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Researchers meeting at the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group workshop in 2016.

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.