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Applied health research is at the forefront of making a difference to people's lives. In the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, discussing our research with the public, and listening to their views, is supported and encouraged because it:

  1. nurtures a society where researchers and the public can develop shared ownership over the direction of health research,
  2. empowers citizens to make more informed lifestyle choices, question the evidence base of research and become more involved in the research process,
  3. enriches the professional development of our researchers, allowing them to become better communicators and gain deeper insights into how their research can benefit the lives of others,
  4. helps to advance health policy, so new developments can be implemented quickly for patient benefit.
  5. involves the public and ultimately makes our research better.


As well as coordinating communications and public events centrally and in partnership with other organisations, we provide support and guidance to researchers through our own in-house team and other public engagement and communications staff across the Medical Sciences Division and the wider University. This includes:

  • support to develop research dissemination and public engagement plans in grant applications,
  • opportunities to get involved in University-led and other local and national public engagement initiatives,
  • a department research blog
  • Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) activities, supported by a departmental PPI strategy
  • training for researchers in public engagement, media skills and writing skills,
  • support for media outreach working closely with the University of Oxford Media Relations Team,
  • an in-house team of communications and public engagement professionals either providing support across the department or acting as communications/PPI/engagement leads on externally-funded programmes.


Blog posts

Meat your persona: talking to Oxford's shoppers

The LEAP team have been talking to shoppers to learn more about their meat and dairy consumption and to share the results of their research into the environmental and health impacts with the public.

Scientific and lay authors: writing together

Lynne Maddocks, NDPCHS and NIHR CLAHRC PPI Co-ordinator, interviews one of the lead authors and lay co-authors of the recently published scientifc paper. The paper argues for a re-think in how doctors talk to their patients about kidney health, suggesting it should be about ‘kidney age’ not ‘kidney disease.’

Eating for an environmentally sustainable future

Helen Adams, Public Engagement Coordinator for the Livestock, Environment and People (LEAP) project, introduces the project and writes about the team’s first foray into public engagement at Super Science Saturday in March 2018. Outreach is not just a lot of fun, but can help influence the research too…

Yarnfulness: Engaging the public in research on well-being through craft

SPCR Research Fellow Dr Emma Palmer-Cooper and Health Psychology Researcher Dr Anne Ferrey write about an innovative public engagement project that sets out to investigate whether yarn-based crafting can improve health and wellbeing. The project recently received a University of Oxford Public Engagement with Research Seed Fund Award.