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 mostly done via press releases or blogs for important papers, in collaboration with the Communications and Engagement Team.
Many of our researchers engage in outreach activities. We have a close relationship with the Oxford University Museum of Natural History and the Oxford Botanic Garden, who both run superb activities for families and young people which our researchers often contribute to. We have also contributed to festivals like the Oxford Science and Ideas Festival, and individual researchers have visited local schools.
We run a summer school every year through the University’s UNIQ programme.The course is aimed at students studying in their first year of further education at UK state schools and colleges. Students stay in a college for the duration of the course, attend lectures, and hear about applying to Oxford.
The UNIQ Biology course aims to give you a broad overview of what studying Biology at Oxford can look like. Activities can include visits to Wytham Woods, the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, and the Botanic Garden with lecturers – these will help give you an idea of the subjects you could study with Biology. We also run lab practicals, admission/course workshops and mock tutorials.
In collaboration with colleges, science subjects offer taster sessions which Biology sometimes contribute to. Typically, these last about an hour, and involve some of our early career researchers talking about what it's like to be a biologist and why their work matters.
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.
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:
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!)