Public Engagement

MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit researchers smiling

At the SPHSU, we are committed to improving public understanding of what we do and why it matters.

We engage a wide variety of non-academic audiences in our research including school children, teachers, health professionals, voluntary organisations, community groups, journalists and politicians.

By informing, listening and collaborating, we can make sure our research has a real impact on society. Sharing and exchanging knowledge and expertise can offer fresh perspectives, prompt behaviour change, improve practice and shape healthy public policy.

Our researchers have discussed their work in schools, the media, shopping centres, pubs, community centres, IKEA, Glasgow Science Centre and the Scottish Parliament.

As well as organising our own events, we regularly take part in annual festivals like Explorathon, Glasgow Science Festival, MRC Festival of Medical Research, Festival of Social Science and Pint of Science.

We are always open to exploring new settings, events and ways of involving people with our work.


We have developed fun and creative ways to share our work and discuss the impact our research can have on health and society.

HealthyVille - identify all the features in this fictional town which make it a healthy place to live, work and visit.

Best Start in Life - explore the social influences on health and wellbeing by ranking the factors that will give baby Kirsty the best start in life.

Health and the City – build a healthier, safer city by implementing public health interventions and testing how effective they are with residents.

Sexy Science – complete the timeline by guessing which year advances in sex research, sexual health, equalities and rights took place.

Data Detective – find the clues, share and link data securely to help stop the spread of a mystery disease.

Mountain Plot Jigsaw – put the pieces in the jigsaw to make a ‘mountain of inequality’. The mountain plot displays the contribution of different causes of death to inequalities across all ages.

Understanding Health Research – go beyond the headlines to understand published health research with this free, interactive, online tool.

Please contact Gillian Bell (Engagement & Communications Officer) for more information about our public engagement activities.

Understanding the weight loss journey

PhD student Meigan Thomson was a finalist at the University of Glasgow's 2019 'Impact in 60 seconds' competition with her video Understanding the weight loss journey

MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit logo 800 wide