Fellow wins Vice-Chancellor’s Public Engagement Award

11 July 2016
Dr David Griffiths with Oxford Vice-Chancellor Louise Richardson, project officer Jane Harrison, and local volunteers Leigh Mellor and Katie Hambrook.

Dr David Griffiths with Oxford Vice-Chancellor Louise Richardson, project officer Jane Harrison, and local volunteers Leigh Mellor and Katie Hambrook.

We are delighted to announce that Fellow David Griffiths has won a Vice-Chancellor’s Public Engagement with Research Award for his project “Archeox: East Oxford, One History or Many?”

The project ran from 2010–15 as an archaeological and historical research project on the landscape and historic environment of East Oxford. Over 650 volunteers participated in the project with 6,000+ volunteer days recorded.

The programme particularly sought to engage harder-to-reach audiences, and worked with charities focused on homelessness, mental health and Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties (BESD) pupils from local schools.

The University and College buildings tend to overshadow the local communities in Oxford. This project put East Oxford on show, the area contains prehistoric sites, Romano-British pottery industries, a medieval leper hospital, civil war defences, farming landscapes and industrial sites. Excavations conducted at East Oxford’s prehistoric and medieval sites included those of national importance for which little information was known previously. New data was gathered about life and death, pathology, diet, economy, and topography of the area.

Local volunteers learned excavation and geophysics, how to work with archaeological ‘finds’, maps and other evidence, and received instruction on specialist computer programmes and landscape surveying, using the latest equipment.

‘East Oxford – One History or Many?’ will publish a monograph later this year. Information about the project and published reports can be found on the project website: www.archeox.net

The wide-ranging project was made possible by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and a grant from the University of Oxford’s John Fell Fund.

The Vice-Chancellor’s Public Engagement with Research Awards, new for 2016, recognise and reward individuals and departments across the University of Oxford who undertake high-quality Public Engagement with Research. There were twelve winning entries, from more than 80 nominations received. The award winners received recognition for their achievements at the Vice-Chancellor’s Public Engagement with Research Awards Ceremony, which took place on 1 July 2016 at Merton College.

The Vice-Chancellor and Kellogg Honorary Fellow, Professor Louise Richardson said: “I am delighted to introduce these awards to recognise and celebrate excellence in Public Engagement with Research from across the University. It has been exciting and reassuring to see the myriad ways in which people have been engaged with the extraordinary research here at Oxford.”