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Exciting change is afoot at Oxford Sparks, with a relaunch planned for Michaelmas 2021!

Who are we?

Oxford Sparks is the University’s platform for digital science communication and engagement. We aim to create exciting and dynamic original content, which we share via our website, YouTube channel and social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram). Our aim is to open up science and provide a positive engagement experience for public audiences. We build awareness of who researchers are and what they do, across all scientific disciplines.

 

We endeavour to:

1. Create relatable and useful digital science communication

2. Create respectful and empowering digital science communication

3. Deliver credible and honest information

4. Show all aspects of how science happens

5. Reach beyond the scientific community

 

Through in-depth audience research, we have defined our target audience as ‘Curious Spectators’ – members of the public who do not actively seek out scientific content, but who find it interesting when presented in an appealing, accessible and relatable way. If you would like to hear more about our audience research process, or about the ‘Curious Spectator’ demographic, don’t hesitate to get in touch (oxfordsparks@mpls.ox.ac.uk).

Relaunch

Our relaunch comprises two main elements, a visual rebrand, and in-house production of live action videos (as opposed to the animations we have previously created).

We are currently creating a number of pilot videos, and will be circulating a call for proposals later in the summer (however, if you would like to express an interest in creating a video with us, or have any questions, please feel free to get in touch now: oxfordsparks@mpls.ox.ac.uk).

Our videos will fall into two main categories:

1)      Short-form content for social media. These videos will be scripted, storyboarded and edited by us, but filmed on a phone by the researcher. They will be fun, informal and quirky, and last no more than 2.20 (the maximum video length for Twitter). Categories include seasonal science (e.g. “Why am I so tired in the winter?”) and everyday science (“Why do I always spill my coffee?” – see below).

2)      Micro-documentaries. Videos that are 5 to 10 minutes in length, more formal in style, and covering a topic in more detail than the short-form content. These will be developed, filmed and edited by us.