Catalyst News: The end of the project

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Welcome to the final Catalyst newsletter. The Catalyst project officially finished on the 31st March 2015, although I’m busy writing the final report which will be submitted at the end of June.

I wanted to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has had involvement in the project some way – whether you’ve had funding from us, been a Champion for Public Engagement, sat on our Operational Board or External Advisory Board or attended an event. Your participation, support and feedback has been invaluable.

So what next? Hopefully you’ll all be aware of the Impact and Engaged Research Network that was launched in January. It’s aimed at both professional service staff and academics and aims to provide a space to find out more about both agendas, meet other people in similar situations as yourself and discover what support is available to you. As a Catalyst newsletter subscriber, you’ll automatically be moved onto the Impact and Engaged Research Newsletter list. If you don’t want to receive this newsletter, please let me know and I’ll remove you from the database.

I’ve got a couple of things I thought you should know about, so let’s get cracking with the final newsletter:

ESRC Festival of Social Science @ Exeter: Call for applications

We’ve once again been granted funding by the Economic and Social Research Council to run a programme of events as part of this year’s Festival of Social Science, which takes place from 7-14 November 2015. Applications for up to £1,500 of funding are welcome from researchers and PhD students.

A Creative Thinking workshop will be held on 30 April, from 12-1pm in Building One, Marchant Syndicate Room A. Public Engagement Manager Grace Williams will lead a session to stimulate discussion about creative ways to engage the public with social science research. To book your place at the workshop, email the festival team (

Festival guidance and the application form will be shortly be available on the University’s Festival website.

Current Issues in Research Ethics: Working with Children and Schools

6 May, 12:00-14:00, Building:One Bateman Lecture Theatre. (Video link available on request.)

Dr Katrina Wyatt will be joined by Healthy Lifestyles Programme (HeLP) co-ordinators to discuss co-creating research with Schools. The Healthy Lifestyles programme is a novel, school located, drama based obesity prevention programme which is being trialled in 32 schools, involving 1300 children. They will discuss this research and their approach to working with schools, focussing on practical and ethical considerations.

For more information about the event, visit the RKT event pages.

Pint of Science – take part

Jay Young (Medical School) is organising Exeter’s first Pint of Science Festival on 18-20 May. Pint of Science is an international festival that aims to bring the latest research to the general public by presenting straightforward talks and fun interactive activities in local pubs around the city. Themes for this year are:

  • Beautiful Minds – neuroscience, psychology and psychiatry.
  • Atoms to Galaxies – physics, chemistry, astrophysics, maths and material sciences.
  • Our Body – life sciences including immunology, cancer, aging, genetics, health & fitness, biotechnology.

If you’re interested in getting involved, please contact Jay directly (

I’m a Scientist & I’m an Engineer – take part
I’m a Scientist and I’m an Engineer are two outreach events in which scientists and engineers talk to school students online at and For two weeks, June 15th- 26th, researchers will answer students’ questions, and engage directly with them in live text-based chats. Students will vote for their favourite researcher to win £500 to spend on further public engagement.

Recruitment of scientists and engineers to take part in June is currently under way . Read more and apply to take part before Sunday  3 May at: or

Wellcome Trust: Public Engagement Masterclass, Cambridge

The Wellcome Trust are running a Public Engagement Masterclass from the 27-29 July at their Genome Campus in Cambridge. Applicants must hold a research-related position at a research institute (or equivalent) or higher education institution and a limited number of bursaries to cover the cost of the course are available. For more information and to apply  Deadline 1 June.

National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement: Beginners’ Guide to Public Engagement

This interactive course on 11 June in Birmingham will encourage you to think about why evaluation is important, and what it can tell you. The day will cover important topics including: Why evaluate your activity? How do you get started? How to engage your audiences in evaluation?

For more information, visit the NCCPE website.

January news

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Happy New Year!

We’re now down to the final three months of the Catalyst project. Hopefully we’ll be able to give you more news on what is happening post-Catalyst soon but until then, I’m going to get stuck in to the latest edition of the newsletter…

Impact & Engaged Research Network

If you attended the Symposium back in November, you will have heard about the forthcoming launch of this network. The network will take over from the Catalyst network and will seek to be a place for both Professional Service and Academic staff to find out information, network with colleagues, meet external organisations who want to work with the University and hear from the Funders themselves.

The launch is taking place on 28th January, 12:00-13:00 in Amory C417 with a video link to Daphne du Maurier Seminar J in Penryn. See the event listing for more details or email myself ( or Louise Rutt ( if you have any questions.

