Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

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 (

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.


Upcoming opportunities

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1: 9 September, Business Leaders Forum

Two key themes for discussion (I) the research findings ‘innovative interventions designed to increase women’s motivation to both enter and succeed within male-dominated professions’ and (ii) the process ‘how business and academia can engage in two- way knowledge transfer’.

Further details about the event and how to register can be found here:

2: University of Bristol Engage conference: 18 September

There are still a few places left at at Engage – the University of Bristol’s free annual conference about public engagement. The finalised timetable is now available; alongside discussions about various aspects of public engagement there will be case studies highlighting recent examples of excellent engagement – from social media to working with patients.

For more details see web: and register at:

3: British Ecological Society Outreach Grants: deadline 17 September

Grants of up to £2,000 are available to promote ecological science to a wide audience.  Project aims can include stimulating discussion about ecology and its societal implications, increasing knowledge and inspiring people, and developing skills in communicating ecology.

For more information see web:

4: Royal Society Partnership Grants scheme: deadline 1 November

The next round of the Royal Society’s Partnership Grants will open for applications in September. Through the scheme, grants of up to £3,000 will be available to support teachers, scientists and engineers help develop science projects, with the aim of making the teaching science more interesting within primary and secondary schools. Any UK primary or secondary school teacher and practising scientist/engineer can apply as long as the students involved in the project are between 5 and 18.

For more information see web:

5: 23 & 24 September, UK Community Partner Summit, Bristol. Do spread the word to your community partners and be sure to let them know that their travel and accommodation costs are covered by the grant. UK_CPSummit_Sep13_A5

Summit places are being prioritised for community partners ideally with a link to a community organisation and at least some experience of community university partnership working. The community partner working group is busy finalising the programme detail, however we know that community partners attending can expect:

– a delicious lunch to kick start the event, meet each other and relax

– an inspiring keynote speech from Ann-Gel Palermo, Harlem Community & Academic Partnership, New York about ways to create strong community university partnerships

– a showcase of projects and presentations from community partners across the UK working in a range of research, student placement, teaching and public access partnerships

– an informative outline of the Higher Education context within which we aim to build mutually beneficial partnerships

– a choice of workshops and round table discussions: Getting Started; Avoiding and Resolving Problems; Influencing National Policy and Practice; Shaping the UK Community Partner Network.

– a scrumptious networking dinner, good company and comfy hotel rooms!

Please note that in this context community partners is really broadly defined – to include voluntary organisations, charities, cultural organisations, community based organisations etc etc.

6: CFP 18 September deadline for 6 & 7 March event: Visitor Studies: it’s all about relationships

The theme of the 2014 VSG Conference will be Visitor Studies: It’s all about Relationships and will be held on 6th and 7th of March 2014 at St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, London.

The conference will explore the relationship between cultural organisations and their visitors and the equally important relationship between visitor studies and internal and external stakeholders. How can visitor studies have a real impact on the work of colleagues, leaders, funders and other decision makers?

Want to get involved? The Conference will include a range of formats, lasting approximately 45 minutes to one hour each, and include interactive workshops, presentations of case studies with Q&A and panels sessions. Please download the call for proposals from our website for ideas of how you can contribute.

Final date for proposal submissions is Wednesday 18th September. Contact Sheena at  for

7:  Flowers Fellow for PhD students

The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) is offering a three month fellowship to a PhD student from a UK university funded by the Nuffield Foundation in memory of its late Chairman, Lord Flowers of Queen’s Gate. The Foundation will fund one Flowers Fellow each year from 2013 to 2018.

The Flowers Fellow will work on a project in any area of science or technology policy and may produce a short briefing note (a ‘POSTnote’), another form of report or work with Select Committees in a way to be agreed with POST. The Fellow will be based at the offices of POST at Parliament in London.

The Flowers Fellowship is open to postgraduate students registered for a PhD in a UK University and in their penultimate or final year of part-time or full-time study, starting in 2013 / 2014 in any field of science or technology. Applicants will be required to obtain approval from their PhD Supervisor and Head of Department.

The Fellow will receive a three month extension to their PhD stipend at a rate equivalent to their current PhD maintenance stipend. Please note that this will be capped in line with the rate set for UK-EU students. For students who are based outside reasonable commuting distance of London, an extra allowance will contribute to travel and accommodation needs. The Nuffield Foundation will reimburse the University for these costs.

The Fellow will be responsible for suspending her/his university registration for the duration of the Fellowship. University fees will not be covered by this award.

The Flowers Fellowship is a competitive award and interviews will be held at POST’s Westminster offices in London in November. The offer is conditional on obtaining parliamentary security clearance. The successful applicant can take up the fellowship from January 2014 onwards.


Full details on the Nuffield Foundation website:


8: STFC Public Engagement Symposium – free, 25 November 2013

STFC invites all those interested in public engagement (PE) with STFC science and technology to this free one day Public Engagement Symposium, being held on the University of Birmingham campus on 25th November 2013.  Online registration is now open.

