The Large Awards Scheme makes awards of £10,000 to £100,000 for projects which are expected to have “significant regional or national impact”
Applicants should have strong links with the Science & Technology Facilities Council’s scientific research community. Partnerships between universities and partners that can enhance impact e.g. science centres are strongly encouraged.
Projects must be relevant to one of the following research areas:
- particle physics;
- nuclear physics;
- space, ionospheric, solar and planetary science;
- studying materials with muon and neutron sources;
- studying materials with synchrotron light sources;
- research using laser facilities;
- other science areas
Examples of previous awards can be found here.
Full details of the call can be found here – please note that applications close on 8th November at 4pm.
If you are interested in applying, please contact Becca on (01202) 961206.
The deadline for proposals for the Festival of Learning is Tuesday 31st July. We want to be able to showcase the best of what we do here at BU, which means we are looking for proposals from as many colleagues as possible. If you have not submitted a proposal as yet, there is still time – just! The Festival of Learning Proposal Form is relatively brief, but it is crucial that we are aware of your ideas now so we can incorporate your activity into the planning of the Festival.
If you are looking for some sources of inspiration, a good place to start can be the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement website, which has a useful how to do it section featuring many case studies. You may also find it useful to consider the outputs from some of the Beacons for Public Engagement, including UCL, the Beacon for Wales and Beacon North East.
It could also be useful to reflect on your short courses that you have run in the past or training that could be adapted to be part of the Festival.
If have any further queries or would like to talk through your proposal, please do not hesitate to contact Becca on 61206 / 01202 961206.
The deadline for Festival of Learning proposals is Tuesday 31st July, leaving just a few more days to develop your proposals. You may be thinking, why do I have to put something in so early for an event that takes place between 3rd-14th June, 2013? This deadline has been set in order that we can ensure we can make the Festival of Learning the best possible showcase of activity at BU which means planning space, marketing and engaging the appropriate audiences now, rather than in 6 months time!
If you would like to be part of the Festival of Learning, but find yourself stuck for ideas or would like some further help with your proposal, please do call Becca on 61206/01202 961206 to talk it through.
The Festival of Learning Proposal Form is relatively brief, but we do need these details to ensure that your activity is captured in the planning for the event.
You may ask what has stand-up comedy got to do with research? Well, the founders of Bright Club have taken public engagement to an entirely different level, by founding a variety night whereby academic researchers take the stage alongside established comedians and musicians.
But, given the prospect of stand-up comedy is frankly terrifying for the vast majority of people, why do it? Firstly, it takes your research to an entirely new audience – people may not think to spend their Thursday evening at a seminar or public talk from academics. However, they might be tempted to head out to a local pub to watch a variety night.
A stand-up gig is also a great way to develop skills around reading and reacting to your audience. Naturally, giving any sort of public talk means considering (and reacting to your audience), however a stand-up routine takes this to a whole new level. Key to a successful act is reading what your audience is reacting to and building on that.
Plus, for the researcher taking part, Bright Club offers a positive way to explore the frustrations and idiosyncrasies that are are part of a research career.
Want to see Bright Club in action? There are many examples online, such as this one here (warning – this clip contains strong language!) or you can access the weekly podcast here
The Wellcome trust has announced an exciting new project looking for researchers working in biomedical sciences or medical humanities to send in ideas about how to turn their PhD into a game.
The Trust is also looking for game development teams to help turn these ideas into playable video games during a hack session.
The best game that comes out of the hack session will receive additional support and be further developed for release.
This takes public engagement to an exciting new dimension, and we will be keenly awaiting the results!
For further details, click here: Gamify Your PhD | Wellcome Trust
You may also be interested to read Wired‘s feature on the Call.
If you are interested in getting involved, do let the RDU know! Contact Becca on email@example.com or 01202 961206.
Sense about science have announced a call for nominations for the John Maddox Prize for standing up for science.
This Prize will reward an individual that has promoted science and evidence as a matter of public interest, with a particular emphasis on those who have faced difficult or hostility in doing so.
Nominations are open to any kind of engagement activity (including writing, speaking and other types of public engagement) in one of the three following areas:
- Addressing misleading information about scientific or medical issues in any forum.
- Bringing sound evidence to bear in a public or policy debate.
- Helping people to make sense of a complex scientific issue
For further details about the Prize and the nomination form, please click here.
