Public engagement with research

Public engagement with research (PER) refers to the wide range of ways public stakeholders are engaged with the design, conduct and dissemination of research. At the Pitt Rivers Museum, we work with research colleagues and public audiences to develop:

  1. collaborative approaches (e.g. involving members of the public affected by the issues being studied as active research collaborators)
  2. consultative approaches (e.g. seeking public views on research findings or forecasts)
  3. informative approaches (e.g. reaching new public audiences through various forms of media or events)

We are building partnerships with a range of researchers across many different disciplines at the University of Oxford and beyond, and welcome conversations with new research teams to discuss ideas. We are particularly interested in projects that connect strongly with, and shed new light on, the Museum collections, the history of ethnographic museums and decolonisation.

Explore the PER programming lines (PDF) that are directing our work.

The Pitt Rivers Museum is uniquely placed to help researchers maximise and evaluate the social impact of research through public engagement. We have exceptional skills in-house that PER partners can benefit form, with a skilled team of engagement professionals, as well as world-class researchers experienced in conducting their own PER activities. By working with the Museum, researchers gain access to over 500,000 ‘general visitors’ who come into the museum annually, and 1.2 million digital visitors from 99% of the world’s countries and regions via our website and other digital channels. Researchers also receive support to design PER initiatives to connect with the often under-represented groups with whom the museum has developed strong and sustained relationships. Find out more about some of the communities we are collaborating with on our community pages.

If you are interested in discussing PER, please get in touch


If you would like to develop a PER activity connected to the Museum’s existing activities, please get in touch. We welcome researchers to deliver activities such as short talks, workshops and object-handling sessions that link to our annual event series and exhibition programme. We also welcome discussion to explore new activities and display ideas.

View existing opportunities

Contact details

Follow @Pitt_Rivers on Twitter or search the #PittRiversResearch hashtag to see recent PER activity at the Museum. Contact our public engagement with research lead if you would like to discuss PER at the Museum.