Archive for February, 2013

The future: the engaged university

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We had a great day with the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement to help shape a national, year long, consultation on 20 February. The consultation will explore what universities will look like in 2020 if they are to be truly engaged universities.

This is a real paradigm shift (in the words of Paul Manners ) for universities and will change everything that these universities do: research, teaching, interacting with their communities, partnerships and collaborations. We’re really pleased to be embarking on this journey at the same time as this consultation is happening. It means we can speak from experience and we can involve our partners in the process.

We discussed what engagement would look like under four different future scenarios related to economic growth and left/right wing political thinking. The scenarios were developed by University Alliance. Some people also discussed what engagement might look like if considered through different themes such as health, social justice or the environment.

In the afternoon we discussed some key issues that the consultation might want to consider. We talked about ensuring the consultation influences policy-makers and how to move engagement from being something that is done, to being a philosophy or approach. Other tables discussed what local communities might want from this new style university.

We’ll be hearing from the NCCPE about the shape of this consultation and will then be running events and activities to capture contributions from our communities. If you want to get involved then get in touch as we’d love to hear from you or you can discuss ideas on their dialogue app.

February news and opportunities

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Melting Pot

One of our Champions, Caitlin DeSilvey, held a fabulous Creative Exchange ‘Melting Pot’ event at the ESI as part of the ESI/RANE Creative Exchange Programme. The event brought creative partners and researchers in the ESI together to stimulate collaborations which benefit both artistic and academic practices. We heard from over 30 researchers and creative partners as they each gave a one-minute snapshot presentation about themselves and their work. Lightning speed stuff which was hugely enjoyable and interesting. Conversations were started and are continuing. We’re looking forward to seeing how those collaborations develop.

All thanks for the change to present on Wednesday last week, and for your welcome at ESI.  It is great to have started a dialogue with you both, and with so many of the others who attended.  – John Fanshaw – Freelance Artist/Birdlife International.


Screen Talks – see classic cinema in a new way

We’re looking forward to the next season of Screen Talks at the Picturehouse. Helen Host kicks off the season by introducing the classic Hitchcock film Psycho on 25 February. The season will have three strands thanks to AHRC support including Sickness on the Screen which launches on 11 March. We’ve been talking about how to evaluate these activities and we’re looking forward to finding out more about how filmgoers respond to our researchers’ ideas and what insight filmgoers bring to these discussions. To keep up to date join the Facebook group (Exeter Screen Talks or follow them on Twitter (@ExeScreen_Talks).


Humanities Engagement Showcase
Thursday 21st March. 13:00-15:00, Seminar A, Forum

Come and hear about successful engagement projects in the Humanities. Featuring University of Exeter researchers and Dr Laura King (University of Leeds) and her project ‘Hiding in the Pub to Cutting the Cord? Fatherhood and Childbirth in Britain, from the 1950s to the present’.

For more information, and to book your place, email Grace Williams ()


1. Catalyst Seed funds – deadline 1 March

Our Seed Funds are still open and we’ve been having some very interesting conversations with people who are thinking of applying. The seed fund projects will support the culture of public engagement within the university and we’ve been hearing some really innovative ideas for sharing learning and experiences.

2. Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellowships 2013 – applications now open, deadline for preliminary applications 22 February

Are you a rising star in the world of public engagement with science? Or do you know an exceptional individual with a proven ability to encourage the public to examine, explore and debate the big scientific challenges that society faces today? Find out more.

3. The Biochemical Society funding – deadline 29 April

Funding is available to support activities and events that help communicate the excitement of the molecular sciences to school children and/or the general public. Applications are invited for sums up to £1000 to assist with the direct costs associated with an event and expenses incurred (e.g. transport and/or teacher cover). The next deadline is the 29th April 2013.

For more information on the grants, please visit:

They also have an activities library to help with ideas, inspiration, and links to possible collaborators:

4. Institute of Physics’ Public Engagement Grant Scheme 2013 – deadline 22 April

Do you have a fantastic idea for making physics accessible? Do you want to reach a wider audience? Do you need some support to make your outreach activity happen?

The second round of the 2013 Public Engagement Grant from the Institute of Physics is now open for applications. The grants are worth up to £1500 and aim to support physics-based outreach activities in the UK and Ireland throughout 2013. Activities should provide engaging experiences of physics to public audiences.

More information about the grant scheme, including application forms, guidelines and summaries of past projects, is available online at, or by emailing . Closing date: 22 April 2013

5. Einstein’s Garden – Call for Proposals for Science Stalls, deadline 26 April

Einstein’s Garden at the Green Man Festival are looking for organisations that would like to bring a stall to Einstein’s Garden with the aim of engaging festival audiences with science. Stalls could explore fundamental scientific ideas or phenomena, the process of science or current scientific research. It is essential that stalls include as much interactivity and participation as possible for festival goers and that they embody the creative and quirky spirit of Einstein’s Garden.

Please send a proposal (max 1 side A4) detailing the content of your stall, how you plan to engage festival goers, the dimensions of your stall, the number of people you need to run it (this should be a maximum of six people) and any health and safety considerations. Send your proposals to  by Friday 26th April.


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