The winner of the Prize will win £2000 and their award will be announced in Nature.
The deadline for nominations is midnight 20th August 2012. The winner will be announced in November 2012.
If you plan to nominate a BU colleague, we would love to hear about it! Please contact Becca on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01202 961206.
When I talk about public engagement to colleagues, one of the first activities that often springs to mind is to give a public lecture, which can be a fantastic way of engaging a large number of people and promoting a lively debate. However, I am sure that we have all experienced (or endured?) public talks that have left us feeling a little deflated. So what can we do to avoid the latter scenario?
Writing this post feels slightly patronising; after all as HE professionals the chances are that a significant proportion of your working life is spent giving lectures and talks of some sort. However, devising a lecture that appeals to an often unknown public can present particular challenges, which several colleagues have asked me to provide advice so, so here goes:
The National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement has developed a handy guide, which can be found here. The guidance, I am sure, will not be of great surprise to many readers of this blog, but could be a useful reminder when preparing a public lecture.
I’ve reviewed some of the other sources of information about the ingredients of a great public lecture, which you may find help to consider to preparing your proposal for the Festival of Learning:
- Remember that most people’s optimum concentration span is about 20 minutes, so ensure that you bear this in-mind when planning your event.
- Interactive props can be a great way of ensuring that your audience stays engaged, especially those which stimulate different senses. This could include short sound or video clips, food tasting or interjections from, for example, a beneficiary of your research.
- Ensure that you have plenty of time for lively discussion
- To maximise the discussion, this carefully about who will chair the event and the techniques they will use to facilitate discussion.
- Keep the topic broader than you might if you were giving a presentation at an academic conference.
- Look to use tools such as twitter to add an extra dimension to your event, and give participants that are not confident at speaking in-front of the whole audience an opportunity to get involved in discussion.
Just a couple of examples of public lectures can be found here and here – there are many more, so please contact me if you would like some more examples.
There are lots of other areas of guidance on how to develop a great public lecture which are more topic specific, so please do not hesitate to contact Becca on email@example.com or 01202 961206.
Last Thursday the RDU took part in our team Away Day! We wanted our Away Day to focus on giving back to our local community, so the RDU contacted The Hub who put us in touch with The Richmond Fellowship, which is a non-profit organisation that encourages, supports and challenges people with mental health problems.
Our task for the day was to add life and colour to Bailey’s Cafe, which is attached to Richmond Fellowship and provides a selection of hot food, snacks, and drinks for all – at present, they have 9 trainees in Bailey’s Cafe who have a support plan that is targeted at getting them back to paid or voluntary work.
We had a fantastic time and highly recommend other BU groups get involved and give back to this this great community!
Our community’s local Richmond Fellowship (East Dorset Community Services) is located in Christchurch and it provides a variety of recovery focused activities, training and one-to-one support for people with Mental Health problems. The Service is based on an ethos of social inclusion, service user involvement and individual support. Activities include peer supprt, healthy living, horticultural groups, Bailey’s Frames, Bailey’s Cafe, groups and groupwork. East Dorset Community Services is part of one of the largest specialist mental health service provider in England. The Service enables people to undertake training and education and to access other support within their areas thus reducing social isolation.
Regular readers of this blog may have already been alerted to the ESRC Seven Days of Social Science, but in case you have missed it, I would recommend having a look at the videos and accompanying documents
The reason that I am highlighting these resources is to demonstrate the value of research and how it can be made accessible to a much wider audience. Conversations that I have had with colleagues over the past week or so (mainly ECRs, but not exclusively so!) have reminded me that sometimes it is hard to believe that your research will be of interest beyond your own academic peers. I recall some of my own research, for example, on New Labour’s public space policy – which on the surface sounds like a fairly dry topic (and I can assure you that the associated policy documents are classic examples of New Labour rhetoric, and fairly turgid reading) – however, this research has relevance to any of us wondering why our traditional high street has been placed by a shopping mall, why you can no longer sleep on a park bench or why trees are disappearing from London’s parks. It is, after all, hard to get through a day without encountering some kind of public space.
One of the best parts of my job, is learning about all the fantastic research that is going on across BU, which at times is nothing short of awe-inspiring. This makes me very excited to be helping develop the Festival of Learning and ensuring we engage a far wider public with the value of what we do.
