Outreach

Biology Outreach

There is a strong commitment to outreach at all levels of our Department. All members of staff are encouraged to actively disseminate their research to the public. This is most commonly done via press releases for important papers, in collaboration with the Communications and Engagement Team. We run specific training courses and seminars on dissemination.  

A large number of staff engage in outreach activities with local schools and children's groups. These include helping in the classroom, seminars, and taking children into the field. This large degree of interaction is facilitated by the fact that our research topics attract much interest from children and can be linked to the national curricula. If you are a local school interested in such activities, then contact us

We have a close relationship with the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. This museum runs a superb collection of courses and activities for children, which several Zoology staff help on. In addition, the museum provides an excellent resource for materials (bones, fossils etc.), which Biology staff can borrow and take to local schools.

UNIQ

Biology run a spring and summer school every year through the University's UNIQ programme. The courses are aimed at students studying in their first year of further education at UK state schools and colleges.

Students apply for a specific course that aims to give them a realistic view of Oxford student life, and they are invited down to Oxford to stay in a college for the week-long course. They attend lectures and seminars in their chosen subject, and workshops about applying to Oxford. Participants also take part in a variety of social activities in the evenings.

The UNIQ Biology course includes visits to Wytham Woods, the Oxford University Museum of Natural History and the Botanic Garden.

The 2020 and 2021 UNIQ summer schools were run virtually, with students attending lectures, Q&A sessions, and having tutorials with Oxford academics. 

For more information as to the UNIQ Schools, visit here.

I really appreciated the academic lectures and the student ambassadors as they gave an incredibly useful insight into biology as a subject, especially at degree-level, and they also encouraged me to pursue interests that I really enjoy or want to know more about. The live sessions about other things like student finance were also reassuring and made me more comfortable with wanting to apply to Oxford.

The advisors were all very kind and energetic and made sure there were no boring moments, and all the information given was very in depth and any questions asked were also answered with honesty and were very informative.

 

Open Days

We look forward to welcoming you to our 2022 Open Days on:

  • 29 June
  • 30 June
  • 16 September

We hope to host these days in-person (with virtual components), but please return to this webpage for updates nearer the time. 

Make sure to keep up with us on Twitter and Instagram, where our Student Ambassadors will be sharing what they’ve loved about studying Biology at Oxford. Please stay tuned for further information, or in the meantime please visit the central University website here.

We can't wait to welcome prospective students back to Oxford once it's safe to do so! In the meantime, you can find more information about what it's like to study Biology at Oxford in these YouTube videos:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/videoseries?list=PLXiKiyo6tkx6xF3_HHBnD9wtjnsVfSL5o

Schools

In collaboration with colleges, we offer schools taster sessions about studying Biology. Typically, these last about an hour, and involve three of our early career researchers talking about what it's like to be a biologist and why their work matters. 

We're always keen to collaborate with local schools, so please do get in touch if you'd like to work with us. 

Resources

Oxford Sparks

A lot of our researchers have worked with the fantastic science communication team at Oxford Sparks to share more about their research in an accessible way. We've curated a YouTube playlist featuring a wide range of our work with Oxford Sparks, suitable for home learning, and anyone keen to find out more about just how broad biology is. 

https://www.youtube.com/embed/videoseries?list=PLXiKiyo6tkx76qvb-snx8AOp4BmJHbgz-

Citizen Science

Our researchers contribute to and run a range of citizen science projects, encouraging the public to get involved with research and learn more about topics impacting our world. These initiatives include:

Back Garden Biology

In this fun and informative series Dr Lindsay Turnbull, Associate Professor of Plant Sciences, looks at the biology of the back garden. This series is recorded in a normal garden in England beginning in March 2020 and would be of interest to anyone from age 5+. The series is particularly useful for children missing school who would like to carry on practical work in their own garden and have an expert help them understand the theory behind everyday biology. Packed with things to see right now, take the edge off your enforced boredom by venturing into the back garden. You can listen to it as a podcast here, or check out the YouTube playlist below.

Home Learning Resources

During spring 2020, we compiled some resources for home learning, to give additional support to parents who are homeschooling their children (though we've all had moments where we could use some relaxing colouring in!)