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You can download a PDF of the guide here. The text is reproduced below.


Public Engagement with Research: Festivals & Events for Researchers to Engage the Public

  • Festivals offer an excellent opportunity to engage the public with your research including those that are new to engagement, as you can focus on the content of your activity while the festival organisers look after attracting an audience and much of the logistics, such as venue hire and ticketing.
  • The matrix below provides a list of the key festivals that take place in and around Oxford and includes some national festivals. Please note that calls for participation and contributions often happen well in advance of the event date – you need to check the website for more details.
  • Some festivals charge a participation fee (to cover the costs of festival staff, venue hire and marketing etc.) and this, together with your activity development costs, can be included in some external grant applications such as Research Council Pathways to Impact and Wellcome Public Engagement Enrichment. There are also internal grant schemes you can apply to or you may be able to secure funds from your department. Some festivals also offer the opportunity to apply for small grants to develop your activity.
Festival/ Event Key Theme Location Timing Target Audience Website
Ashmolean Live Fridays Different themes Ashmolean Museum, Oxford Occasional throughout the year; Friday evenings Mixed audiences including young adults & students Live Friday
Being Human Festival Various themes around the humanities Nationwide November Adults, young people & families Being Human Festival
Big Bang Fair Science, Engineering, Technology & Maths; includes STEM careers Birmingham NEC or London Excel March Secondary school pupils & families Big Bang Fair
British Science Week Science, Engineering, Technology & Maths Nationwide March Families & school children British Science Week
Cheltenham Literature Festival Literature & books Cheltenham October Adults, young adults & families Cheltenham Literature Festival
Cheltenham Science Festival

Science, Technology & Maths

Cheltenham June Adults, young people, families & schools Cheltenham Science Festival
ESRC Festival of Social Science Social Sciences Nationwide November Adults, young people, families & schools ESRC Festival of Social Science
Green Man Festival – Einstein’s Garden Science Stalls Nature, art & science Brecon Beacons, South Wales August Adults, young adults & families Einstein's Garden
Hay Festival Literature & books Hay on Wye May/ June Adults, young people, students, young writers & professionals Hay Festival
New Scientist Live Humans, engineering, technology, earth and the cosmos ExCeL, London September/ October Adults, young people, families & schools New Scientist Live
IF Oxford Festival of Science & Ideas Science-focused alongside the arts, humanities & social sciences Oxford October Adults, teenagers & families IF Oxford Festival
Oxford Festival of the Arts Arts & Humanities Oxford June/ July Adults, young people & families Oxford Festival of the Arts
Oxford Literary Festival  Literature & books Oxford March Adults, young people & families Oxford Literary Festival
Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition Cutting edge science The Royal Society, London July Adults, young people & families Royal Society Summer Science

This resource was collated in October 2018 by the Public Engagement with Research Team in Research Services, University of Oxford -

See further information about engagement opportunities.

You can download guidance on planning public engagement as part of a Pathway to Impact, or view the Pathways to Impact guidance as a webpage.

If you would like support in developing your public engagement plans you can arrange a meeting with Public Engagement Facilitator, Michaela Livingstone-Banks, by emailing