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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 – email@example.com
On 16th July, Jaana Jeffery (a PhD researcher and registered dietitian in the School of Health and Social Care) is contributing to the Moving Forward Partnership Programme with a session on Diet and Breast Cancer: Dispelling the Myths. This is part of a programme of activities convened by Breast Cancer Care and NHS hospitals across the UK to support individuals in moving forward with their lives after treatment for breast cancer.
Jaana explains that “breast cancer survivors are at an increased risk of developing CVD, diabetes and recurrence of breast cancer. Excess weight is a significant risk factor for these health conditions. Between 50-96% of women gain weight over the first 12-24 months after diagnosis. The National Cancer Survivorship Initiative (Department of Health, 2010) have highlighted the importance of diet, lifestyle and maintaining a healthy BMI. Currently, mechanisms of weight gain following a breast cancer diagnosis are not well understood, which has led Jaana to explore the dietary, lifestyle and behavioural factors exhibited by women following an early diagnosis of breast cancer and how this is related to body weight.
Congratulations to Jaana for her contribution to such an important event! It is fantastic to see her using insights from her research and clinical experience to support others and we eagerly await the full findings of her research.
If you are interested in developing public engagement activities around your research, please contact Becca on firstname.lastname@example.org
The British Science Association has just published details of the activities that will be taking place during the British Science Festival in Aberdeen 4-9th September. Can you can find the guide here.
The really exciting programme include appearances from famous faces (such as Brian Cox and Bill Bryson), talks (e.g. Offshore Emergencies: Medicine in Extreme Conditions), workshops (e.g. How to Solve Crime with Mathematics), evening events (e.g. the Science of Cocktails), family events in the city (e.g. the Science of Fireworks), family events at the beach (e.g. the Cosmic Dome), trips/tours (e.g. Sense-Walking) and exhibitions (e.g. Bubbles and Balloons).
Obviously, it is not that easy to attend the festival if you live locally to BU, but if you are interested in public engagement it is well worth looking at the programme. The mini-guide could also provide useful inspiration if you are planning to apply to run a public engagement activity at the Festival of Learning, here at BU.
Also, if you are an Early Career Researcher, or know of others that would benefit from the opportunity of getting involved at the Festival, the British Science Association is recruiting Festival Assistants. More details can be found here. Please note that the closing date for applications is 30th June.
If you are planning to go to the Festival, please contact Becca in the RDU on email@example.com – we would be delighted to know which aspects of the Festival of you think worked well and why.
The Society of Biology have announced details of their Science Communication Awards 2012.
The Awards are aimed to reward high quality public engagement work conducted by researchers helping to inform, enthuse and engage the public (including school groups, patients and any non-scientific audiences). The judges will be looking for all types of engagement activities (from talks to hands-on demonstrations) with added weight to projects that work with deprived communities.
There are two award categories:
New Researcher Prize: £750 (aimed at Masters/PhD students or first year post-docs)
Established Researcher Prize: £1500 (aimed early career researchers).
Nominations close on 1st August 2012 with the Awards presented at a ceremony in London on 16 October 2012.
If you are planning to enter a colleague or student, please do let Becca know on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01202 961206, we would love to hear about excellence in this area.
The AHRC and BBC have announced ten academics who have won the title of ‘BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Thinkers. The panel have selected some of the country’s brightest early-career academics who have potential to communicate their innovative research findings through engaging broadcasting. The winners of the scheme will receiving mentoring, are featuring this week on BBC Radio 3’ s Night Waves programme and will deliver talks during the Free Thinking Festival of Ideas. The selected ECRs will also be given the opportunity to develop ideas for television in-conjunction with BBC Television Arts.
Further details, can be found here.
If you are looking for ways in which to develop your public engagement activities, through the medium of radio, please contact Becca on email@example.com or 01202 961206.
Recently, I have read a highly thought provoking chapter by Professor Rosalind Gill (Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis at Kings College London), titled: Breaking the silence: the hidden injuries of neo-liberal academia. A copy of the article and full citation details can be found here.
The introduction to this chapter features excerpts of transcripts from academics drowning under the volume of e-mail, feeling hugely dejected owing to critical commentary from referees or struggling to balance work and family commitments. Gill’s research explores what she describes as the ‘secrets and silences of academic life’ and argues that academia represents an ‘excellent example of neoliberalisation of the workplace’ and that academics are ‘in many ways, model neoliberal subjects’, which in-turn has a high cost for those involved and an experience which is ‘gendered, racialised and classed’.
Not every reader would concur with Gill’s account, however, what the article does allow us to do is to consider the impacts that the competing pressures of academic life has on individuals and the broader research community in which they are situated.
