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 and the Oxford Botanic Garden. This museum and garden run a superb collection of courses and activities for children, which several Biology staff help on. Both the museum and garden provide an excellent resource for materials (bones, fossils, plants 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.

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

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 though-out your time with us.

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

Check out a couple of examples of the fantastic range of activities offered through the UNIQ Biology course!

 
Open Days

For more information about our Open Days, please visit the Undergraduate Study page.

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!)