The AudioLab


The AudioLab aims to creatively connect young people from disadvantaged backgrounds actively seeking employment, with research scientists, to produce engaging audio content around a scientific topic for broadcast on Reform Radio, research and healthcare digital platforms and audio booths around Manchester.


  • Engage young people seeking employment with scientific research
  • Produce audio content on scientific research by young people for young people
  • Engage a wider audio audience with scientific research
  • Support science researchers to engage with audiences who might not normally engage with science

What we did

Reform Radio’s Let’s Get Digital programme enables young people aged 16-24 years old, currently with under Level 3 education qualification to learn new skills in the creative digital agency and be supported in apprenticeships or other training opportunities.

Working with Bella Starling and SparkLab Productions, in 2016, the Let’s Get Digital programme will include biomedical science as a focus area, around which trainees will produce a piece of audio content.

Four biomedical researchers from a range of research areas (including genomics, neuroscience, chronobiology and immunology) presented their work to the trainees – in an accessible and interactive way – to inspire and inform the trainees’ ideas for content areas.

Trainees then select a content area to work on in smaller groups to co-produce, with each other and the scientists, an audio feature on their chosen area of science.

This might include interviews, creative soundscapes of the chosen area of biomedical science, witnessing research first hand, narrative around patient stories and take the form of poetry, rap, podcast, spoken word, musical compilation. Audio content would be supplemented with a small amount of visual content.

The resulting audio feature will be broadcast on Reform Radio and other digital media, healthcare and research platforms.


Key Ouputs

There are two key outputs of this project.

  • An engagement day, connecting young people seeking employment and biomedical scientists
  • An audio feature aimed at young people co-created by young people and scientists

These pieces will be shared at a celebratory event and shared widely through digital and physical platforms.


Through this project, the Public Programmes team aims to gain a deeper understanding of engaging young people from challenging backgrounds with science.


We intend to submit the project to relevant radio awards for innovation in practice and to write up the project for publication and for awards within public engagement practice.

This project is funded and supported by Reform Radio, Wellcome Trust, SparkLab Productions