But what has got this got to do with public engagement? On reading the article, I was reminded of conversations I have had with many about being feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of competing, yet essential, activities. For many, the increasing noise around public engagement is just another task to add to the ‘To-Do’ list, to be placed firmly below writing for peer reviewed activities, funding applications and teaching.
However, perhaps we need to think about public engagement as a way of enhancing your working life, rather than adding an additional burden. Public engagement activities are too often seen as a one way process similar to dissemination, without considering the benefits that public engagement has for the individual researcher. For example, one such benefit can be an increased sense that your research matters in society or that the insights you are developing are of interest to a much wider audience. Engaging with a wider public can also provide fresh perspective at a time when you are looking for fresh inspiration, such as responding to critical commentary or ensuring originality in your funding applications.
In order to maximise the mutual benefits of public engagement, BU has a dedicated Research Development Officer for Public Engagement, so please do not hesitate to contact Becca on firstname.lastname@example.org / 01202 961206 if you would think to discuss how you can develop public engagement activities around your research.
The ESRC has profiled key areas of ESRC funded research exploring many aspects of our lives through a series of videos and articles, which can be found here.
The research is grouped thematically around the iconic nursery rhyme ‘Monday’s Child’ and is well worth taking a few moments to look at (even if you don’t consider yourself a social scientist) as the themes have a considerable bearing on all of us.
I think the videos are also great examples of how to make short broadcasts about your research in a way that is engaging to many audiences. The short articles contained on the site are also not only interesting, but provide useful examples of how to communicate your research without ‘dumming down’ your findings.
Many congratulations to Dr Debbie Sadd, from the School of Tourism, who has been awarded funding to run an event during the ESRC Festival of Social Science which will be held during 3-10 November this year.
Her event London 2012: Was it worth it? will bring together up to 200 young people from local schools to debate the impact of the Olympic and Paralympic Games on the local area and the country as a whole. Speakers at the debate will include representatives from Dorset 2012, Sporting Legacy, Podium and BU. Not only will young people (and their teachers!) get to learn more about the research happening at Bournemouth University, it is hoped that the debate generated will help to inform future research.
Debbie’s event will also help young people engage with social science more generally by exploring the value of understanding evidence and critical thinking.
Along with our other successful events, this debate will help put BU on the Festival of Social Science map in what will be the tenth year of the festival!
Congratulations to HSC’s Dr Kip Jones who has been awarded funding from the ESRC to run a public engagement event as part of the ESRC’s Festival of Social Science later this year.
The event will be a multi-activity format including a screening of the film ‘Rufus Stone’ and launch of the method deck ‘Methods to Diversity’ –a community organising tool; day to include small group discussions, distribution and hands-on experience with the method deck, reports from Research Projects (BU & Equality SW); participation of Research Advisory Group and Intercom Trust.
This is excellent news – well done Kip 🙂
Today Associate Professor Chris Shiel is speaking at an Inside Government Conference – Internationalising Higher Education in the UK: Globalising Knowledge and Skills. This event brings together several central government departments, key actors from the private sector, senior academics and others to consider how to develop strategies to recruit students from our increasingly globalised world. The event will also help delegates to learn more about how to attract funding and to work with international partners to support the development of global employability skills. Specifically, Chris will speak on ‘The Cultural Value of an Internationally Mobile Student Population’.
The report discussed at this event stems from Think Global, of which Chris is Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees. This builds on the earlier contributions that Chris has made in developing the evidence base around this key topic, notably giving evidence to a House of Lords roundtable discussion chaired by Baroness Jolly and hosted by the British Council and Think Global. This session was joined by Dr Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business and Skills, which considered questions around how students can be prepare for the global labour market, identified core skills for young people in a globalised world and the challenges that need to be addressed to develop internationalisation.
Many people associate public engagement activities with engaging a very general public, but this illustrates how targeting a select group of individuals can ensure that your research findings reach the most appropriate individuals that are able to use the evidence created by research. Crucially, this is a two-way process; by engaging with policy makers in this way, this helps to inform future research by identifying prospective policy issues. Chris’ involvement also places Bournemouth University at the centre of the debate on this key issue facing the HE sector.
For further details of the conference taking place today, please click here. For more information about the submissions that Chris made at the House of Lords round table can be found here and here. Alternatively, please contact Chris directly to learn more about her work on email@example.com or if you would like to explore how your research can be used to inform government policy, please contact Becca on firstname.lastname@example.org.
