PPIE archive

During the first contract of HPRU EZI, the researchers at the University of Liverpool, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and Public Health England, in conjunction with the organisation's Public Engagement teams, have run various engagement activities. Activities include running interactive stalls at science festivals, hosting workshops for schools, arranging laboratory visits, giving talks and much more.

Our highlights 2014-2019

 Chistmas -lecture -194x 129


'Rudolph the Sneezing Reindeer' - Christmas Lecture

In December 2018, Professor Alan Radford with the help of Santa and Rudolph ran a lecture for children to learn about germs, what they are and how they can make you poorly. The lecture finishes with some simple practical tips for children on how they can stop themselves (and their friends) getting ill. 

The team have also created a Christmas Jingle video and a factsheet on 'Christmas Infections' for teachers and parents to discuss with children after watching the video.


Igh Podcast




The University of Liverpool’s Institute of Infection and Global Health have started a monthly Podcast covering a range of topics specifically looking at its cutting edge research on infectious diseases and global health.

Ellen Murphy, HPRU EZI student talked about 'Viruses in Wild Rodents - Why do we monitor them?'

Charlotte Robin, HPRU EZI student discusses her research on: 'Pets, Rats and Farm Rats - Why are they viewed differently?'

Professor Matthew Baylis, HPRU EZI theme leader, chats about The One Health Regional Network for the Horn of Africa, or HORN project, a collaboration between UK and African institutions to research One Health problems in the Horn of Africa. 


Prof Baylis Tick Hunting





BBC Countryfile

Tom Heap from BBC Countryfile looks at what is being done to fight lyme disease, a debilitating illness that affects up to 3,000 people a year and is often transmitted through a single bite from an infected tick.

Professor Matthew Baylis, NIHR HPRU EZI theme leader, goes tick-hunting and discusses the HPRU's research on ticks and how we aim to raise awareness by producing a UK wide map of highly prone tick areas.

To catch the episode and learn more about ticks and Lyme disease visit the BBC iplayer:

To fast forward to the clip on ticks, go to 06.18 - 13.15.


 Ticks Title And Rucksack


Primary School Resources
Following successful pilot outreach workshops in local primary schools and HPRU EZI pump-prime funding, our members Emma Bennett and Hannah Williams (Public Health England) have developed loanable rucksack resources to support teaching and learning and the delivery of public health messages to children in a fun and appealing way. These resources were launched in July 2018.

Two rucksack resource packs have been created: “Operation Outbreak” (Key Stage 2) and Tricky Ticks” (Key Stages 1 and 2); each containing: curriculum-based lesson plans; slide packs; child-friendly summaries; non-consumable supporting equipment and digital resources.

Resources can be downloaded from the TES website:



Rob Christley - Chicken Video




Public Engagement Video Competition

In July the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, at the University of Liverpool, ran a competition for scientists to create a video that showcases their research, in order to help the public learn and discover more about its research.

Third prize went to Professor Rob Christley for his video on ‘Chickens in International Development’ and the challenges that are presented to increase productivity for the farmers, particularly in Ethiopia.

To watch the video, visit the Faculty’s Public Engagement pages: https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/health-and-life-sciences/public-engagement/discover-our-research/ 

Nhs70 Stand


NHS 70 Roadshow

The HPRU celebrated the 70th birthday of the National Health Service by hosting pop up stands at various hospitals in the Liverpool region, showcasing some of the research we do at The University of Liverpool and the huge impact this has had and having on medicine.

From 3-5 July 2018 the roadshow visited The Walton Centre, Liverpool Women’s Hospital, Aintree Hospital and the Royal Liverpool Hospital.






Ebola Laboratory Workshop

In June Kim Steeds, HPRU EZI PhD student, helped run a laboratory workshop on Ebola for Schools Day at PHE Porton. This engagement activity replicated an Ebola training lab in order to showcase the unit’s research in this area. Some of the teacher’s comments included: 

“They found the Ebola lab especially interesting”  

“They said that seeing it ‘made it personal, you see Ebola on the news and feel it doesn’t directly affect us, seeing the Ebola training lab and talking to scientists who went there made it seem much closer’”.

