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Outreach at the CMD

The Centre for Medicines Discovery is committed to clear communication of our research and engaging with a variety of audiences across many different events and projects.

The CMD has a diverse range of outreach experience led by public engagement officer Dr. Ellie Williams and involving staff from across the unit.

If you are interested in getting involved with the CMD public engagement, have any questions, or want to use our resources then please contact for more details.

Molecular Structure modelled [Peter Canning 2015]Molecular Structure modelled [Peter Canning 2015]

Coming up

Despite the pandemic we’re looking forward to upcoming outreach events. In 2021 we’re hoping to get involved in IF Oxford 2021, ‘Lates’ at the London Science Museum, and SMASHFest UK’s Space Plague phase 3 as well as rebuilding our schools visiting program and reconnecting with our patient group partners and their upcoming events. More details to follow!


The CMD has an established set of primary school activities on health, medicine, and general science suitable for 8 – 11-year-olds that we have taken into classrooms across Oxfordshire. If you’d like to give these a go yourself, you can freely download these resources from Zenodo.

We have also hosted small groups of secondary school students (AS and A level) for activity days teaching about crystallography and setting up protein crystal plates.

Unfortunately, at the moment we are unable to arrange schools visits due to Covid-19 restrictions but if you would like to discuss future opportunities or online options, of if you would like to use our resources and have any questions, then please get in contact with us at the address above.

Science Festivals

The CMD regularly takes part in local and national science festivals. In the past we have attended the ATOM festival in Abingdon, The Cheltenham Science Festival, Ideas Festival (IF) Oxford, Oxford Open Doors, the Headington festival, and open days at the Diamond Light Source. We have also attended one off events such as an open day at The Royal Institution, The Oxford Curiosity Carnival in 2017 as part of European Researchers Night, the Cambridge Science Festival and the Cowley Road Carnival and were involved in organising the ‘Research Down the Road’ event in Banbury.

CMD exhibition stand in science festival

Escape room

Funded by a Wellcome Enriching Engagement Award, the CMD has created a ‘Drug Discovery Escape Room’ and an online counterpart, ‘The Space Plague Enigma’ which you can read about here and play here.

The Space Plague Enigma screenshot

Patient Group Collaborations

We engage regularly with charities and patient groups involved in research done at the CMD, organising lab visits (when permitted), newsletter contributions and talking at patient conferences. If you are a collaborator with the CMD and would like to discuss public engagement opportunities then please contact us at the address above.

Groups we have worked with include:

Fop Friends FOP Friends      The Brain Tumour Charity The Brain Tumour Charity      ARUK ARUK

Previous Highlights and Collaborators

Beckley School Collaboration – over five years, the CMD visited Beckley Primary school once a month and ran a science experiment with year 5 – 6 pupils giving the students a monthly session of hands on activities.

We have worked extensively in the past with the Arts University of Bournemouth, collaborating with students to bridge the world of art and science. We have organised several exhibitions of work from this which you can read more about here, here, here and here.

Working with SMASHFestUK, the CMD was involved in the development and running of the ‘Space Plague’ event in both Bradford and Deptford – an immersive experience designed to educate across multiple STEM fields.

We have contributed to the ‘Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries’ exhibition at the Science Museum in London with a short piece about drug discovery.

Collaborative exhibition - Olivia Haettmark [Christian Kinis 2017]Collaborative exhibition - Olivia Haettmark [Christian Kinis 2017]