The main aims of the symposium are to share best practice; discuss the STFC programme and the UK national ‘context’ for PE; hear of new developments, e.g. in the new & social media; to better understand the benefits of PE to researchers; and to further  build a community of practitioners including networking.   There will be fully interactive workshops on getting funding for PE, new & social media, PE made easy & evaluating your PE work etc.

All researchers who engage with STFC and its supported Laboratories/Facilities are welcome.  We particularly welcome participation by early career researchers, and attending can contribute to researchers’ continuing professional development.  STFC can pay up to £100 towards reasonable actual travel and subsistence costs for STFC-funded PhD students, PDRAs and postdoctoral fellows to attend. Please contact Jane Butt, to check your eligibility.

Catalyst project news – Summer 2013

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We took a break from the newsletter over the summer thinking there wouldn’t be much to share – how wrong we were!

We’ve had a busy couple of months. Helen helped Jodie West with a creative workshop on apps, new technology and citizen science at the ESI. Read the report here: Outcomes from the Citzen Science. The Catalyst project team had an away day (OK, it was an afternoon in Byrne House, but it worked for us!) where we looking forward to the second half of the Catalyst project and beyond. Lots of great ideas, lots still do, but we feel like we’re well on the way.


All the Catalyst universities got together in July for a quarterly meeting (we’ve another one soon). As well as sharing our ideas and experiences we also talked directly with RCUK and the other research councils and hosted a seminar for the wider RCUK seminar about culture change.

Helen’s been talking with Debbie Myhill and Alison Black about evaluating engagement activities in schools for another RCUK funded project: Schools University Partnership Initiative. We’ve been coming up with interesting, novel and non-intrusive ways of gathering feedback from students.

An important part of engagement is knowing who’s engaging. UWE, Bristol have a research project which is exploring ways of mapping relationships with external partners. Helen participated in a focus group as part of the research project. It was pretty clear there wasn’t going to be a quick and easy answer as relationships are diverse, change in time and space, happen at many levels within institutions and serve many purposes. How do you map something that is constantly in flux?

Over the summer we’ve started to think about how we present our Case Studies of engaged researchers and also what we should include in the Researcher Toolkit. Do let me know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see in the toolkit that could help you with your public engagement work.

Lizzie Dridge is supporting a group of undergraduate bioscience students who are entering the iGem competition. As part of this international competition the team have to undertake a public engagement activity. Helen ran a creative workshop with the team who came up with several great ideas. They could only take one forward which will be an evening event for photography enthusiasts where they will showcase their iGem project: a synthetic biology camera and talk about photography. Let me know if you’d like a similar workshop to develop your own PE activities.

Helen’s also been supporting the British Ecological Society with their centenary celebrations: Sex and Bugs and Rock and Roll. We heard from Sarah Dalesman about her experiences at Wychwood, this time we were rockin’ out at Green Man in the beautiful Brecon Beacons. Over 1500 festival goers came to the tent to talk with the ecologists and take part in the activities. Everyone had an amazing time which even the rain couldn’t spoil.

We worked with the local University of the Third Age (U3A) group to take part in the BBSRC dialogue about bioenergy. Tom Howard joined in the fun and talked about why bioenergy is important and about the research happening in this area at Exeter. There was a lively discussion which was wide ranging: covering topics including cradle-to-grave carbon mapping, population growth, maintenance of soil quality and energy reduction/efficiency.

Coming up we have our annual Catalyst Gathering. We’ll be hosted by Queen Mary University, London and will be spending time discussing the values of our institutions and how they affect our commitment to public engagement. Should be interesting.

Later in September we have an Operational Board Meeting where we’ll be discussing how we reward and recognise publics’ involvement in our research. Here’s the paper outlining the issue: 2013 09 03 Catalyst briefing paper – paying people HF v1. Do let us know if you have any thoughts or comments.

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.


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.

Launch event(s)

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We had a fabulous time we had at the launch event in Streatham last week. So much fun that we’re hosting another one. 20 November, 1-3pm on the Tremough Campus. We’ll provide lunch, you provide opinions, thoughts and discussions.

Discussion about participationDuring the event we discussed why we do public engagement at different stages of the research cycle (because it extends reach, improves the likelihood of securing a grant, challenges your perceptions of your work, allows you to see your work differently and generates case studies for evidence) as well as why some of us don’t currently do public engagement. The reasons for not doing public engagement covered a wide span from how it is recognised in work load models, to not knowing where to start.

We also started conversations about what quality engagement looks like. For example, how we avoid tokenism and work towards a meaningful dialogue. As this person says:

“The event was a good starting place in thinking about points in the research process where public engagement could take place, and forms it could take. [The most useful part of the event was] some peer to peer learning, useful ideas from colleagues – particularly those from other disciplines.”

We also opened the call for Champions for Public Engagement – deadline is 30 November and the application form is short.

To keep these conversations going we’ll be starting a series of activities to raise some of these issues and develop the skills necessary to feel comfortable when taking first steps in public engagement. Watch this space for details of seminars, workshops and other events – be prepared to come along, join in and most importantly share your experiences.

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