The ESRC Seven Days of Social Science series is a great reminder of why research in the social sciences is fundamental in understanding and shaping the world in which we live, and inherently fascinating. It also is a reminder that if you have received public funding to conduct research, that we have a shared responsibility of engaging the public with the value of that research.
If you are interested in developing a proposal for the Festival of Learning and would like some helping in brainstorming ideas or support completing the proposal form, please do not hesitate to contact Becca on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01202 961206.
Do you remember when museums were full of dusty exhibits that you were not allowed to touch, or am I just showing my age? Fortunately those days are long gone and now as a nation we are blessed with many interactive museums that facilitate all generations to get involved to learn more about the fascinating world in which we live. Examples include Techniquest, the Natural History Museum or the National Museum Wales (amongst many, many others).
As a University, the creation of exhibits is not our primary purpose, however pop-up interactive exhibitions are a great way to get a much wider public really excited about the research areas we live and breathe each day. One example, local to Bournemouth, is University of Southampton’s (award wining) Science and Engineering Day which showcases a fantastic array of activities. Don’t just take my word for it, have a look here to get a feel for this.
This example is focused around STEM subjects, but I believe there is huge potential to develop this sort of activity around all subject areas. Are there objects that you collect that are related to your research? Have you got audio or visual clips that are integral to your research? Have you taken photographs that give an insight into what you do? If you would like to brainstorm some ideas about how you could create and interactive exhibit around your research, please contact Becca on email@example.com / 01202 961206.
Don’t forget, the deadline for proposals for the Festival of Learning is the 31st July. You can find out some more information and download the proposal form here.
Next up in my series of public engagement activities that you could include in the Festival of Learning is the humble cafe – otherwise known as a Science Cafe, Cafe Scientifique or a Philosophy Cafe.
The basic premise of this activity is for academics to give a short talk on their subject area (in a way that is both accessible, but also sometimes provocative) before informal discussion takes place amongst participants.
Key to this (the clue is in the name) is to encourage convivial discussion in an non-academic environment, typically a cafe or bar, to allow people to relax and contribute to discussion. Crucial to making this format work is to ensure that the initial talk is thought provoking, provides a starting point for discussion and encourages the audience to contribute to the debate. To do this, it can be fruitful to move away from the traditional lecture format – which normally means no powerpoint, stages or lecterns!
For more details, it is worth looking at the Cafe Scientifique and the Philosophy Cafe websites.
If you would like to talk more about ideas that you have for the Festival of Learning, please contact Becca on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01202 961206.
The deadline for proposals for the Festival of Learning will soon be upon us (31st July) and we’re already seeing some fantastic ideas on how to engage with a public beyond the walls of BU come into the Research Development Unit. But I know that a lot of people are still thinking about what they could do to contribute to the Festival, so between now and the deadline I will be posting ‘flagship’ public engagement activities from many different disciplines to help get the creative juices flowing.
FameLab, established in 2005, was set up by Cheltenham Science Festival in-conjunction with NESTA. After the competition was adopted by the British Council as a flagship project, FameLab has gone global with 20 countries participating and 4,000 science communicators.
But what does it entail? Scientists get rid of their powerpoint and instead explain their research in three minutes in an informative and entertaining way. Far from ‘dumming down’, FameLab has gained an international reputation for showcasing some of our brightest scientists and making their work accessible to a far wider audience.
A great introduction to FameLab can be found via YouTube here, with examples of award winning science communication here and here.
This leads me to ask, what could you do? We are encouraging proposals for the Festival of Learning to be as creative and imaginative as possible. FameLab demonstrates the power of communicating your research, could you do something similar? We have the scope to create events that are appropriate for your discipline and your research.
If you would like further information with regards to the Festival of Learning, or any support in developing your proposal, please do not hesitate to contact Becca on email@example.com or 01202 961206.
Huge congratulations to Dr Richard Shipway, who has been awarded sponsorship by the ESRC to run an event during the ESRC’s national Festival of Social Science in November .
The event, Optimising Olympic tourism opportunities after the 2012 Games, will use insights from Richard’s research to explore how the potential of the London 2012 Games can be harnessed to enhance tourism in the years following the Olympics.
If you wish to learn more about the event, please contact Dr Richard Shipway on RShipway@bournemouth.ac.uk.
