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  4. Professor Richard Holliman

Professor Richard Holliman


Richard is the Principal Investigator on The Open University’s RCUK-funded School-University Partnership Initiative, 'Engaging opportunities'. He is an expert in researching public engagement with research, and in developing strategies, mechanisms and activities to support academics who want to develop skills and competencies in public engagement with research.

Richard has strategic and operational responsibility for all aspects of the project. Working in collaboration with the Denbigh Teaching School Alliance he will oversee strategic planning and progress against the project objectives.

As the Principal Investigator, Richard also contributes to the wider RCUK-funded Schools-University partnership programme. Coordinated by the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE), this programme involves twelve universities across the UK.


Richard’s research interests lie in exploring the ways that academic research is communicated via a range of media and genres, and how ideas about (upstream) public engagement with research may be shifting and extending social practices. His research publications are hosted on Open Research Online.

In addition to his role as PI on the Schools-university project, Richard is also the University’s Champion for Public Engagement with Research. In this capacity, he is the academic lead on the OU’s RCUK-funded Catalyst for Public Engagement with Research project, ‘An open research university’. This appointment allows him to strategically oversee engagement opportunities across the university’s research community.

Through his research work Richard has developed a strong reputation for engaging collaboratively in interdisciplinary teams. He retains strong links to Institute of Educational Technology through his research contributions to the Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET), where he continues to co-supervise postgraduate research students (Vickie Curtis and Jamie Dorey).

Richard is currently advising Medical Research Council-sponsored research exploring aspects of research impact, and contributing to a Nottingham University-based, Leverhulme-funded project, called ‘Making science public’.


Richard has studied and worked at the Open University since the mid-1990s. He completed his PhD in the Department of Sociology (with support from the Institute of Educational Technology), where he explored media representations of the sciences. He moved across the campus in 2000 to work in the Faculty of Science, where he is Senior Lecturer in Science Communication.

Now based in the Department of Environment, Earth and Ecosystems, Richard has contributed to a number of postgraduate and undergraduate teaching projects that explore aspects of the relationship between the sciences and publics. In particular, he played a leading role in the development of the MSc in Science and Society and the production of Communicating science in the information age. He is also the moderator of Isotope, a NESTA-funded community website for sharing resources and expertise among science engagement practitioners.

Richard was a founding member of the European Network of Science Communication Teachers. (Enscot). He has helped to develop and deliver career and professional development resources that explore public engagement and social and ethical issues with: The Royal Society; Science and Technology Facilities Council; the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement; the Higher Education Academy; and as an advisor to an Australian Learning and Teaching Council-funded project.

Professor Richard Holliman
Professor of Engaged Research
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
Tel: +44(0)1908 654646