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The University of Southampton
Public Engagement with Research

Dr Silvia Lanati PhD, MSc, BSc

Operations Lead

Dr Silvia Lanati's photo

Silvia is Operations Lead for the Public Engagement with Research unit. 

Her role includes: planning, organising and delivering the Southampton Science and Engineering Festival (SOTSEF), the University of Southampton's Human Worlds Festival and the University of Southampton 'Bringing Research to Life' Roadshow. In addition she provides consulting for activity design, events management, digital engagement and promotion.

Science is an extremely demanding and complex discipline, that above dedication and determination requires a good dose of stamina and mindfulness to overcome the darkest times where "nothing works", "it does not make any sense" or "weeks of work have just gone down the drain". Engaging people can have a healing effect for heart broken scientists after a day of experimental failures.

Silvia has a Ph.D. in Physiology and thanks to her studies and work experience has a wide scientific background spanning from natural sciences to biochemical engineering. In her previous role, she worked as Communications, public engagement and events manager for the Administrative Data Research Centre for England, part of the UK wide ESRC-funded Administrative Data Research Network. She attended the 2019/20 NCCPE Engage Academy and is a member of the Public Engagement Professional Network (PEP Network).   

She discovered her passion for public engagement whilst working in the laboratory as a cancer research scientist. In the past, she extensively volunteered with the Italian Red Cross and actively collaborated with Cancer Research UK. She brought the international Pint of Science festival to Southampton, co-founded the regional SotComm+ Socials, organised the 2017 ESRC Festival of Social Science event 'Hope & hops: the science of society' and the BSA Future Debates event 'Does it matter who fund science?'. Silvia is also the creator of successful hands-on activities for research engagement.


Skills and expertise

  • events management
  • activities design and creation
  • marketing and communications
  • events evaluation
  • team coordination
  • networking
  • negotiation


  • PEP Network (2019-present)
  • SOTSEF Steering Group member (2018-present)
  • UKSFN, SOTSEF representative (2018-present) 
  • PERu Associate (2017-2018)
  • SotComm+ Socials (2017) - co-founder
  • Pint of Science (2017) - Publicity liaison South, Central Communications & Marketing at Pint of Science UK
  • Cancer Research UK (2016) - Early Diagnosis Conference intern
  • Pint of Science (2016, 2015) - Southampton University coordinator and marketing manager
  • Cancer Research UK (2015) - Member of the editorial panel of the Pioneering Research 2015/16 brochure
  • Cancer Research UK (2014 - 2016) - public engagement at laboratory tours, open days, science festivals and other public events
  • Exhibitor at: Southampton Science and Engineering Festival, University of Southampton Roadshow (Cheltenham Science Festival, Winchester Science Festival), UHS NHS Open Day, Bloomsbury Festival, CRUK pop-up laboratory, laboratory tours   
  • Speaker for: the Researchers' Cafe' and 'Meet the scientists' at the Lifelab
  • Performer at: Southampton Brightclub (2017, 2018)



  • Vice-Chancellor Awards - Public Engagement and Outreach, University of Southampton (2020) link
  • Roadshow Awards - Research communicator, University of Southampton Roadshow (2017) link
  • Dean's Award for Postdoctoral Researchers - Public Engagement, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton (2015)
  • Rising Star in Research Engagement Prize - Highly commended, Cancer Research UK (2015) .pdf
Dr Silvia Lanati
Public Engagement with Research unit
Highfield Campus
University of Southampton
SO17 1BJ

Room Number NNN: 23/1033

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