Multi-format late night events

Late night events are held at regular intervals throughout the year across many of the Oxford University Gardens, Libraries and Museums (GLAM) venues. They are aimed at an adult and student audience and are a relaxed and fun way to engage with the public. 

Multi-format events may contain a variety of different public engagement with research (PER) activities, e.g. talks, hands-on demonstrations, etc. and may provide a good opportunity for researchers to experiment.

Late night events at the Museum of Natural History and the neighbouring Pitt Rivers Museum are often run in tandem, offering potential for collaborative cross-collection work.

Planning may be up to six months in advance but the multi-format nature of the events means that researchers can be added relatively late in the day. However, it is still advisable to get in touch with the institution in question in good time before the event to assist with planning. 

Please be aware that GLAM venues have full and busy programmes and it may not be possible to pick up activities that have already been fully developed or to deal with urgent requests. Ideally, activities should be co-created with GLAM from project conception and researchers should get in contact early so that we can work together to develop your ideas. Please note that while researchers may contact GLAM departments directly they are also encouraged to contact departmental/Divisional PER facilitators for interim support/guidance.

GLAM PER Toolkit  |  Getting started  |
|   Opportunities by category  |  Opportunities by institution  |  Case studies  |​​​
(Please note that opportunities are subject to change)


  • Late night events can attract a range of audiences and are an excellent way to engage young adults and students
  • They can also be a great way to  initiate and develop partnerships with a range of organisations and groups
  • Late night events can be a space in which to explore innovative PER practice (musical and theatrical performances, drop-in workshops, interactive activities, short talks, etc.)
  • These type of events can be time and resource-intensive and need careful planning to ensure the balance between creating an enjoyable activity and delivering engagement messages
  • These type of events require effective collaboration and a clear vision or focus for all the activities, to avoid feeling a bit ‘hit and miss’. Late night events are social events and engagements often take a lighter approach than other types of activities with more formal engagement. A strong theme that links activities can help to focus and improve the overall impact of diverse events
  • The delivery of out-of-hours events leads to reliance of variable hours staff to provide cover, which needs to be considered as it is a defined resource. As well as being costed in to the activity, planning and long lead periods need to be observed to avoid any clashes

List of considerations adapted from UCL Public Engagement Unit's 'Putting on a public event'

Costs can be variable and events may be planned up to a year in advance so contact the relevant team to discuss capacity / resources.

  • Staffing, e.g. Education Officer, technical services support) – although may be given ‘in-kind’. See section on How much will the PER activity cost? in the GLAM PER Toolkit for further details
  • Collaborator costs in addition to the researcher, e.g. speaker/performer fees, travel costs, refreshments) – although if these costs apply then the activity may be better categorised as a bespoke event
  • Activity materials, e.g. craft/activity materials, additional printing 
  • Event costs, e.g. orientation signage, design
  • Press release & additional marketing support (if required – may be covered via regular GLAM channels)
  • Evaluation costs, e.g. PER Evaluation Officer time, survey costs (tablet or paper surveys)
  • Film & photography
  • AV and other equipment hire beyond that provided by the GLAM institution and/or the researcher

Note that this is not an exhaustive list and that these type of activities may incur costs not listed here.

Please contact the relevant team to discuss costs as soon as possible.

Library Lates

Bodleian Libraries

Library Lates showcase some of the cutting edge research being undertaken by the Bodleian and academics across the University and include activities such as talks, interactive demonstrations and live music in a relaxed environment. 

Library Lates are ideal events for early career researchers and those new to PER to develop public engagement skills and to share knowledge through talks and hands-on demonstrations. 

Example: Library Lates: Sensational Books

Further examples/information: Events and exhibitions webpage

Contact: Public Engagement team (

Late Nights

Oxford University Museum of Natural History

Late Nights are relaxed and fun large-scale biannual themed evening events which allow researchers to share their work through accessible activities including talks, hands-on demonstrations, games, film screenings and performance. They usually take place on a Friday night.

Late Nights are ideal for early career researchers and those new to PER who are keen to develop their public engagement skills and to experiment with new methods of presentation. 

Approx. costs: Costs are moderate but variable and depend on the scope of the researcher’s ambition, who should contact the team to discuss their ideas

Example: Late Night: A Buzz in the Air...

Further examples/information: Events webpage

Contact: Education team (

After Hours / Late night openings 

Pitt Rivers Museum

After Hours / Late night opening are large-scale biannual themed events aimed at an adult audience. Usually taking place on a Thursday or Friday night, late night events provide the opportunity to create a fun, festival atmosphere in which to bring research to 500+ visitors in one evening.

Late night openings allow researchers to develop fun and accessible engaged research activities including talks, hands-on demonstrations, and film screenings.

Approx. costs: Costs can be variable but upwards of c. £4,000 for whole event (not incl. evaluation costs)

Example:  ‘My Normal' Museum Takeover

Further examples/information: Events webpage

Contact: Events team (