If you would like to learn more about public engagement activities across BU or explore how you can develop public engagement activities around your research, please contact Becca on REdwards@bournemouth.ac.uk
Colleagues may be interested to learn about the forthcoming Thomas Hardye School Community Lectures, taking place in the next academic year. There are many esteemed speakers giving lectures on a range of fascinating topics that I am sure will be of interest to many.
For those of you with a particular interest in public engagement, you may wish to note Professor Jim Al-Khalili (Professor of Physics and Professor of Public Engagement in Science) is giving a talk on Thursday 29th November titled ‘Paradox – The Greatest Enigmas in Science’.
If you would like more information about the lectures, or wish to enquire about tickets, please contact Richard Cain at firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you already have an interactive exhibition of your research? Would you like the opportunity to engage Festival goers with your research?
A potential opportunity has arisen for BU academics to join colleagues from other local institutions in an exhibition tent at Bestival to engage the festival going public. You can learn more about why festivals are a great opportunity for public engagement here. If you might be interested in taking part, please contact Becca on email@example.com or 01202 961206.
The Royal Academy of Engineering is calling for applications to the Ingenious fund to develop public engagement activities which:
- “inspire creative public engagement with engineering projects
- stimulate engineers to share their stories, passion and expertise in innovative ways with wider audiences
- develop engineers’ communication and engagement skills
- create debate between engineers and people of all ages to raise awareness of the diversity, nature and impact of engineering”.
Given BU’s excellence in engineering, this is a great opportunities for colleagues to take their work to a far wider audience. Inspiration can be found from the case studies that are available here.
Grants are available for between £3,000 and £30,000. Further details on how to apply can be found here.
The deadline for applications is 21st September 2012.
If you would like to brainstorm ideas or discuss a potential application, please contact Becca on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01202 961206.
This week, Dr Jacqui Taylor, Associate Professor in the psychology group (School of Design, Engineering and Computing) coordinated two workshops on the Impact of Technology on Children, in-conjunction with colleagues from Winton Primary School, Bournemouth Borough Council, Barnardo’s, Dorset Police and the Research Development Unit. Many congratulations to Jacqui for organising two such informative and engaging events.
The first workshop was aimed at parents and included presentations about current research findings, technical advice, police guidance on child protection and film ratings guidance. The workshop also encouraged lively debate about how parents can use research findings to ensure that their children have a healthy relationship with technology.
The second workshop invited practitioners (including teachers) to consider research around the psychological impacts of social networking and video games, age ratings, child protection and technological innovation. Again, this promoted considerable discussion on how to develop good practice at a speed that keeps pace with changing technology.
A full report on the workshops will be made available next month, but until then, insights into the knowledge shared can be found from Dr Jacqui Taylor’s presentation Research on the Impacts of Technology on the Thoughts, Feelings and Behaviour of Children and Cheryl I’anson’s talk on Age Ratings of Video Games. PC Jeff Gray’s presentation on Protecting Young People Online can be found here.
If you attended the workshop, Jacqui would be grateful if you could complete the Children and Technology Workshop Evaluation Questionnaire
Jacqui would be grateful if anyone with children aged between 4 and 12 years could complete the Children and Technology Research Questionnaire to aid research in the subject area.
Future activities around the theme of technology and children are being planned. If you would be interested in participating in a future event, or have ideas about what you would like to learn, please contact Becca on email@example.com.
Established in 1975, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) is one of the world’s leading knowledge transfer mechanisms. It provides academics with the unique opportunity to apply their knowledge and expertise to important problems facing businesses. The programme provides Government grants to fund joint projects with business or third sector organisations lasting from 6 months to 3 years.
On the 29th June 2012 the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) announced that the salary budget for persons employed to undertake the KTP project will be increased, for future projects, from £25k to £27k for graduates and from £25k to £35K for post-docs. There is also the possibility of applying for increased travel and consumables budgets.
Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) only pay 33% of the costs of a KTP, large companies pay 50%. The KTP budget covers the costs of a full time graduate/post- graduate, ½ a day a week for an academic supervisor, training, travel and consumables. KTPs count towards the Research Excellence Framework (REF). Funds are currently available for more KTPs under an open call system. The success rate for KTP applications, which meet the key criteria, is above 70%. On average a KTP project increases a company’s gross profits by £270k.
If you require any further information on this announcement or KTPs in general please contact Peter Delgado, Commercialisation and KTP Officer, e-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org