of audiences (including publics, media and funding bodies); enhancing presentation skills; telling scientific stories across a range of media. Robert Holtom is a professional storyteller and consultant who has worked with a range of organisations to help them refine and hone their stories for a variety of audiences.

Putting stories to work

This builds on the introductory workshop (Telling Stories that Matter) and introduces new elements of great storytelling including metaphor, clarity and message. This highly interactive workshop will be based around an example of writing a explainer or news article for the wider, non-specialist public website (though the lessons can be applied to any communication context).

It is highly recommended that you will have already attended the introductory workshop (Telling Stories That Matter), or equivalent introductory workshops on storytelling. Brief reading material will be provided to ensure you are up to date with the fundamentals of storytelling that are the basis of this workshop.

Podcast your science

From inception to publication; this practical session delivered by Emily Elias, journalist and producer of the Oxford Sparks podcast series, is a whirlwind tour through the basics of how to share your research in an engaging manner through podcasting. The session will introduce approaches to podcasting, present inspiration from a range of different podcast styles, and take you step-by-step through the basic technical skills of recording, editing and publishing audio files; you’ll have the chance to develop an idea and have a go recording it with support and feedback during the day.

Interviewing for Podcasts

You are behind the mic, ready to record your first podcast ... but wait! What do you ask? This hands-on training session helps you navigate the world of podcast interviews. The session will cover preparing for interviews, creating a question line, finding your authentic voice and active listening.

Participants will be paired up and asked to conduct short interviews with a fellow participant which will be recorded over Zoom. As a group we'll listen back to them and workshop the interviews for constructive feedback.

This course is aimed at anyone looking at working on interviewing skills as a presenter but is also useful to those asked to be a guest on a podcast.

Attendance on the 'Podcast Your Science' session might be useful but is not a requirement to attend this session.

Podcasting one-to-one coaching sessions 

Book a half hour online session of individual coaching and feedback on your podcasting work, from technical tips to journalistic insight in to editing and identifying stories.

Sessions will take place on the afternoons of: 8 December 2022, 20 April 2023 and 29 June 2023. Those attending the above podcasting training sessions will have priority. If there are spaces available closer to the time, a registration link will be shared.

Hands-on Science (available from Hilary 2024)

Dive into the world of experiential learning with our immersive course, 'Hands-On Science.' This program is designed to equip you with the practical skills and insights needed to effectively communicate your research through engaging desktop activities.

Uncover the art of facilitating interactive science demonstrations that captivate and educate. Learn the pivotal elements of event design and planning specifically tailored for public engagement activities. By the end of this course, you'll not only have a repertoire of engaging activities at your disposal, but you'll also possess the skills to thoughtfully design, execute, and adapt events that leave lasting impressions.


Three Minute Thesis Competition 2024 

An 80,000 word thesis would take 9 hours to present; how about in just 3 minutes with the aid of a single slide?

Each year we invite DPhil students to take part in the competition. There is training and guidance provided. Winners and runners up receive prizes.

The 2024 Final will take place on 24th May. For more information, visit the 3MT webpage.


To browse all sessions and book, visit the MPLS training and development pages.


Training from around the University

There's a range of training opportunities and resources available across the University, visit the University support pages to find out more.

Click here to access a raft of resources to support evaluating Public Engagement with Research, including recordings of training webinars, templates and more.

The IT Learning programme includes a range of courses to help you develop your digital skills:

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