Public and Community Engagement with Research

Public and Community Engagement with Research

‘Public engagement is a mind-set that acknowledges that the public have a genuine stake in the work of universities – and wisdom and sensitivities that must be listened to and acknowledged.’ - National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement with Research (NCCPE)

People are at the core of Oxford’s Social Sciences research. Public and Community Engagement with Research (PCER) describes the huge variety of ways by which researchers can collaborate with, involve and share ideas with the public, bringing mutual benefit to both sides. It can take many forms, these might include: outreach, collaborative research, citizen science, participatory research, artistic events and collaborations, lifelong learning, community engagement, and partnership with NGOs, or other public-focused organisations. The benefits to researchers of engaging the public in their research can include learning, developing new skills, gaining new insights or ideas, developing richer and more relevant research, raising aspiration, and creating meaningful connections, collaborations and partnerships.

The Social Sciences Division’s Research, Impact and Engagement (RIE) Team can provide advice, training, funding support, and examples of how to design, deliver and evaluate PCER projects effectively and maximise the benefits for both the public and for researchers. 

The University's central PCER team also circulate a regular Public and Community Engagement with Research Digest, PCER Seed Funds for small researcher led projects, a PER Facilitators Network as a community of practice for those involved in supporting PER, and a biennial conference and training opportunities. Find out more below!

Watch: Social scientists engaging communities

Some highlights of social scientists' public and community engagement with research activities, which inform, inspire, consult and collaborate with the public:


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Who can help me?

The Social Sciences Division's Research, Impact and Engagement Team works with colleagues across Oxford’s Research Services and Academic Divisions, as well as with the Gardens, Libraries and Museums (GLAM), to ensure that Social Sciences researchers have as many opportunities as possible to develop their public and community engagement skills and experience. Contact one of the specialist Team members below for advice on the best next steps for your PCER ideas: