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Training available to help you find out more about public engagement and develop your skills. Due to current covid-19 restrictions, our training will be moving online.


We have a number of free training courses available 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). The following courses are available.

Booking opens at the start of each term, so if there isn't a 'register' link, then it is not yet open.

Due to current and ongoing restrictions in response to the covid-19 pandemic, our training is moving online. Dates will likely stay the same, but check back for more information.

Communicating Your Science Online

Many of us are getting used to working at home and looking for ways to spend our time. Oxford Sparks is looking to coordinate contributions from researchers working from home to share online over the next month or so, and will be holding a webinar for those looking for more information.

We’ll cover science communication and self-filming, and will have Prof Chris Lintott (presenter of BBC Sky at Night and author) to help answer your questions. No need to sign up - just click this link at the right time to join the meeting.

Following this support will be available to help you do great online engagement, so sign up using the form above to contribute.

Public engagement with research 101

Engagement describes myriad 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. Researchers will present their experiences and answer your questions.

  • 10.00-13.00 | 14 May 2020 (up the hill)
  • 09.30-12.30 | 28 Oct 2020 (down the hill)
  • 10.00-13.00 | 1 Dec 2020 (up the hill)
  • 09.30-12.30 | 3 Feb 2021 (down the hill)
  • 10.00-13.00 | 13 May 2021 (up the hill)

Three Minute Thesis Competition

3 Minutes, 1 Slide…..Your Thesis!

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

We are inviting DPhil students to do just that. The 3 Minute Thesis competition challenges doctoral candidates to present a compelling spoken presentation on their research topic and its significance in just three minutes to a non-specialist audience.

Specialist training is being provided to all to help you develop your pitch. You will be taken through the key ingredients to craft a compelling three minute presentation, and have the chance to get feedback on your presentations.

Training: Tues 25 Feb | 10am-1pm | Career Lounge, Careers Services (56 Banbury Road)

FinalWeds 25 March | 16.15-17.00 | Manor Road Building | as part of the Researchers Career Conference.


Deadline passed (3 Feb)

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.

  • 10.00-16.00 | 20 May 2020
  • 10.00-16.00 | 6 Nov 2020
  • 10.00-16.00 | 9 Feb 2021
  • 10.00-16.00 | 19 May 2021


Storytelling and narrative skills: one-to-one coaching *NEW*

OPEN TO ATTENDEES OF 'TELLING STORIES THAT MATTER' WORKSHOPS IN FIRST INSTANCE: Book a half hour session of individual coaching and feedback on your presentation/storytelling work, whether you want to develop a story for an event, practice a presentation, craft/edit a piece of written/filmed work (e.g. blog, article, vlog, video) and/or develop public speaking skills.

  • 13.00-17.00 | 03 Jun 2020
  • 13.00-17.00 | 17 Nov 2020
  • 13.00-17.00 | 03 Mar 2021
  • 13.00-17.00 | 02 June 2021


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 | 10 Jun 2020
  • 09.30-16.30 | 24 Nov 2020
  • 09.30-16.30 | 02 Mar 2021
  • 09.30-16.30 | 08 Jun 2021 

Podcasting one-to-one coaching sessions *NEW*

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


Beyond Communications: effective two-way 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.

  • 09.30-12.30 | 04 Jun 2020
  • 09.30-12.30 | 12 Nov 2020
  • 09.30-12.30 | 25 Feb 2021
  • 09.30-12.30 | 03 Jun 2021


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


The following is hosted by the PER team in Research Services, and is open to all:

Introduction to: Evaluating PER

Evaluation is a process to collect evidence, learn from your experiences and can provide you with evidence of outcomes and different types of impact arising from Public Engagement with Research.

If you are new to evaluation, join us at this seminar for:  

  • An overview of evaluation; why it’s important and how it can enhance Public Engagement with Research activities
  • Examples of evaluation tools
  • Top tips and advice on how to get started with planning an evaluation 

This seminar is for Researchers; Public Engagement Facilitators; Impact Officers; Gardens, Libraries and Museums (GLAM) staff; who are new to evaluation.

This course has now passed, new dates will be added when available.


The following is hosted by Social Sciences Division and open to all:

Policy Engagement: An introduction *NEW*

What is the relevance of my research to policy? Are policy-makers really interested in my expertise? What is policy anyway? And who really make it? If you’re a Y3+ doctoral candidate or early career researcher looking for answers to these or similar questions – whether you’re looking to make more impact, strengthen your case for funding or simply to make your research more interesting, challenging and satisfying – this course may be for you.

Some of the most policy-engaged academics from across the University, the new policy engagement team and researcher developers are teaming up to deliver this new introduction to policy, those who make it, and the mutual benefits that researchers and policy-makers can derive from closer engagement.

Book via Social Sciences



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.
The IT Learning programme includes a range of courses to help you develop your digital skills:
Something missing? Let us know what topics or types of courses you would like.

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