Raquel Famelab Final


Success at Spanish FameLab Final

A passionate and engaging talk about Ebola saw HPRU EZI PhD student Raquel Medialdea crowned third in the national final of FameLab Spain, which celebrates effective science communication in young scientists.

Watched by a 400-strong audience, Raquel performed alongside seven other finalists in front of the King and Queen of Spain at the event in Madrid on 17 May. Read more about the FameLab Final.

Women In Science Aislinn



First Women in Science Symposium

With the help of HPRU EZI public engagement funding Aislinn Currie-Jordan, along with other PhD students and early career researchers, organised and ran a conference on 22 May. This one-day event titled: ‘Achievements of Women in Science and Inspiring the Next Generation’ was hosted at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.  

The day sought to address the lack of platforms that explicitly celebrate the outstanding achievement of women in science.  Aislinn was also a panel member for the discussion on ‘Stomping out stereotypes’.


Caoimhe Mckerr Shots Of Science




Pint of Science - Liverpool

Pint of Science is an annual Festival which takes place across the world in May, and sees brilliant scientists chat about their latest research with the public in the pub!

This year in May we saw talks from our HPRU EZI PhD students: Raquel Medialdea, on her experiences of epidemics such as Ebola and Zika; Margaux Mesle; and Caoimhe McKerr.

Caoimhe won first prize for her Shots of Science talk, where she talked for 3 minutes on ‘Cryptosporidium: what's your beef?’ To find out more, watch it from 12:03-14:14:



 Raquel -Fame Lab Semis -crop

© Céspedes Fotografia

FameLab Spain

Raquel Medialdea-Carrera has entered Famelab in Spain, organised by the British Council. At the Semi-Final event in Madrid she talked in front of a jury and audience of over 500 people for 3 minutes about Zika. Her monologue (in Spanish) from the Semi-Final was videoed and uploaded to YouTube for a wider audience to access.


Raquel is successfully through to the Final which will take place in May, with an opportunity to compete at the International Famelab final held at the Cheltenham Science Festival in June.



Charlotte Hemingway




International Society for Neglected Tropical Diseases Festival

On 27 March 2018, HPRU member Charlotte Hemingway ran a workshop at the ISNTD festival called 'A Game Changer in Public Health Promotion'. The festival showcases innovative public engagement techniques to support treatment and prevention programmes for neglected tropical diseases. Charlotte's workshop looked at how the use of game analytics can support social behavioural research. Charlotte's work was recognised by the ISNTD with the 'innovation in apps' award. Attendance and facilitation of the workshop was funded by the HPRU EZI public engagement fund.


Zika -family -workshop


Understanding Zika videos
Since December 2017 PhD student Raquel Medialdea Carrera and HPRU member Dr Mike Griffiths have run workshops in Brazil for families with children with Congenital Zika Syndrome and related disorders.


Following funding from the HPRU, the team have been able to video the workshops with the aim of sharing some of the techniques and advice given to the families. The videos are aimed to target a wider population, lay public interested in understanding more about Diagnostics of Zika, Congenital Zika Syndrome and how to improve the quality of the lives of people affected by Zika. Click on the link above to watch the latest video. Further videos are planned to be released in April 2018.  

Bug Terror Resources




Bug Terror! Outbreak in a box
This is a ‘reusable’ educational resource to engage school children, or other groups, with the topic of epidemiology and public health by creating a disease outbreak scenario which groups have to work through.


The resource activity introduces the many different aspects of epidemiology that need to be considered when dealing with an outbreak situation and its control including person, place, time, and communications. This resource has been developed by HPRU researchers Caoimhe McKerr and Margaux Mesle, and HPRU members David Singleton, Dan Hungerford, as well as Becky Glennon-Alty (Institute of Infection and Global Health, University of Liverpool), with funding from the Wellcome Trust.


