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Widening Participation Opportunities

Widening Participation Opportunities

The University of Exeter has a key objective to ensure that all students, from every background, are supported to access, succeed in, and progress from, higher education.

The central Student Recruitment and Widening Participation team organise and run a large programme of widening participation (WP) events targeted at young people from a range of underrepresented and often disadvantaged backgrounds in partner schools across the country. 

The contribution made to these events from members of the academic community is essential for ensuring an exciting and authentic experience of the kind of teaching and research carried out at the University of Exeter.

Postgraduate researchers are invaluable to supporting subject specific WP activities which allow students to discover more about subjects that are available to study at university and help them make informed decisions about their future.

If you are interested in supporting our events and finding out more about how you can get involved, please visit the Centre for Social Mobility website.

The Network is aimed at all academics and professional services staff who are interested in impact and engaged research. The Network brings them together to share best practice and information, to undertake training and to provide opportunities for networking.

Network events run under a number of themes:

  • Public Engagement Conversations - Addressing specific issues and questions raised by Network members.
  • Spotlight On… - External partners talking about their organisation and opportunities for shared working.
  • Skills for Engagement - Sessions run by a range of experts with best practice contributions and roundtable discussion.
  • Funder in Focus - Funders sharing their vision for impact and engaged research.

For more information, visit the Engaged Research page of the Research Toolkit.

Applications for up to £1000 are invited as part of the Translational Research Exchange at Exeter (TREE) Public Engagement with Research funding scheme. This scheme enables University of Exeter researchers and professional services staff working in health research to undertake high quality public engagement.

They welcome applications from University of Exeter researchers (including PhD students) or professional services staff working in the field of health research. This funding scheme is for applications between £500 and £1000.

Example activities that can be included in applications are:

  • Development of partnerships and collaborations with non-academic, non-commercial partners (for example patient groups, charities, artists, schools or clinicians)
  • Try out novel and creative ways to engage non-academic, non-commercial audiences with health research
  • Research proposal workshops, aimed at co-creating research questions

Applications can be submitted at any time; this is a rolling scheme until December 2021 with no close date. You can find out more on the TREE website.


Pint of Science is an international festival, started several years ago in London, which aims to bring the latest scientific research to the general public by presenting straightforward talks and fun interactive activities in local pubs around university cities. The festival is run by PGRs and ECRs and takes place over a few days in may with occasional events in other months, and this is the fifth year we'll be taking part in this amazing event in Exeter. The main themes for this years Pint of Science festival are

  •   Beautiful Minds - neuroscience, psychology and psychiatry.
  •   Atoms to Galaxies - physics, chemistry, astrophysics, maths and material sciences
  •   Our Body -  life sciences including immunology, cancer, aging, genetics, health fitness, biotechnology.
  •   Planet Earth - geosciences, plant sciences, zoology 

To have a look at what we have been up to in the past, check out If you are willing to help with any aspect of planning and organising the various events, or to present your research in a fun and understandable manner, please contact us at

Soapbox Science showcases the research of women who are making significant contributions to the scientific community.

The event follows the format of London Hyde Park’s Speakers’ Corner, transforming Exeter’s Princesshay into an arena for public learning and scientific debate; creating a dynamic and bustling atmosphere and learning environment for all.

You can visit the soapbox science website for more information about Exeter’s and other events taking place across the UK, Canada, Australia, Italy, Ireland and Germany. You can also keep up to date with our event on Twitter using #ExeterSoapbox

You can also contact local organisers Dr Safi K DardenDr Ana Neves and Isabel Castanho with any questions about the event, how to get involved as a speaker, volunteer or sponsor, and our Soapbox Science Alumni Network.

Find out more about Soapbox Science at Exeter.

The Sidmouth Science Festival takes place in October each year. The organisers work with local and national organisations to deliver a week of high quality events in the South West for both the public and local schools.

The main theme is Science in our Lives. It aims to inform, educate and inspire all parts of the community and show how Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) impact on everyday life thus giving people a better understanding of the world around them. In addition, the Festival team run a monthly Café Scientifique.

The October and monthly events provide excellent opportunities for individuals to share their expertise and research. In addition, the October festival provides the opportunity to display work by interacting with the public through “hands on” experimentation or science busking events. Talks generally have audiences from 40 to 100 people with the October Festival attracting over 4000 attendances in total.

If you are interested in getting involved in either Sidmouth Science Festival of their Café Scientifique you can find out more on their website or email