Archive for the ‘Arts’ Category

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.


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.

News for December

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We’d like to thank everyone who joined us for the launch event at Tremough last week. The conversations were great and we were really inspired by the ideas and enthusiasm. Short report to follow.

Arts Engagement:

This report  into  participatory arts from the James Irvine Foundation makes for interesting reading.

And if that gets you going, then you might want to know about Impermanence Dance Theatre’s latest project exploring gender, using socially engaged practice. They want to work closely with academics and communities. If you’d like to be part of the project get in touch with Helen, or join us for lunch on Thursday 13 December, 12 noon, Building One cafe. Check out this video of their latest work for an idea of what they do.


STEM Engagement:

Is your research in the area of sustainable energy production? We have an exciting opportunity with our friends at Graphic Science: full support to run community engagement events around the complex decisions associated with meeting our future energy needs. Introduction, briefing and full guidance on the kit on 17 December register here.

Neuro-researchers: we’ve submitted our application for the British Neuroscience Association’s public festival for April next year, which is running alongside BNA’s annual conference. Do get in touch if you want to join in.

Science Communication Conference – call for proposals is open, deadline is 3 January 2013. This is your chance to propose a session at the 2013 Conference – do you have a successful project that you would like to showcase? Is there a hot topic that you feel needs discussion? Would you like to run a workshop to develop skills? It would be great to see representation from the university – get in touch with Helen to discuss your ideas.

Funding opportunities:

Wellcome Trust Arts and People awards both have deadlines in January.

Physiology Society have public engagement awards, up to £5000. The grants, which are available to both Society members and non-members, are designed to fund innovative and creative projects on any aspect of physiology. They particularly encourage collaborations between science communicators, facilitators of public engagement, and our members.

If you have ideas and want to discuss them further, get in touch with Helen.

We’ve been busy these last couple of weeks helping with the Describe project’s Impact Expert Workshop, piloting a Climate Change engagement course with NERC, running an introduction to Public Engagement session for the Association for Science and Discovery Centre’s latest project: Explore Your Universe, and running a workshop at South West Forum’s Collaborating for Impact conference. Next week brings a workshop on Evaluation and the National Coordinating Centre’s Engage conference where we’re running a workshop with the Open University and Nottingham about our Catalyst projects.

Finally, thanks to everyone who’s submitted their applications to be Champions. It’s going to be a tough decision!


Tim Lenton and Kaleider: Case for Optimism

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Earlier this year  Tim Lenton contributed to a creative day hosted by Kaleider – an arts incubator based here in Exeter. The day started exploring the artistic exploration and response to the question “What do we do with the last barrel of oil?”

A fascinating video of the day really highlights how exciting and stimulating interdisciplinary, collaborative events like this can be.

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