Outbreak 1-cropped





Outbreak at Liverpool
On 27 June 2017, HPRU PhD students Margaux Mesle and Caoimhe McKerr ran a successful pilot of an Outbreak activity with a group of Year 10 students, as part of the University of Liverpool's Faculty of Health and Life Sciences' Summer School week.


The team simulated a disease outbreak scenario and asked participants to work out what had infected the patients. The resource is currently being refined as a pack others can use to run this activity.


UK Tick Species









Lyme Disease Workshop

On 1 June 2017 the HPRU’s Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Working Group ran a one-day workshop in collaboration with NHS Highland. The workshop was titled: ‘Lyme Disease research in the UK: the present and the future.’ Each group (Tick ecology, disease epidemiology and diagnostics & immunology) presented their current projects and their key unanswered questions. A number of significant challenges were perceived. The James Lind Alliance top 10 uncertainties, as agreed by patients and doctors, were also presented at this meeting.


Following on from this workshop, the HPRU team at PHE met with the Lyme Disease Action group, a patient advocacy charity, to discuss the outputs from the workshop. As a result of this meeting, on 8 July Dr Tim Brooks presented on ‘UK research: plans and progress’ at the 2017 Lyme Disease Action Group Annual Patient Conference in Exeter.


Edinburgh Science Festival Ticks


Edinburgh International Science Festival

From 10-14 April 2017 a team of NIHR HPRU EZI researchers ran a 'Big Data' stall at the festival. This exhibit highlighted the work on ticks by NIHR HPRU PhD student John Tulloch with tick hunting and data mapping activities and Dr Fernando Sanchez-Vizcaino's work on 'One Health' issues linked with antimicrobial resistance.

Mosquito Madness Stall


Ness Botanic Gardens Family Science Fair
On 11 March 2017, during British Science Week, we had a 'Mosquito Madness' exhibit at the Ness Botanic Gardens Family Science Fair. This exhibit highlighted the NIHR HPRU PhD student  Aislinn Currie-Jordan's work on improving our understanding of UK mosquito species through hands-on activities and demonstrations.



Raquel - 6 March 2017

Infectious Science
On 6 March 2017 we held the third in a series of evening 'Infectious Science in the Pub' events at The Everyman Bistro in Liverpool. This free-of-charge event, attended by 70 members of the public, featured 6 fast-paced scientific TEDx-style talks from HPRU researchers on topics such as climate change and poliovirus. The objective of the event is to encourage people from all ages and backgrounds to take an interest in emerging and zoonotic infections, and the event provides an opportunity for our researchers to develop their public engagement skills.


 Raquel Medialdea

Public Engagement Case Study
The University of Liverpool's Faculty of Health and Life Sciences Public Engagement team have selected HPRU EZI PhD student Raquel Medialdea Carrera as a case study for her excellent  experience of public engagement work. Activities include taking part in Meet the Scientists, running science workshops in Sierra Leone and organising Infectious Science in the Pub which saw researchers give inspiring and fascinating talks about their work to the public over a pint! See the Public Engagement website to read about why she gets involved in public engagement and her public engagement top tips.


Infectious Science
On 12 December 2016 we held the second in a series of evening 'Infectious Science in the Pub' events at The Vines public house in Liverpool. This free-of-charge event was held just before the NIHR HPRU EZI annual conference and was attended by 55 members of the public. It featured 6 fast-paced scientific TEDx-style talks from HPRU researchers and an international speaker from Brazil on topics such as big data and the Fiocruz response to Zika virus outbreak in Brazil.


 Tick Kids Tick Awareness Leaflet
NIHR HPRU EZI member Maaike Pietzsch and Vector Biology and Climate Modelling theme leader Dr Jolyon Medlock, were awarded funding to support public engagement activities. With their award they produced new tick awareness material aimed at key stage 1 and 2 aged children. For more information and to download the leaflet see Tick Awareness Leaflet.
 Mosquitoexhibit Mosquito Diaries Exhibition

NIHR HPRU EZI PhD student Aislinn Currie Jordan presented work on Vector Biology as part of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine Mosquito Diaries Exhibition at the Royal Society Summer Science Festival held in London, 4-7 July 2016.