ESRC Impact Acceleration Account – funding deadlines

The University’s Economic and Social Research Council Impact Acceleration Account (ESRC IAA) has a number of funding schemes which have a joint closing date of 28th February. The schemes are:

  • Impact cultivation award (up to £3,000)
  • Social policy networks (up to £2,000)
  • Project cocreation (up to £20,000)
  • Knowledge exchange fellowships (up to £20,000)

For more information, visit the internal funding opportunities page or contact the ESRC IAA Coordinator, Kerry Dungay (

STFC Public Engagement Fellowships – call open

The Science and Technology Facilities Council have recently announced a call for Public Engagement Fellows. Open to STFC-funded researchers, The fellows will act as champions or ambassadors for STFC’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (‘STEM’) work to schools, the media or public audiences. The fellowships are aimed at those with significant research experience who have demonstrated a track record in outreach or communications work. The fellowships will recognise and reward current practitioners and enable them to expand the work they do in public engagement.

If anyone is interested in applying for a fellowship, please let me know! I’d be more than happy to meet to discuss draft applications and ideas.

NERC Summer of Science – Public Engagement grants available

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) has announced a call for applications of up to £7500 to organise public engagement events as part of the NERC Summer of Science. Taking place across the UK, the aims for NERC’s Summer of Science are:

  • to engage the public with research that NERC has funded
  • to raise the profile of NERC and the science NERC funds.

More information can be found here. Again, if you’re interested in putting in an application please let me know!

AHRC & the Cheltenham Science and Literature Festivals

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) is welcoming proposals from AHRC-funded researchers to present their research at the Cheltenham Science Festival and the Cheltenham Literature Festival. Up to twenty successful applicants will have a chance to develop their event ideas with experienced Cheltenham Festival producers and members of the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement team at a dedicated workshop. Of these, up to four will have the chance to hold their event at one of the Festivals.

For more information, see their call for proposals.

Society of Post-Medieval Archaeology Community Engagement Award

The Society of Post-Medieval Archaeology has recently launched a new community engagement award. The £500 grant is designed to support individuals, groups and societies in developing new public-facing initiatives, whether one-off events, programmes of activities, digital archaeology or other creative outputs.


  • applicants need not be members of the Society.
  • applicants can apply on behalf of any group, institution and organization
  • applicants can be amateur or professional archaeologists
  • Post-medieval archaeology (late medieval to the present day) must be a core aspect of the proposal
  • community engagement must be a core aspect of the proposal

For more information and an application form, email the Prize Coordinator, Hilary Orange, (
Deadline for application is 1st March 2015 and a decision will be made within 2 months of the closing date.

U3A Taunton – request for speakers

We’ve recently had an enquiry from the University of the Third Age group in Taunton for researchers to give a talk to a group of about 50 of their members. They usually meet in the morning and are looking for speakers from March onwards. if you’re interested, please get in contact with me and I can pass on your details to the group.

Discounted Silent Witness tickets for The Money

Newsletter recipients can purchase discounted Silent Witness tickets for the upcoming event ‘The Money’ (Spend the money on whatever you want. Be as creative as you like. Just keep within the law.) The Money is taking place at Exeter Guildhall from 7pm – 9.30pm on the 22nd, 23rd & 27th January. To purchase the tickets at 25% off their original price, enter ‘gong’ at the checkout.

Event: What’s Going on in his Head?

Wednesday 4th February, 16:00-18:00
Room 219, Washington Singer, Streatham Campus

Science Communicator James Piercy suffered a traumatic brain injury in 2011. Join him and Professor Huw Williams (Psychology) on a journey of recovery to the heart of his grey matter…

Event: Ten Years of Geography at Tremough, Place Symposium

Friday 27th March, 2015, 1pm-4.30pm and 5pm-7pm, Chapel Lecture Theatre.

During the 2014/2015 academic year, the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus is celebrating its decennary – the ten-year anniversary of its teaching and research activities in Cornwall. The Place Symposium is one of many events that we have planned to help us connect with alumni, the local community, research collaborators, friends, and supporters.

To book your free ticket to the afternoon programme, click here or to book your free ticket to the keynote talks, click here.

For more information about the event, contact Catherine Leyshon (




Catalyst Symposium – Registration open!

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Registration is now open for the Catalyst Symposium.

When? Wednesday 12th November

Where? Streatham Court D

What? As the end of Catalyst funding is in sight (March 2015), we want to bring together the University of Exeter’s vibrant community of Engaged Researchers, Community Partners and Professional Services Staff who are passionate about public engagement with research.

You will be able to take part in a variety of workshops, seminars, and discussions to share best practice and learning from Catalyst Seed Funds and the Champions for Public Engagement.

We will reflect on what the future of engaged research looks like for the University and how we can continue to support it.

For more information, including a draft programme and transport arrangements, please visit the event page.

If you have any questions about the Symposium please email the Grace (

September news

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We hope you’ve had a wonderful Summer and are ready and raring to go for a new academic year. We’ve got yet another bumper edition of the Catalyst newsletter for you this month.

Save the date! Catalyst Symposium, Wednesday 12th November (Streatham Campus venue tbc)

Join the Catalyst team on Wednesday 12th November to celebrate in the successes of the Catalyst project through our Seed Funds and Champions for Public Engagement. As the end of the project is in sight (March 2015), we wanted to bring together the University of Exeter’s vibrant community of Engaged Researchers, Community Partners and Professional Services Staff who are passionate about public engagement with research (PER). Delegates will be able to participate in a day of workshops, seminars and performances to share best practice and learning from Catalyst Seed Funds and the Champions for Public Engagement. We will also reflect on what the future of engaged research looks like for the University and how we can continue to support it. We do hope you’ll be able to make it, keep your eyes peeled for future registration details and draft programme! Transport for colleagues in Penryn and Truro will be provided.

Get involved in the Symposium

We’re looking for Researchers and Community Partners to share their public engagement journeys and stories at the Symposium and there are a couple of ways in which you can get involved:

Poster session – Create a poster explaining your public engagement activities and over lunch, take the opportunity to meet people and discuss your work.

Public Engagement Speed Updating – an informal quick-fire way to tell people what you’ve been up to or potential opportunities for collaboration. You’ll have four minutes to share your story/make your pitch.

If you’re interested in either of the above, please email the Catalyst mailbox ( by Monday 6th October and Grace will be in contact with further details and timelines.

Round three Champions and Seed Funds

The final round of both the Catalyst Seed Funds and the Champions for Public Engagement have been announced and are online! We were really blown away by the standard of applications for the final rounds and are excited about the various events, reports and networks that should hopefully blossom from the projects and Champion roles!

Influence NICE guidelines on community engagement – your chance to be involved!

The Centre for Public Health (CPH) at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is updating its guideline on community engagement – the updated guideline is expected to be published in January 2016.  For more information please see the scope:

Leeds Metropolitan University and the University of East London have been commissioned to produce a mapping report looking at current and emerging community engagement policy and practices in the UK.

In particular, they want to find out about what is happening in practice. They have set up a Register of Interest where they are inviting individuals and organisations to give brief details of any current/past community engagement projects. For more information, visit their website.

ESRC Impact Acceleration Account LaunchThursday 9th October 16:00-18:00

All researchers and potential collaborators with an interest in the social sciences are invited to find out more about the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) at this open event hosted by Professor Mark Goodwin.

The University of Exeter has been awarded more than £720,000 from the ESRC to fund follow-on activity in the next 4 years, which  social sciences researchers are eligible to apply to. During this event you can:

  • Find out more about the funding available;
  • Speak to an ESRC representative and the University’s IAA staff;
  • Hear case studies from ESRC-funded academics.

Anyone with an interest in applying for IAA funding should attend this event – projects do not need to have been ESRC-funded previously.

EPSRC Science Photo Competition 2014

Share your photos to support excellence and promote the benefits of outstanding UK engineering and physical sciences.

The overall winner of the competition will be awarded £500 worth of camera / photography equipment. A prize of £150 worth of camera / photography equipment will also be awarded to the winner of each category. Runners up in 2nd and 3rd place of each category will receive £25.00 worth of camera / photography equipment. All winning images will also be featured in EPSRC’s Pioneer Magazine and other EPSRC publications. Deadline for entries is 1st December.

Science Communication Masterclass 24th-27th November

The Science Communication Unit (UWE) is running its Science Communication Masterclass. Registration is now open for the course, which runs on the 24th-27th November. The Masterclass is an intensive, short course created to provide professional development in science communication.

ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize 2015 

Entries are welcome for the 2015 ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize. The Prize is an annual opportunity to recognise and reward the successes of ESRC-funded researchers who have achieved, or are currently achieving, outstanding economic or societal impacts. A prize of £10,000 is awarded to the winners of each ‘Outstanding’ category. A second prize of £5,000 in each category may also be awarded at the panel’s discretion. A prize of £10,000 is awarded to the Impact Champion. Deadlines for entries is 20th November.

July News

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Hello! Have you missed us? We’ve been a bit quiet around here whilst Helen left us for the University of Bath (boooo!) and Grace took over the reigns (yay!) We’ve got lots to share with you, starting with some exciting news…


1. We’re delighted to announce that the third and final round of the Public Engagement Champions is now open! *fanfare*

Are you passionate about Public Engagement? Do you want to further develop your own PE skills or share your experiences with others? We’re looking for the next round of Champions. Starting in October, you have the opportunity to buy out some of your time to focus on taking forward existing public engagement activities. Visit the Champions for Public Engagement page for more information and to download the call document and application form. Deadline is the 5th September.

2. BBC Radio 3 and AHRC New Generation Thinkers

Congratulations to Daisy Hay and Alun Withey on being selected as BBC Radio 3 and AHRC’s New Generation Thinkers for 2014.

3. ESRC Celebrating Impact 

Professor Debra Myhill recently won the ‘Outstanding Impact in Society’ award for her work on improving literacy with grammar methods as part of the ESRC’s Celebrating Impact Awards.


Funding opportunities

4. Ingenious Grant Scheme Open

Ingenious is a grant scheme for creative public engagement with engineering projects.

Funding is available from £3,000-£30,000. (Grace: If you’re interested in applying, I’d be very interested in hearing from you!) Deadline 22nd September.

5. Public Understanding of Science Competition

The Journal, Public Understanding of Science is running an essay competition. The essay questions posed is “In Science Communication, why does the idea of a public deficit always return?”

They encourage submissions from both younger and older scholars (authors will have to disclose their date of birth).

The winning essay will be fast tracked to print publication in 2015 and made freely available online.

The rules:

  1. Deadline for submission 15th January 2015
  2. Two essays will be selected: One from authors under 36 on 15th January 2015; One from authors 36 and more on that date
  3. 8000 words or less
  4. The editorial team and the editorial board of PUS will select the two winners
  5. Winners will be supported by peer review and published with fanfare
  6. Please send submissions to Sue Howard at



6. Engaged Learning Practice Exchange (EPLE)

2nd December 2014, Bristol 

Over the last year the NCCPE have been experimenting with the EPLE – an opportunity for those engaged in practices and programming around public engagement (PE) and other forms of community-university activity to have some time and space to stimulate innovation in what they do. They will be hosting an EPLE on the 2nd December in Bristol, as a wrap around for the Engage conference.

7. The Art of Invitation: Creative Engagement for Ourselves and Our Communities

Learn about creative public engagement strategies at this week long course run by Schumacher College.


Library Corner

Experiments in Engagement: Research into engagement activities with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds (Wellcome Trust)




May News

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There’s been a lot going on in the first few months of the year. We’re now in the last year of the Catalyst project, lots has been achieved but still plenty to do.

1. Images of research competition – deadline 9 May

Open to all Early Career Researchers, submit your images and win fantastic prizes. Full details.


2. Staging Exeter, Guildhall – free! 2 May, 6.30 –

One of our seed fund projects draws to and end on Friday. Staging Exeter is an evening at the Guildhall with an exciting performance event, which will include an informal talk by professor Philip Schwyzer, a small exhibition about Exeter’s theatre history, and a series of performances by an acting team of students and local dramatists. There will also be a wine reception.

Staging Exeter: An Evening at the Guildhall is the culmination of the Catalyst funded Staging Exeter Project, which has been exploring Exeter’s theatre history for the past 12 weeks. You can find out more about the project via our blog, or watch the trailer for May 2nd here. Expect fireworks, foolery and a bit of Doctor Faustus!

3. Festival of Social Science creative workshop, Thursday 8 May, 2-4, Amory 239C

Up to £2000 is available for activities to run during the Festival of Social Science 1-8 November. To stimulate ideas we’re hosting a creative workshop next Thursday. Come along to develop an idea before you submit a proposal. We’ll have a pop-up research shop for the duration of the festival so all sorts of events and activities can happen there: collaborative craft activities, talks, dancing, singing! Join in the fun.


4. STEM busking workshop, 22 May

Free workshop for those interested in developing Science Busking skills for the Big Bang Fair, 26 June.  Register to attend the workshop.







