Archive for January, 2013

Opportunities and news for Public Engagement

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We’re really excited to announce that our seed funds are open! Seed Funds are available for any public engagement activity that helps support the culture of engagement within the university.










Do you research gender in any way? If so you might be interested in working with Impermanence Dance Theatre on their latest project: see their call for collaborators. Could be a great impact case study for the next REF.


Arts and Humanities researchers might be interested in the REACT Hub: Future Documentary. REACT are looking for creative minds and stimulating people to come and join us in debate over what the future for documentary could be. They’re bringing together creative companies and arts and humanities academics who share a passion for telling stories to explore how the internet, user generated content and changing audience expectations are transforming what we understand by documentary media. Register now for the Exeter Ideas Lab on 26 February.


Digital Economy researchers might want to participate in I’m a Scientist Get Me Out Of Here! This a great opportunity to share your work with young people from the comfort of your own desk. Everyone I know who’s taken part has found it immensely enjoyable and challenging.


Ecologists who like music festivals mustn’t miss the British Ecological Society’s competition. This will be a lot of fun (mud permitting) as the team take ecology to music festivals throughout the summer. All you need to do is devise an idea for an activity or demonstration to do at the stall. I’m happy to help with ideas.


Museums, health, wellbeing seminar – 12 March. A bargain at £30. This looks like a great afternoon exploring how museums and arts interventions can improve health and wellbeing. See the  flier  for more detail.

Champions for Public Engagement

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We’re really pleased to announce our first Champions for Public Engagement.

Congratulations to John Plunkett, John Chilton and Lorna Harries, Sharon Strawbridge and Caitlin DeSilvey.

We had a really good response to the call and some excellent proposals – it was a hard decision to make! Thanks to everyone who applied.



News for January

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Happy New Year! It’s been a busy month since the last post. We’ve been to conferences, had Operational and External Advisory Board meetings, and most importantly we had our first Champion applications, as well all the usual public engagement opportunities and events.

Creative thinking at the BES workshop. How can glow sticks be useful for demonstrating ecological processes and issues?

Opportunities and events:

Due to popular demand we’ve relocated the Everyone’s Energy workshop to Tremough, 28 January, 9.30-4.30. If you’re interested in engaging the public on sustainable energy production then this is the workshop for you. It will also be an opportunity to engage with the wider sustainable energy folk in Cornwall.

Citizen science Creative workshop on 21 January, 12-1.30. If you’re interested in citizen science and citizen social science we’re running a creative workshop. Working on real case studies we’ll discuss best practice in citizen science, how this approach can be used for social science and try to identify research questions which could use this approach.

Science Technology and Culture workshop: redistributing expertise. As co-production and public engagement with science and technology has superseded a more communicative public understanding agenda, it is useful to take stock of the ways in which expertise is imagined, spatialised, co-ordinated, or otherwise, within science.  How, in turn, are publics imagined and produced? January 31st 2013, 12-4pm, Byrne House. Register with Dr Martina Tyrrell,

British Science Association deadline for proposals for the Science Communication Conference has been extended to 11 January.

Royal Academy of Engineering have a competition open. They’re looking for people to make short two minute films that show how engineering is helping us tackle big global challenges such as health and sustainability. The deadline for entries is 15 February 2013.

REACT hub have some exciting opportunities as they fund collaborations between arts and humanities researchers and creative companies. There is an Ideas Lab at the Pheonix on 26 February. Exact details to come, but put the date in your diary.

STFC Public Engagement Fellowships 2013. For researchers with good communication skills who have demonstrated a track record in public engagement with research or communication work. Applications are invited from STFC funded researchers and users of all STFC facilities. Fellowship holders would have a proportion of their time bought out to enable them to concentrate on new or additional activities which would have significant national or regional impact.  Closing date for applications is 28 February 2013 at 16:00.  Contacting for more information.

British Neuroscience Association and Wellcome Trust have accepted our proposal to run a Knit a Neuron stall at the BNA conference in April at the Barbican Centre in London. If you’re interested in anything brain-related and want to take the opportunity to discuss your research with the public then do get in touch.

The British Ecological Society are going on the road this year showcasing ecology at music festivals. They are running a fabulous competition where the prize is to attend music festivals to present fun and inspiring ecological demonstrations and activities. If you’ve got a great idea for an ecological demonstration then do enter the competition. We ran a creative workshop at their annual event – if you want me to run it here then let me know.

Another date for your diary: the Mini Maker Fare in Bristol, 23 March. Do you make – electronics, yarn, food, mechanics, wood, arduino…? If so you could exhibit at the Mini Maker Fare. More information as it comes in.

Other activities

We presented a workshop on Theories of Change at the Engage conference early in December. This was with fellow Catalysts Rick Holliman of the Open University and Sharon Clancy at University of Nottingham.

Our Operational and External Advisory Boards both met during December to help us with the Champion applications and wider strategic thinking. It was the first time we’d met the External Advisory Board and they gave us a strong steer on how they want to work with us: being our critical friends and being a space for discussing our challenges. Full minutes of the meeting will available shortly.

We’re also pleased to see the Wellcome Trust’s Informal Learning Review is out. A great piece of work looking at the ecosystem of informal learning opportunities.

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