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An update on the recent developments for the Science Together: Oxford Researchers and Communities (STORC) programme.

Rainbow pattern to symbolise equality and diversity


MPLS and MSD have launched a new Public Engagement with Research (PER) programme to connect researchers and local communities, so that our research is grounded in local needs, interests and priorities.

Named Science Together: Oxford Researchers and Communities (or STORC for short), this pilot programme explores what challenges can be overcome or opportunities seized by local community groups when they are given access to the world class skills, knowledge and resources of our researchers. 

Throughout September we ran four introductory sessions that brought researchers, community groups and facilitators (PPI, PER and Comms professionals) together to conceive and plan collaborate research projects.

Latest developments

Rachel Ashwanden joins the team as Science Engagement Officer, her experience as Project Manager for the hugely successful Meat: Your Persona touring event will bring great expertise to the STORC celebratory event. Welcome Rachel!

We now have 28 researchers assigned to 8 community groups, with more partnerships to follow. As you can see from the table below, these researchers are various career stages and from a diverse range of departments across the university – which is great because it allows for some really interdisciplinary projects. Furthermore, we are pleased to welcome into the programme researchers from Oxford Brookes University, enabling Science Together to support collaboration across both institutions.


First name

Department and institution

Job title

Dr Adham Farah

Clinical Neurosciences

Postdoctoral associate

Prof. Alex Goody

Oxford Brookes University School of English and Modern Languages


Dr Alison Chisholm

Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences

Qualitative Researcher

Dr Andrei Constantin

Department of Physics, University of Oxford

Stephen Hawking Fellow in Theoretical Physics

Prof. Anna Barnett

Centre for Psychological Research, Oxford Brookes University

Professor in Psychology

Cameron Booker

Department of Physics, University of Oxford

PhD Student

Dr Carmel Capewell

School of Education, Oxford Brookes University

Senior Lecturer

Cillian Gartlan

Nuffield Department of Medicine, Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics

DPhil student

Dr Clare Rathbone

Psychology, Oxford Brookes

Senior Lecturer

Dr Daisy Lee

Health and Life Sciences

Associate Researcher

Prof. David De Roure

Engineering Science, University of Oxford


Dr Emma Pritchard

Nuffield Department of Medicine

Medical Statistician

Prof. Gabriele De Luca

Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences

Director, Clinical Neurosciences Undergraduate Education, Oxford Medical School

Prof. Harrison Steel

Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford

Professor of Engineering Science

Julie Bennett

Oxford Brookes University - Department of Psychology

Research Associate and PHD Student

Dr Juliet Carpenter

Kellogg College, Oxford University

Research Fellow

Dr Kate Wilmut

Psychology, Oxford Brookes University


Leonhard Tannesia

Materials, Oxford

M.Res student

Maria Armaou

Oxford Brookes University, Department of Psychology, Health and Professional Development

Postgraduate Research Assistant

Dr Mauricio Villarroel

Engineering Science, University of Oxford

Senior Researcher

Dr Mina Samangooei

School of Architecture, Oxford Brookes University

Senior Lecturer

Norah Alrishedan


DPhil student

Dr Sangeetha Thondre

Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work, Oxford Brookes University

Senior Lecturer in Nutrition

Robert Kerr

University of Oxford

PhD Student

Dr Stephanie Longet

Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine

Postdoctoral Researcher in Immunology

Dr Tina Mohindra

Jenner Institute

Project Manager

Victoria Strutt

Department of Materials

PhD student

Dr Zhuangzhuang Dai

Department of Computer Science, University of Oxford

Software Engineer


The community groups are all local to Oxfordshire and are undertaking a broad range of projects:

Barton Community Association are running an after school science club to help young people catch up on learning missed during lockdown

Daybreak are looking at how technology can help people with dementia live independent lives for longer

KEEN Oxford are investigating how to make activity across Oxfordshire more inclusive and accessible for disabled people

Leys Community Development Initiative are co-developing an app with the young people of Blackbird Leys

Oxfordshire Play Association are researching the impact of freeform play on young people’s mental wellbeing and physical health

Oxford Neighbourhood Watch are conducting a data mapping exercise to understand the scale of under-reported bike crime in Oxford

Urban Music Foundation are exploring the interplay between science, technology and Hip Hop

Watlington Climate Action are developing a colour-stable, CO2-absorbing ‘hedgerow paint’

Generously supported by Wellcome Enriching Engagement, Van Houten Fund, Higher Education Innovation Fund and Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council Impact Acceleration Account, each STORC project has a £4000 budget, and we are giving each community group a grant as a contribution towards the time they are committing to the programme. This will help ensure that they can continue their essential on the ground work.

These projects are made possible by the brilliant contribution of University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes University professional services staff, they have been so generous with their time and expertise, resulting in eight fantastic projects with the potential to bring about real change for the people we share a city with.

First name

Department and institution

Job title

Alexandra Almeida

Dept of Psychiatry

Research & PPI Manager

Carinne Piekema

Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging

Public Engagement Manager

Carla Wright

NDM, Experimental Medicine

PPIE Coordinator

Carly Smith-Huggins

OU Museum of Natural History

Family Learning Officer

Caroline Wood

Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford

Communications Officer

Charlotte Medland

Humanities Division, University of Oxford

Innovation, Impact & Evaluation Facilitator

Christopher Parkin

History of Science Museum

Learning Officer

Claire Schwartz

Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford

NIHR ARC Programme and PPI Manager

Emily Lloyd

Experimental Psychology/ Psychiatry

Emerging Minds Network Manager

Hannah Pollard

Oxford University Press, University of Oxford

Commissioning Editor

Kathryn Boast

Hertford College, University of Oxford

STEM Outreach Officer

Lee-Anne Stork

Oxford - Dept of Oncology

Executive Officer - Research

Lena Shams


Outreach Project Officer

Maragaret Mumbi Mutahi

Competency Testing Centre, Brookes university

Associate Lecturer

Martha Buckley

Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics

Portfolio Manager

Naomi Gray

NDCLS, WIMM, University of Oxford

Administrator for the Oxford Centre for Haematology (OCH) and Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) 

Norah Alrishedan



Polly Kerr

Nuffield Dept of Primary Care and Oxford BRC

Patient and Public Involvement Manager

Saskia O'Sullivan

Department of Chemistry

Educational Outreach Officer

Victoria Green

Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford

Events Manager

Next steps

We are working towards a celebratory event to run in early 2022 which will showcase the collaborative projects and celebrate the new partnerships. 

How to participate

If you are interested in collaborating on any of the projects, participating in the celebratory event, or simply keen to find out more then do not delay – contact us today!

Oliver Moore, Science Engagement Facilitator: