We are committed to sharing our knowledge, resources and skills with the public so they can understand some of the great ground breaking research that goes on here. With that in mind the University set up the Public Engagement Fund which is an initiative designed to support researchers in undertaking public engagement activity, connecting research and teaching with people outside the institution.
Brunel University London funds projects that touch on topics that the public can relate to and get involved in. It is important to select projects that focus on interesting aspects that both entertain and inform the general public.
For the 2016/17 year three projects were progressed. Two were from academic staff and one from postgraduate students. Each project runs for a total of one year and is regularly monitored to make sure it is on track.
To read about the projects that were funded in the 2016/17 academic year please download the document by clicking the link below.
Public Engagement Fund 2016_17
One of our most recently funded projects called Rage (Research Advisory Group For Everyone) helps researchers improve the way they conduct research for young people. If you are an academic looking for young participants for your research or a young person looking to get involved in some interesting research projects then click here to read more about Rage.
For the 2017/18 year three academic staff projects have been selected. Please click the drop down boxes below to read the details of each public engagement project.
Professor Christina Victor - BORG (Brunel Older Peoples Reference Group)
The Brunel Older People’s Reference Group (BORG) is a database of local people aged over 50 who are interested in Brunel and the research that goes on here.
The primary objective of the group will be to advise and raise their concerns in Ageing Studies. The overall aim of the Ageing Studies theme is to address two fundamental questions:
1) How to ensure that people age healthily and are free of disability.
2) For those who become ill and disabled, how we can ensure interventions and care, transport and housing are provided effectively and efficiently and in line with their needs.
However the only way biologists, psychologists, sociologists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists can understand the needs and rights of an ageing population is to speak to older members of the public and record their issues to help with research in ageing.
We have an ageing population in the UK so with BORG academics at Brunel can submit stronger proposals to external bodies to improve the quality of life for this older demographic.
If you are an older person and would like to be sent invitations to be involved in research or to attend public lectures please click here.
Dr Claire O’Callaghan - Finding Queer (West) London
Finding Queer (West) London is a participatory, curatorial public engagement project to ‘find’ the hidden histories of queer West London.
This project invites the public to co‑create a visual and digital map of queer West London past. Focusing on personal moments and encounters in West London spaces or places from any moment, we seek the public’s help to ‘find’ and document the unofficial histories of queer West London. One map will be sited at the university and another in Hillingdon Uxbridge Library.
Dr Mohammad Heidarzadeh - Coastal Flooding Hazard Awareness Through Experimental Workshops
This project aims at increasing public knowledge, specifically high school students, about the coastal flooding by describing the mechanism of ocean flooding through a simple experimental facility. Coastal flooding is an important natural environmental hazard in UK. Especially, this has been more important in recent years as the climate change is bringing more frequent and severe storms to UK.
For instance, in the period from December 2013 to April 2014, south coast of UK experienced 22 storms. For this project, a specific lab facility will be designed which will be used for public lectures. The lab facility is a wave flume with length, width and depth of 150, 35, and 50 cm.
This lab facility will show how the waves are generated and how they flood the coastal areas using a simple and easy-understandable mechanism. The lab practical lecture will be integrated into a half-day workshop which includes a public lecture with questions and answers followed by lab experiment.