4. Drawing Conclusions: cartooning workshop

We had a fabulous workshop from Martin Shovel on cartooning – funded through the second round of Seed Funds. Some great techniques and ideas for describing your research or work. Here’s Martin showing us some faces. Follow @martinshovel for more information, ideas etc






January news

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Welcome to the New Year Catalyst blog (can we still get away with saying it’s New Year?). Lots to report despite the seasonal break:

Catalyst news

1. Seed funds – round 2

We’ve announced the next round of Catalyst Seed Funds which includes a really mixed range of activities. We’ve got projects that have been initiated from outside the university; Professors, PhD researchers and undergraduates are getting involved; and all campuses and colleges have something going on. The range of projects and activities is really exciting.

Coming soon: summaries from the first round of Seed Funds. Nearly all of the first round projects have finished and reported. We’ll be creating short case-studies to share with you.

2. Quarterly meeting with cream tea

Don’t forget that all the Catalyst universities are descending on Exeter shortly. Join us for a cream tea on Monday 27 January at 3.15 in the Forum if you want to meet PE folk from University of Bath, Institute of Education, Queen Mary University, London, University of Sheffield, University of Nottingham, Aberdeen and the Open University. If you haven’t already, email so we know how much cream to buy!

3. Impact award

It seems a long time ago (last year!) but the Impact Awards were a great event. It was a real celebration of all the work we do with partners and collaborators from outside the university. This was the first year we had a PE category and we were really chuffed when we heard we’d had the most number of entries. The winners are here and big congratulations to Rachel Purtell and the Folk.Us team with: Past Caring: A study of bereaved carers, by carers, with carers, for carers.

4. PPI Conference

At the end of November PenCLAHRC Patient and Public Involvement Team organised and hosted the PenCLAHRC Public Patient Involvement conference. Check out the Twitter comments online via the Storify story.



1. PE competition

The National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement has a competition to find and celebrate high quality public engagement with research projects. The overall winner will be offered £2,500 to develop or share their engagement work with others. Find out more and access the entry form . For more information email

2. Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellows

You have until 21 February 2014 to apply for an Engagement Fellowship, which provides the freedom, resources and environment to enable exceptional people to develop their skills and practice in encouraging the public to examine, explore and debate the big scientific challenges that society faces.

We are looking for individuals with a strong track record of engaging the public with ideas around biomedical science and/or medical humanities, who want to make a step-change in their careers. Engagement Fellowships

3. Fancy being on the radio?

The Science Hour on XpressionFM is looking for early career researchers (PhD and first postdoc) to take part in a radio show based on their research and the group they work with. The show is on every Tuesday from 6-7pm where we would interview you live for around 20 minutes broken up with songs of your choice and pre-recorded sections of the research conducted in your department. The section aims to get the audience up-to-date on the basic concepts of your research. The audience is mostly made up of undergraduates normally with little to no science background s if you are interested in public engagement and work in scientific research we want to hear from you.

Please contact Hannah Wakeford at for more information or if you want to take part.



1. NCCPE training FREE

The NCCPE have teamed up with Universities Week to offer three free training days for people wanting to develop their engagement skills. With a choice of sessions for beginners, and more experienced engagers, these days are a great opportunity to hone your skills, and find out more about Universities Week. The events will take place in Bristol (18 February), London (4 March) and Manchester (11 March). Places are limited, so book your place here to avoid disappointment

2. UK Council for Graduate Education workshop 27 February, Surry

This event is aimed at supervisors and Doctoral researchers who would like to get involved with Public Engagement but are not quite sure of how to go about it; the event is also for those who have experiences and examples to share, and for those who are simply curious and would like to know more about engagement.

2. PCST Post-Graduate Conference for Science Communication researchers

The Catalyst family are heading to PCST Conference in Salvador, Brazil, 5-8 May 2014. If you’re a PGR in PE with STEMM then get in touch. This meeting will be an opportunity to hear what has been going on in postgraduate research in our sector and to share experiences and information with fellow postgraduate researchers

To register (free of charge) for this pre-conference meeting, send an email to containing a description of your own research in 200 words; name of your institution, department and supervisor(s); stage of research, e.g. year 3, PhD.

3. Cultural Value – have your say

The Warwick Commission is aiming to develop new policy thinking and practical recommendations related to the long-term sustainability of culture in the face of tough economic challenges.

4. Cybersummit 20-22 February

If you’re interested in Citizen Science projects then this is the place to be: the Cybersummit.



