Three projects from MSD were amongst 10 from across the University to receive funding from the second-round of the Public Engagement with Research Seed Fund [http://www.ox.ac.uk/research/public-engagement/support-researchers].
Dr Marta Valente Pinto, is based in the Oxford Vaccine Group, part of the Department of Paediatrics, where she studies Whooping cough, a highly contagious respiratory disease that, although to some extent preventable by vaccines, continues to cause a significant number of infections in developed countries. Her project will involve the creation and delivery of workshops in Thames Valley Primary and Secondary Schools to help children and parents understand more about the disease, and to make more informed decisions about vaccinations.
Dr Marco J. Haenssgen, based in the Centre for Tropical Medicine & Global Health, part of the Nuffield Department of Medicine, received funding to evaluate the process and impact of health-themed science theatre as part of ongoing public engagement activities at the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit. In order to engage the public with its research, MORU is collaborating with B-floor Theatre to produce a performance entitled Fishy Clouds, which explores antimicrobial resistance through puppet plays for both children and adults in Thailand. The social outcomes of drama performances are difficult to evaluate and little guidance exists in the evaluation research literature. This project will test out methods for evaluation, and in doing so inform the theory and practice of evaluating such engagement activities for others.
Simon Knight, based at the Oxford Transplant Centre, part of the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences, was awarded funding to develop an online patient advisory panel for renal and transplant research in Oxford, which will provide a patient perspective on upcoming research projects and patient materials.