Digital engagement

by | Feb 11, 2022

Over three sessions, we hosted a programme of skills sharing sessions on engaging audiences digitally as part of The University of Manchester’s Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF) Public Engagement schemes.

During these three online sessions we explored key questions with researchers, community organisations and public engagement practitioners who have experience with digital projects:

  • How do I design, run and evaluate digital public engagement projects?
  • How can I engage communities around me?
  • What makes digital content compelling?
  • How do I ensure that my project is as accessible and inclusive as possible?

In each session, we asked speakers to share case studies about their work and then invited an experienced professional to deliver an introductory training session.


Running Digital Engagement Projects

During this first session, we explored how to design, run and evaluate digital public engagement projects.

Speakers and case studies:

  • Eva Sprecher and Dr Eleanor Armstrong (Zine but not Heard)
  • Dr Alexandre Heazell (Each Egg a World)
  • Katharine Cresswell (Planet DIVOC-91)

Watch a recording of the case studies (YouTube)


The Vocal team delivered a workshop introducing project design, delivery, evaluation and diversity and inclusion for digital projects.

Watch a recording of this training (YouTube)

Creating Digital Content for Engagement

This session looked at how to create different types of digital content to engage different audiences with research and similar topics.

Speakers and case studies

Sam Langford (Freelance Science Communicator) talked about his experience developing and delivering the Global Science Show, a social media event that showcases the work of researchers across the globe.

Jemma Naumann (Presenter) gave us an insight into videomaking, drawing her experience working on the Royal Institution’s Christmas Lectures and making her own YouTube videos.

Dr Oz Ismail (researcher and podcaster) discussed his experience co-hosting ‘Why Aren’t You A Doctor Yet’, which tells compelling and diverse stories, combining science and tech with popular culture and comedy.

Watch a recording of the case studies (YouTube)


Dr Jamie Gallagher helped us navigate how we can create content that shines online.

Jamie created a series of short videos and resources on this topic, which you can find on his YouTube channel and website.

Changing Contexts: Engagement with Communities

In this session we invited community leaders who have been continuing their work throughout the pandemic to tell more about their work and how they adapted to working with people in their communities.

Speakers and case studies

  • Emily McChrystal (Comics Youth)
  • Najma Khalid (Women’s CHAI Project)
  • Adil Mohammed Javed (Alchemy Arts)

Watch a recording of the case studies (YouTube)

Roundtable discussion

In this informal discussion, Circle Steele (Wai Yin Society), Ehinor Otaigbe-Amedu (Wonderfully Made Woman) and Najma Khalid (Women’s CHAI Project) share their thoughts on engaging and working with local communities.

Watch the recording of this roundtable (YouTube).

Additional resources on digital engagement

General resources on online engagement

Making videos

Social media

Accessibility and inclusion

In-depth reading