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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. 

Booking opens at the start of each term.

Some courses are highly in demand, and we operate waitlists.

We are offering some sessions online. Please see individuals courses for venue details.

Public engagement with research 101

Engagement describes the many ways that we can share our research and its value by interacting with wider public audiences, generating mutual benefit. 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, including real examples from the University and further afield. We'll provide tips on getting started and where to get support. Our face to face sessions typically include researchers presenting their experiences and answering your questions.

  • 09.30-12.30 | 27 Oct 2022 - In person - CLOSED
  • 13.00-16.00 | 30 Nov 2022 - Online - CLOSED
  • 09.30-12.30 | RESCHEDULED to 6 March 2023 - In person (up the hill) - Register for Public Engagement 101
  • 13.00-16.00 | 11 May 2023 - Online 

Feeling strapped for time but still want to find out more about public engagement with research? Click here to take a look at our online course.

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.

  • 09.30-16.30 | 13 Oct 2022 - In person - Careers Service, 56 Banbury Road - CLOSED
  • 09.30-16.30 | 16 March 2023 - In person - Register for Podcast Your Science
  • 09.30-16.30 | 08 Jun 2023 - In person

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.

Methods for two-way, interactive public engagement

In this introductory session you will explore how to introduce opportunities to transform your public engagement in to a rich, two-way, interactive experience. Dialogue and debate are valuable approaches to move beyond communication. It can provide the means to make any informative activity more engaging for those taking park. The session will highlight examples, practical tips and provide the opportunity for you to start to develop your own ideas and plans.

Three Minute Thesis Competition 2022 - closed

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.

Please check back for more information about the 2023 competition.

Oxford Sparks Science Communication masterclass and Sparks Ambassadors - 2022-23 - CLOSED

This course will take you through the essential elements of high quality science communication through a masterclass. Participants will then have the opportunity to become Oxford Sparks Ambassadors, receiving in-depth training and support to create their own quality science communication videos. This programme is open to DPhil students and early career researchers (note: not suitable for professional services staff).

Click here to find out more about the Oxford Sparks Science Communication masterclass

  • 09.30-12.30 | 17 Nov 2022 - In person
  • 09.30-12.30 | 23 Nov 2022 - Online 


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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