'Reimagining School-University Partnerships'

On Thursday, 5 October representatives from the Queen’s University School-University Partnerships Initiative (SUPI) project attended an event entitled; 'Reimagining School-University Partnerships' in Woburn House, London. The event, hosted by the NCCPE – National Coordination Centre for Public Engagement, was set up to highlight the rich learning gained from existing SUPI projects in regards to developing robust partnerships that everyone involved could benefit from.

The event was designed to encourage delegates to:

  • SHARE learning and good practice from the RCUK School-University Partnerships Initiative (SUPI) - and beyond!
  • INSPIRE with examples of activities and mechanisms that really work
  • EXPLORE where next for school-university partnerships...

This event brought together representatives from the 12 SUPI projects throughout the UK and other organisations supporting school-university partnership working in different contexts and settings.

The Queen’s team who attended was made up of;

Dr Michael Cregan (Electronic, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science)

Prof. Karen McCloskey (Center for Cancer Research and Cell Biology)

Dr Maelíosa McCrudden (Pharmacy)

Patricia Hampson (Widening Participation Unit)

The team delivered a workshop entitled, Engaging pre-GCSE Pupils with research’.

The workshop included an introduction to Queen’s University, SUPI Project. Dr Cregan then shared best practice on how the team successfully engaged with pre GCSE pupils throughout the project. Prof McCloskey then took delegates through a practical workshop tasking attendees to build DNA Ladders from Jelly Babies! Dr McCrudden followed by highlighting examples of some of the key project out puts including cartoon animation that was produced to explain how micro needles work. Patricia Hampson summed up with the key successes of the Queen’s SUPI project and outlined future plans for project sustainability post RCUK finding.

Delegates were then asked to engage with a panel discussion to ask questions and contribute comments.


The workshop was very well received and feedback included the following comments;

“Impressed at how much was covered in the workshop”

“Really interesting research taking place and very engaging session. Thank you!”

“Interacting was very good and the lessons sound inspiring”

“Really engaging and positive. Great to model the activity and work us through the process. Very valuable.”

“I like that it isn’t about teaching to the curriculum but rather enrichment and fully engaging in research. Great range of activities with hands on and visual stimulus”