Connecting Communities

Are you a community group who wants to connect with researchers? Are you a researcher who wants to connect with communities? We want to hear from you!

Research and Innovation is increasingly recognising the value of embedding lived experience and expertise beyond the academic realm within research practice and process. Learning institutions and funders acknowledge communities directly affected by the issues and challenges driving research are frequently excluded from having an equal stake in power and decision-making. We are seeking to address this collectively to improve our research engagement and impact now and for future generations.

We are embarking on developing support, resources and opportunities for communities and researchers to work together more equitably. In 2022 we commissioned an external consultant to undertake some initial research into engaging with the wider Cambridge community. The insights and recommendations in the report have given us much to reflect on, learn from and act upon. We have begun by recruiting a role responsible for leading on the development of our Community Engagement Strategy. They will support and facilitate relationships between community groups and researchers to grow and diversify the groups we are listening to and collaborating with, both through our events and our research.

In this initial stage we are starting close to home, reaching out to local communities and research communities to understand what people want and need from research collaborations, investing time and care in our relationships. We are identifying where we have agency to act within our own programmes, where there are opportunities to collaborate with colleagues across the university community working to improve access and inclusion, and where the development of strategic approaches are required to support the implementation and impact of this work. This work is by no means happening in isolation, as we connect with and learn from peers and best practice in the field, and hope in time to contribute to the wider landscape of community engagement across the UK and beyond. We are committed to listening to and co-producing our community engagement with communities from the start to ensure the infrastructure and opportunities we create are inclusive, equitable and mutually beneficial. We are acting now, planning long-term, and excited about what we can achieve working in partnership.

We are right at the beginning of this journey. We will be sharing our learning as we go, and are keen to hear from you. If you want to find out more or stay in touch email us at


Exciting new creative commission!

Cambridge University Public Engagement team are embarking on a new collaborative project in partnership with Abbey People, Cambridge Community Arts, Cambridge Ethnic Community Forum, Romsey Mill, Museum of Cambridge and consultant Elma Glasgow. The project team are looking for a creative to co-create a series of films exploring untold stories and hidden knowledge that exist within our local communities.

The project aims to create space for community voices to share their knowledge and pose questions that require community-led approaches to research. We actively encourage proposals from creatives from marginalised and underrepresented communities.

Deadline for proposals: 29th May 2024, 5pm

Proposals should be submitted via e-mail to

All queries relating to this competitive proposal will be raised via e-mail to

Download the Untold Stories Creative Brief here