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Lothian Lugs

The 'Lothian Lugs' project was part of the Carnegie UK Trust, Engaging Libraries programme and is a collaboration between West Lothian Libraries and Heriot-Watt University. Our main focus is to listen to our communities to explore how we can share cutting edge research with them, and how they can help shape future research.

Lothian Lugs - WLC - HWU & EL2 logos

Professor Alan J. Gow (opens new window) told us 'Heriot-Watt University is delighted to be taking our partnership with West Lothian Libraries to this next stage of delivering an exciting and informative 'Borrow a Researcher' programme of events. The events will open the doors for local communities to hear about and be involved in research, and we are keen that the programme is very much led by the needs of our neighbouring communities. We look forward to developing this collaboration further, because as well as the public learning more about our research, our researchers will also be learning from you'.


The first step in exploring how we share research with communities was to actually start the conversations! In March 2021 we reached out to our communities and asked them to complete the Lothian Lugs Community Survey.  The response was fantastic with 595 completed surveys received! We also asked for volunteers to take part in Community Focus Groups and 210 local people aged 16-63 across all areas of West Lothian put their names in the hat to take part.

Lothian Lugs survey & focus group image

We held 5 focus group meetings over the summer, which led to some inspiring conversations about research and universities - What is research? What do universities do? How can we find out more?

Many interesting themes and topics emerged, allowing the team to shape an exciting programme of events we're calling 'Borrow a Researcher'. Events will take place in West Lothian libraries throughout September and October and are specifically tailored to public interests. Events will explore subjects such as brain health, body representation, social interaction, robotics, artificial intelligence and many more!

Please click the following link to view our  Lothian Lugs Focus Groups - Final Report [320KB]

We would like to thank everyone that completed the surveys and participated in the focus groups, the teaching staff at St Margaret's Academy and the More Choices More Chances (MCMC) Keyworkers, whose help in setting up these focus groups was invaluable.



'Lothian Lugs' has been made possible by grant funding received from the Engaging Libraries programme, a partnership between the Carnegie UK Trust (opens new window), Wellcome (opens new window) and The Wolfson Foundation (opens new window).