 British Science Week 4 British Science Week
On 15, 16 and 17 March 2016, during British Science Week, we organised three workshops at the University of Liverpool for school children aged 13 and 14. During the workshops the pupils learnt about infectious bugs, and why studying DNA is important for life and in particular to fight infections. All children had an opportunity to extract DNA from strawberries and bananas, as well as prepare slides and observe through a microscope their own cheek cells and mosquitos that can transmit infections.
 Ness Family Science Fair 2 Ness Botanic Gardens Family Science Fair
We had a 'Pets or Pests?' exhibit at the Ness Botanic Gardens Family Science Fair on 12 March 2016 as part of British Science Week, to highlight the work of HPRU PhD students Charlotte Robin and Ellen Murphy on the risk of infections from rats versus our relationship with them, their role as pests in a food context, and where rats feature within our history. We ran activities for children such as making rat finger puppets, and displayed posters and information on what infections rats can carry which can affect livestock and people. In addition, we had a voting system to see if people thought rats were pets or pests.

Liz McGinley 2

Infectious Science
On 3 March 2016 we held the first in a series of evening 'Infectious Science in the Pub' events at The Vines public house in Liverpool. This free-of-charge event, attended by 60 members of the public, featured 6 fast-paced scientific TEDx-style talks from HPRU researchers on topics such as tick bites and Zika virus.



Meet The Scientists March 2016 - 3

Meet The Scientists
Our 'Bitten by the Bug' stall saw members of the public learn about mosquitoes, midges and ticks during an interactive, hands-on science day for all the family at the 'Fat Cats and Hot Dogs' event held on 10 October 2015.

On 19 March 2016 we held fun workshops for children and their families during the 'Healthy Lives' event.

 Big Bang 2015

Big Bang North West Fair 2015
Our vector-borne disease researchers took part in the Big Bang North West Fair in Liverpool on 8 July 2015. Over 6,000 pupils attended the Fair, which aims to inspire the next generation of scientists. Our Bitten by the Bug stall saw pupils learn about mosquitoes, midges and ticks, and the diseases they can transmit, through interactive games and activities. 

Visit our Big Bang North West gallery to see more photos.

 Higher Education Day Higher Education Day
Dr Alan Radford and PhD student Raquel Medialdea Carrera visited Winstanley College in June 2015 to talk to A-level biology students as part of a Higher Education Day. Alan talked to students about the evolution and transmission of viral disease and Raquel spoke about her journey to becoming a researcher and her recent experience working at an Ebola Treatment Centre in Sierra Leone.
 Ebola Debate  

Stopping Ebola - whose responsibility is it anyway?
To help gauge the public response to the Ebola outbreak, Professor Tom Solomon joined a panel of experts and opinion formers for an open debate with 50 members of the public; this was held at Manchester Metropolitan University on 20 March 2015 as part of British Science Week.

 Flagging Survey Public Involvement in Research Delivery
In our Vector Biology programme looking at tick activity in relation to Lyme disease, we are involving volunteers from the public and patient groups, including Lyme Disease Action, and Wildlife Trusts, in collecting tick activity data through fortnightly field surveys.

Find out more.


Lyme Disease Open Day
HPRU investigators took part in the Public Health England Lyme Disease Open Day in March 2015 which brought together 100 researchers, health care workers, support groups and the public to discuss current research, opinion, and future priorities in this very challenging area.




Ebola -school

Ebola BBC School Report
In January 2015 pupils from the Christian Fellowship School in Liverpool interviewed Professor Tom Solomon for a BBC School Report they were making about the Ebola crisis.
The report is now finished and we think they did a fantastic job! Watch it for yourself here.
 Christmas Science Christmas Science Lecture for Primary Schools
In December 2014 Dr Alan Radford and colleagues hosted 130 local primary school pupils at the Victoria Gallery & Museum in Liverpool for a free Science Christmas Lecture. Rudolph the Sneezing Reindeer focused on influenza, how our immune system responds to infection, and what we can do to reduce the risk of becoming infected.

Read our Science Christmas Lecture blog post.