Reuben College awards first round of Public Engagement with Research Innovation Fund Grants

One of Reuben College’s core values is Public Engagement with Research (PER), and many of our Fellows and students are already involved in projects that connect the wider community with our academic research.  Public Engagement has mutual benefits for both the public and researchers, and enhances the quality, reach, impact and relevance of research.

In order to support this goal Cat Vicente and Janet Stott, Reuben’s Official Fellows in PER, launched the first Reuben PER Innovation Fund, allowing students to to run their own public engagement projects. Collaborative projects with an interdisciplinary dimension were particularly encouraged, capitalising on the cross-disciplinary community that a college like Reuben College can uniquely foster. The fund also aims to help the students develop their leadership and project management skills, as well as starting to build a funding track record. Each project has been assigned a Reuben Fellow as a mentor, to provide bespoke support for the students.

We are delighted to announce the six projects that have been awarded the Reuben PER Innovation Fund for the 2021/22 academic year.


abdul khan

Abdul Wahid Khan (DPhil in Geography and the Environment, Reuben College) – Chitral Academic’s Circle

Wahid piloted the Chitral Academic’s Circle in 2021, holding online meetings with academics speaking with Chitrali people in Pakistan, connecting the community with international and national scholarship. He will use this funding to develop and embed this project. Wahid will also hold in-person events over the summer when he goes to do fieldwork in Chitral.


isabelle sturt

Isabelle Sturt (MPhil in Global & Area Studies (Chinese Diaspora & Identity), Reuben College) – Engaging with Identities within Asian American Communities

Isabelle will produce a podcast series following the process of her fieldwork, where she plans to conduct focus groups of 14-18 year olds within the Asian American community in California, as part of her research into identity within the Chinese diaspora. The podcast will engage audiences with the research focus and the process of conducting fieldwork.

On receiving this funding, Isabelle says, “I’m really grateful for the opportunity and for the support the college and fellows have put behind this project. It is great to be part of a community so engaged and willing to listen to the ideas of others, particularly across subjects and disciplines.”


jannat khan

Jannat Khan (MSc in Radiation Biology, Reuben College) and Bothaina Eltigani (MSc in International Health & Tropical Medicine, Reuben College) – What does Cancer mean?

This project aims to build a connection between patient experiences and information, to improve communication of science and research between patients and researchers. Jannat and Bothaina will run a series of sessions for a small group of patients with cancer, aiming to explain the science behind the disease.


sami adnan

Sami Adnan (DPhil in Primary Health Care, Reuben College) and Ishbel Henderson (DPhil in Primary Health Care, Trinity College) – How AI can help solve the challenges of Multimorbidity

Sami’s project will create a video that will follow 5 stakeholders, showcasing how each of their roles are interconnected to solve issues around multimorbidity. The storyline will highlight how technology and AI can work without being intrusive, how it can integrate in patient care, and bring value to the healthcare system.

Sami says about this funding, “The PER Innovation Fund allows me to communicate the importance of Human-Centred AI Design, that is at the core of my DPhil research, in a new way. It also means that we can portray the holistic impact of these design methods to develop AI tools in healthcare. The fund helped us secure further matched funding from the NIHR ARC to complete the entire video project that I’m excited to share with you later this year.”


Julia Salafranca Gómez

Julia Salafranca Gomez (DPhil in Molecular and Cellular Medicine, Reuben College) and Laura Maghetiu (MPhil in Development Studies, Reuben College) – Patient, Public Involvement and Engagement in Rheumatic Diseases

In this project, Julia will create a workshop bringing together researchers and young rheumatology patients (between 18 and 30), as this is an under-represented population in PPIE.

Julia says, “I am very grateful to Reuben College for supporting my project and contributing to my development as a scientist outside the laboratory.”


laura maghetiu

Laura Maghetiu (MPhil in Development Studies, Reuben College) and Max Weber (Modern Languages, St Anne’s College) – The Supply-Chain of a Voluntary Carbon Credit

Laura will be creating a video engaging the public with her MPhil thesis fieldwork. She will research the role of carbon offsetting projects in the expansion of Green Developmentalism in Uruguay

Dr Anupama Sen (Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment), who will be mentoring Laura for this project, says “I think it's a terrific project to support through PER funding, and there is a great deal of research to be done around carbon offsets. The project addresses a somewhat confused 'big picture' issue through a simple supply chain investigation, and could have a lot of impact.”