1. RCUK inspiration to engage

Inspiration_to_engage celebrates the 3-year anniversary of the launch of the Concordat. It showcases compelling examples of public engagement practice across the higher education and research sectors, how public engagement is being embedded in policies and practices, as well as the benefits to researchers and their institutions.

2. British Science Association have released their ebook from their 2013 conference

“Science Communication: State of the Nation 2013” – a collection of essays inspired by the 2013 Science Communication Conference which features Helen and Paul Manners (Director of the NCCPE).

3. TREE article for Sex & Bugs & Rock n’ Roll

Helen had a lot of fun during the summer of 2013 with members of the British Ecological Society as they talked all things ecology with festival-goers. We’ve written up some of our experiences and they’ve just been published in TREE: Sayer et al 2013 Sex and Bugs BES.

4. BBSRC Bioenergy

We took part in the national dialogue on Bioenergy last year. The BBSRC have recently published their report.

5. Environmental citizen science

A report exploring environmental citizen science has just been produced by the Science Communication Unit at UWE. It’s free to download.


November news

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We’re looking forward to hosting the Catalyst meeting on 27 & 28 January.

These quarterly meetings are where the Catalyst universities get together to share experiences, learn from each other and think about the next steps. We often find our way to the pub too.

Do come along to the Forum between 3.15-4pm, 27 January  for a cream tea and the chance to network with other people interested in public engagement. Bring a story to share, a question to ask or an ear to listen with – we’d love to see you there. Please email so we know how many scones to bake (ahem – order!).




1. Wellcome Trust support for public engagement

If you’re funded by the Wellcome Trust then look at this new grant scheme for public engagement. I’m happy to help with applications.

2. Bristol Natural History Consortium – Heritage placements Jan-June 2014

Deadline: 1 December

Do you have any collaborators from outside university who would be interested in training on new media? Bristol Natural History Consortium a grant from Heritage Lottery Fund to deliver short placements training new media skills in a heritage context. Applicants should have a passion for the heritage sector, basic IT skills, and demonstrated creativity and enthusiasm. Placements are full time and trainees receive a monthly bursary stipend of £1200.00. For further details and an application form.

3. Lab in a Lorry – volunteers

January and February 2014, Wales

Do you fancy being in a mobile lab with enthusiastic schools visiting? Lab in a Lorry are looking for volunteers to help out delivering hands-on activities. Check out for more information.

4. FameLab

November 2013 – January 2014

Heats in Aberdeen, Birmingham, Cambridge, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Guildford, London, Manchester, Newcastle and Oxford.

Do you have a passion for science, technology, engineering or maths and want to share it with the world? FameLab provides researchers in academia and industry with a supportive platform to communicate science and engineering to a wider audience – in three minutes! Previous contestants have gone on to travel the globe and feature on radio and TV.

Prizes: £1750, a weekend Masterclass with experts in media & communication skills, a chance to appear in the FameLab International Final at the Cheltenham Science Festival in June 2014.



1. Innovation in Partnership

22 November, British Museum

This free, one day conference has been organised to explore perspectives on collaborative working methods between supplementary schools and universities, museums and arts and heritage organisations. Delegates will either be looking to explore the possibilities of establishing a partnership project for the first time or for ways to sustain an already existing programme. Unfortunately the deadline for application has passed but you could email to see if there is a space available.

2. STFC Public Engagement Symposium

25 November, Birmingham University

If you are funded by STFC or use their facilities then come along to this great one-day symposium to network, learn and share best practice. Bursaries are available for early career researchers. The programme is here: PE Symposium 2013 draft programme V9 and you can also download a poster .

3. Engage 2013

27 & 28 November

Places are booking fast for Engage 2013 in Bristol. There mights still be a few places left. You can now see a draft programme for the conference on their website including our Catalyst session.

4.K’Ching! Turning creative innovation into economic and cultural wealth

26 November, the Station, Silver Street, Bristol, BS1 2AG

Bringing together key players and influencers in the South West Creative Industries sector to learn, explore and connect, K’ching! will profile the region’s talent, capability and capacity to generate and apply knowledge and expertise to the real economy.

At the core of the event is an interactive exhibition demonstrating how universities and businesses can work together showcasing latest knowledge and research in media, gaming, design and visual, performance, re-purposing technologies and support and funding opportunities.

Delegates will include:

  • University academics
  • Arts and Creative Industry Practitioners
  • Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs)
  • Business support organisations

For further information, please contact

5. Impact through Co-creation and Participation

9-11 April, 2014. Copenhagen

This looks to be a fascinating conference about research with, by and for civil society. Bookings are open now.

