Research cafe pops up again

21 Oct 2016 06:32:54.720

PA 249/16

Why don’t people eat their greens? Why do we lose our keys? How do you get children to take their medicine?

The answers to these questions and research into self-harm, eating disorders and adult drinking in later life could help solve some of the key challenges in healthcare today and the public in Nottingham are being invited to a pop-up research café to help shape future studies.

On Thursday and Friday next week (27 and 28 October) experts from The University of Nottingham will decamp from their labs to run a two-day research café — Café Connect — at the Nottingham Contemporary. There will be a host of activities for children and adults and if you go along you could help design or take part in future studies.

Click here for full story

The event, funded by a Wellcome Trust’s People Award, addresses some of the grand challenges around dementia, diet-related health, mental health, ageing populations and global food security. Taking research to the heart of the city centre recognises the importance of engaging with the public at all stages of the research life cycle to ensure it is relevant.

Joanne Hort, SABMiller Professor of Sensory Science, in the School of Biosciences, said: “Our pop-up café means we can work directly with people for whom the research is relevant. This model of research is unique in that it includes agenda setting and study design, data gathering and analysis, knowledge exchange and dissemination. The key benefit is that this approach allows us to reach people in the community who would not normally engage with research to facilitate meaningful patient public involvement. The café is also the ideal venue for dissemination of research findings.”

What can you help us understand?

Are you a super-taster? Have you ever wondered why some people like their greens and others don’t? There will be a screening activity which involves having a picture taken of your tongue. The number of papillae you have — the tiny bumps on your tongue — affects how good you are at tasting food.

Where are my keys? We’ve all struggled to find things, even when they are in clear view. We want to know how best to help people locate the things they need, whether it is your keys in a hurry or book in a bookcase.

Learn more about your hearing. Experts from the Hearing Biomedical Research Unit will be running table top hearing demonstrations for all ages. There’ll be a free online hearing check service and a chance to talk to researchers about their work and ‘brain caps’ for children to wear.

Is there a link between charitable giving and well-being? Come and play an economic game that will help us explore the link between altruism, charitable donating and well-being.

How are you today? We will ask you to rate how you’re feeling right now — and ask you to read some information about managing common illnesses. 

How do I get my child to take their medicine? We all know administering medicines to children can be challenging. We are looking for children and caregivers to discuss their experiences of medicine administration to help us further understand and improve this area.

Pilot so successful it’s happening again

The pilot research café was held last year when it was attended by researchers from the fields of psychology, biosciences, psychiatry, law, midwifery and computer science.

Ellen Townsend, Professor of Psychology in the School of Psychology, said: “We are delighted to have received a Wellcome Trust People Award to develop the Café Connect concept after a successful pilot last year.  This time the projects looking at self-harm and eating disorders, drinking in later life and food choice decisions, will be developed over a series of four café events in the next 12 months.

“We really want people to become involved in this participatory research as ‘Participant Engagers’ if they would like to.  The idea is to ensure that the research is relevant and appropriate for the people who could benefit from the work."

More details about the focus groups can be found on Twitter.  More information about Café Connect is available here.

Spaces for the initial focus groups are limited so if you are keen to be involved and want to secure a place please email the cafe connect team at

Photocall: Café Connect, 10am to 4pm Thursday and Friday 27 and 28 October 2016, Nottingham Contemporary,Weekday Cross, Nottingham, NG1 2GB.

Story credits

More information is available from Professor Joanne Hort in the School of Biosciences at The University of Nottingham,; or Professor Ellen Townsend in the School of Psychology at The University of Nottingham,
Lindsay Brooke

Lindsay Brooke - Media Relations Manager

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 951 5751 Location: University Park

Additional resources

No additional resources for this article

Related articles

Media Relations - External Relations

The University of Nottingham
YANG Fujia Building
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5798