COMPAS researcher Will Allen named Oxford Public Engagement with Research Leader

Published 9 October 2019 / By COMPAS Communications

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We are delighted to announce that COMPAS researcher Dr William Allen has been named a University of Oxford Public Engagement with Research (PER) Leader for 2019-20.

The PER Leadership scheme is for academics to take on a leadership role within their departments and faculties to enhance support for engagement with the public. The scheme is targeted at those who have already shown a strong interest in public engagement, who want the opportunity to demonstrate their leadership skills within an academic environment and to explore new ways of working through facilitating change.

As well as being a researcher at COMPAS, Will is also a Fellow by Examination in Political and Development Studies at Magdalen College. His work examines how messages conveyed through media impact public attitudes towards immigrants, as well as how data increasingly matter for global mobility and politics. His record of public and policy engagement activities, which includes using theatre-based techniques in museum and schools settings, was recognised with a Highly Commended citation for Early Career Impact from the University of Oxford in 2018. These activities have informed his interest in improving scholarly understanding and practice with respect to public engagement and knowledge exchange. He is also an Associate Editor for the journal Evidence and Policy.

“Being named as one of the university’s Public Engagement with Research (PER) Leaders for 2019-20 means a lot to me, both academically and personally" says Will.

"The scheme will enable me to work with colleagues across the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography to foster greater awareness of, and excitement for, publicly engaged research. It will also provide opportunities for me to learn from the other PER Leaders about successful engagement activities from departments across the university that might be very different to Anthropology in terms of field, but nevertheless face common questions and challenges. My own research at COMPAS looks at the ways that information (including research evidence and quantitative data) relates to what people think about immigration. Therefore, public engagement—both as an activity and as a topic of research—is at the heart of what I do as a social scientist.”

Dr William Allen