6. Science Communication Conference

1-2 May, 2014, University of Surrey

Put the date in your diary and watch out for the call for proposals. This two day event is the only cross-sector conference, bringing together people from across the science communication field.  Over 400 people usually attend the conference, including both seasoned sci-commers and those who are new to the sector. Helen ran a session at the 2013 conference and has recently contributed a chapter for the post-conference publication (watch this space!).


Interesting things

1. Codesign Heritage

We real like this Connected Communities project which involves researchers and local heritage organisations. Read the blog to find out how the team have taken co-design to heart.

2. National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement

The NCCPE have started a new blog and the first few posts provide some food for thought.

3. PENCRU newsletter

The latest PenCRU newsletter (issue 14) is now available to view online. Hear about their recent open day.

4. Engaged Futures

In the last newsletter we mentioned that we’d been running some workshops as part of the Engaged Futures consultation. Here’s the report for those who took part Engaged Universities summary South West October 2013 FINAL.

October news

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Lots of things going on at the moment.

Thinking about engaged universities: people, processes and partnerships all underpinned by our values. From Engaged Futures workshop, October 2013.

Upcoming events

Clear your diaries: there are lots of exciting events coming up!

1. The Depression Puzzle

12 October, 10.00-16.00, Sir Henry Wellcome Building

This drop-in event is an open day for people wishing to explore depression and the research happening within the university. Run by the Lived Experience Group and funded by the Catalyst project.


2. Ancient Sunlight: Art and Science in the Classroom

24 October 2013, 4.00pm-6.00pm Washington Singer Building: Room WSL 219

As part of our ongoing work with Kaleider we are hosting a workshop for teachers and researchers from the University of Exeter and the Met Office. The workshop is the start of a creative process to work with schools to develop a book for launch in October 2014 and present a series of live events in April 2015. Places are limited so book your place soon.

We will begin by stimulating responses to an imagined end to the Oil Age with a question: “what could the world do with the last barrel of oil?” From there, we will encourage participants to imagine a positive and resilient future.

Come and have a glass of wine, meet the Kaleider team and hear more about the project and how you/your school can be involved- all you need to do is sign up on the link below-look forward to seeing you there.

Kaleider designs, produces and promotes live experiences. We make and produce performance work that often takes place in public spaces and seeks to engage audiences who wouldn’t normally consider themselves theatregoers. One of our key ambitions is to bring people to face the future with imagination and create a significantly interruptive gift for the people of Exeter called Ancient Sunlight.

3. Introduction to Visitor Studies

4 November, Cardiff

Are you interested in finding out how evaluation your public engagement activities? This event could be for you! Take part in a practical and interactive training event run by the Visitor Studies Group in collaboration with the Federation of Museums and Art Galleries of Wales and St Fagans: National History Museum.

The event will:

  • Provide delegates with an overview of visitor studies – the basic visitor studies tools
  • Highlight best organisational practice – involving your staff, and using participatory forums
  • Involve practical sessions on visitor observation and creating questionnaires

Check out the Visitor Studies Group website for more details on speakers, content and booking information


4. Night Walks exhibition private view

7 November 4.30-7pm, ESI

An exhibition of images made during full moon night walks in summer 2013 aiming to represent a re-engagement with the natural night-time environment. The exhibition is a result of a collaboration between the residents of St Just and the ESI ECOLIGHT research project funded by the Catalyst project. The exhibition will be open 8-21 November.


5. Prof. Ted Cantle on social cohesion / interculturalism

13 & 14 November seminar and public lecture

Ten years ago Ted Cantle founded the idea of community cohesion and this concept began to transform the way we think about race and diversity in the UK and has been copied and adopted by many other countries, especially through the idea of intercultural dialogue. The concept of interculturalism recognises the interdependence of people and nations and suggests that it is now necessary to foster an inter-connectedness in which ‘race’ will play a less significant part and be eclipsed by broader ideas about difference and otherness.


