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Three projects from across the Medical Sciences Division have received funding in the latest round of the Public Engagement with Research Seed Fund.
Dr Emma Palmer-Cooper, SPCR Research Fellow, and Dr Anne Ferrey, who are based in the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, received funding for The Yarnfulness Project, which aims to engage with local and online communities who practice yarn-based crafts, in order to understand their opinions of mindfulness practice, as well as the widely reported benefits of yarn-based craft. The project will use this information together with the assistance of local contributors to design a pilot study to objectively and empirically investigate the impact of yarnbased craft on health and wellbeing. The project will be public facing, and progress will be reported using an open access, web-based blog.
Dr Sean Elias, who is based at the Jenner Institute in the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, was awarded funding for the Researcher Board Game Café. At ‘Board Game Café’ events, members of the public can come and play short, themed board games each hosted by a different researcher who uses the game to highlight their academic research. The experience is designed to be immersive, with members of the public being faced with real research problems or challenges that they have to navigate with the help of the resident researcher.
Dr Elias is looking to put together a team of enthusiastic researchers who are keen to develop their own games or adapt existing commercially available games for this purpose. The will be able to attend regular game development workshops to help bring the games from concept to table and link together researchers from across the University with similar interests and ideas. If you are interested please contact Dr Elias, or check out their Twitter feed.
Finally, Dr Elizabeth Tunbridge, Royal Society Research Fellow in the Department of Psychiatry, received funding for her project 'Our genes, our selves.' This project aims to address concerns about psychiatric genetics head-on and to promote discussion of the ethical dimensions of Dr Tunbridge's research, and its implications for wider society. This project will fund the creation of a specific artwork, which it is hoped will promote consideration of the role of genetics in mental health, and how this is intertwined with our unique personalities. However, Dr Tunbridge sees this piece as the first in a longer-term collaboration, designed to communicate the wonder and beauty of neuroscience at multiple levels (molecular, cellular, systems, whole human), and how ourselves are shaped by our genetics and environment.