6. Engage 2013

27 & 28 November, Bristol Hotel, Bristol

This conference will explore the many ways universities and their partners choose to engage together, and the agendas these partnerships serve. It will provide an opportunity for open dialogue between the HE community, policy makers and funders, and the organisations working with them. The Exeter Catalyst will be there! Please find more information here. Book your place here


7. Mobile Apps in Research

4 December, University of Birmingham

This is the first (as far as we know!) get-together to explore the potential of smartphones in academic research, including apps for public engagement and citizen science. Delegate tickets cost £15 and registration is now open. For more information visit


Other opportunities

1. NERC Student Photography and Short Article Writing Competition

25 October 2013

NERC would like to draw your attention to the announcement of the new NERC Student Photography and Short Article Writing Competition. This competition is open to all current and recently finished NERC students and invites them to submit both photographic and written entries that best encapsulate their research and PhD experiences to date. Although entrants must submit both a photograph and article, both entries will be judged separately and awarded separate prizes. All winning entrants will be informed in mid-November and invited to an awards ceremony will take place at the Environment-YES finale in London on 2 December.

The prizes available for both the written article and photography competitions are:
1st Place: £500
2nd Place: £250
3rd Place: £125

For more information on this opportunity please visit the competition website or contact David Roberts (


2. 5th Space for All funding scheme

Closing date for applications is 9am Monday 28 October 2013.

A key goal in the current UK space strategy is to increase awareness among the general public of the UK’s space programme and of the role that space plays in everyday life. We also believe that space has an important role to play in inspiring and educating the next generation.

Many groups, societies and individuals across the UK share this ambition and can help us explain the importance of space. To this end, the UK Space Agency operates its ‘Space for All’ community sponsorship award scheme. This is a competitive process which offers small grants (up to a maximum of £5,000 for each award) to groups ready to present the UK’s space programme and stimulate the use of space in inspiration and learning.

Projects may be targeted at specific audiences and may include:

  • delivery of curriculum enrichment activities;
  • delivery of activities to promote careers in the space sector;
  • preparation of plans for long term projects;
  • development of web or social media outreach content.

Applications are judged by a panel led by the Agency and supported by representatives of the UK space community. Judging criteria include the quality and practicality of the proposals, the size of the audience that will be reached, and the extent of alignment with the UK’s civil space strategy. A preference will be given to projects that will reach an audience hitherto unaware of the UK’s space programme and to education projects that support the work of the UK’s space education office, ESERO-UK.

Further information regarding this call including the application form can be found at


3. ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize

22 November

The Prize is our annual opportunity to celebrate the outstanding economic and social impacts achieved by ESRC-funded researchers. Applications are now welcome and will close at 16.00 on 22 November 2013. Winners receive £10,000 and £5,000 to the second place winners.

Applications are welcome from any current or previously ESRC funded projects, including those funded before 2008.

There are six categories for the ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize:

  • Outstanding Impact in Business – research which has generated business impact through successful knowledge exchange and engagement
  • Outstanding Impact in Public Policy – research that has contributed to the development of UK public policy, at the local, regional or national government level
  • Outstanding Impact in Society – research that has made a contribution benefitting society more widely or a specific group of the public
  • Outstanding International Impact – research that has achieved impact at an international level in business, policy or societal issues
  • Outstanding Early Career Impact – student researchers who have achieved or show potential in achieving outstanding impacts in any of the above categories
  • Impact Champion of the Year – a nominated individual who has a significant personal track record in knowledge exchange and supporting and enabling impact.


Other news

1. Public Engagement – how was it for us?

The iGem team are currently in the thick of the competition – good luck! In the run up to this they delivered several public engagement activities. Read about their experiences here:


2. Engaged Futures

Over the last couple of days Mary Schwarz and myself have run three workshops exploring what an engaged university might be like in 2025. It’s been a fascinating time, hearing from people outside of academia who have challenged us, congratulated us and agreed to help us as we move ahead with our commitment to engaged research. A full report will be available shortly, but in the meantime we’d like to thank everyone who gave up their time and opinions to help us. The workshops have been part of the National Coordinating Centre’s national consultation.


3. From Wellcome Trust:

Looking to engage the public with your research?

We now offer ring-fenced funds for public engagement within our research grants. Researchers are invited to plan how they will inform, consult and collaborate with the non-specialist public over the lifetime of their research project and cost for this appropriately. Activities can take any form, for example, blogs, exhibitions, games, training courses, and collaborations with schools or artists.

High-quality proposals are sought from grant applicants and current Trust-funded researchers. New applicants can apply within their research application while current grantholders can apply for an extension to their award.

Find out more, including eligibility and application details.


Public Engagement seed funds – round 2 open

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We delighted to announce that our Public Engagement seed funds are open again. The seed funds are available to support activities which embed a culture of PE with research. See the call document and application for full details: Catalyst seed fund round 2