As you may be aware, RCUK have created a Concordat for Engaging the Public with Research which aims to place a greater emphasis on public engagement and ensure that public engagement activities are embedded across all disciplinary areas. Signatures agree to the following principles:
- UK research organisations have a strategic commitment to public engagement
- Researchers are recognised and valued for their involvement with public engagement activities
- Researchers are enabled to participate in public engagement activities through appropriate training, support and opportunities
- The signatories and supporters of this Concordat will undertake regular reviews of their and the wider research sector’s progress in fostering public engagement across the UK.
The National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) has helped develop a series of guides to help senior managers, managers of researchers, researchers and supporters of researchers embed these principles into their work. These short, accessible guides can be found here and are recommended reading for all staff involved in research.
The Concordat also identifies that “Public engagement with research describes a diversity of activities including:
- Participating in festivals
- Working with museums / galleries / science centres and other cultural venues
- Creating opportunities for the public to inform the research questions being tackled
- Researchers and public working together to inform policy
- Presenting to the public (e.g. public lectures or talks)
- Involving the public as researchers (e.g. web based experiments)
- Engaging with young people to inspire them about research (e.g. workshops in schools)
- Contributing to new media enabled discussion forums”
If you would like to learn more about public engagement, and how we can support you to develop public engagement activities around your research, please do not hesitate to contact Becca on email@example.com or 01202 961206.
RCUK, with support the National HE STEM programme, have put together some short case studies detailing how academics have used public engagement as a pathway to impact. You can find these case studies here.
What is particularly of interest with these case studies, is the importance that the featured academics place on developing two-case engagement, rather than simply disseminating findings to a wider audience.
If you would like some support to do something similar around your own research, please do contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another opportunity to develop public engagement activities within a wider programme of learning, is during the Festival of Learning that BU is running next year. You can find out more here with a deadline for applications on 31st July 2012. Again, if you would like some help to put together your application, please do contact me on email@example.com.
You may already be aware that we have recently seen the launch of Bournemouth University’s Dementia Institute (BUDI), more details of which can be found on the Health and Social Care blog and BUDI’s website. This event brought together nearly 100 participants, two thirds of which had a professional interest in dementia, with a considerable proportion of the remainder attending for more personal reasons.
Encapsulating BU’s Fusion concept (with inclusion of research, teaching and practice), the launch event brought together what has been described as the three sides of the public engagement triangle. This includes transmitting (sharing results of previous research on dementia through presentations), receiving (learning from practitioners and service users about the key research issues) and collaborating (creating a dialogue to inform future research).
Part of BUDI’s key driving force is the need to promote high quality care and support for the population for dementia. Therefore, the process of public engagement is particularly important for BUDI, as it considers a key issue for Dorset – why does the county have the lowest level of dementia diagnosis, despite its elderly population? Currently available data does not provide an obvious answer to this, and it is likely that only by working with key stakeholders and the at risk population, that insights may be gained into this startling statistic.
BUDI Director, Prof Anthea Innes’ opening talk (What does dementia mean to you?) brought together some of her findings from her esteemed research career in a way that was accessible to the audience as a whole, but also sensitive to those for whom dementia is a highly emotive subject. Michele Board – a Senior Lecturer in the School of Health and Social Care and a senior nurse in the memory clinic at Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – then gave a powerful account of insights into how the individual’s experience can be improved from her experience of working in the memory clinic. Again, this was informative for those of us with limited knowledge and for the more expert attendee. The final part of the event focused around a panel discussion, chaired by Prof Gail Thomas, Dean of the School of Health and Social Care. Alongside the speakers, the panel included Karen Cosgrove from Alzheimers.org.uk and Steve Collins from Age UK who with their extensive practice experience helped generate a lively discussion, where knowledge was exchanged and attendees were able to flag up areas of potential future research.
During the launch, I had a strong sense that the event was enabling a genuine process of public engagement to occur between our academic community, practitioners and other key stakeholders. I am therefore, delighted to learn that the results of the event evaluation demonstrate that this was very much the case for many of the participants. I know that BUDI are planning far more public engagement activities, which is I think will be both hugely positive for the progression of the research, for those involved in professional practice as well as for those affected by dementia, both patients and carers. As an academic institution, we perhaps uniquely positioned to be able to bring such a range of stakeholders together, share world-class research, learn from those that are directly impacted by research findings and develop a research agenda that we can be confident is relevant to our fast-changing world. If you would like to know more about why it worked so well or are interested in learning more about how you could develop public engagement activities around your research, please do not hesitate to contact Dr Rebecca Edwards on firstname.lastname@example.org, or for more information about BUDI contact Professor Anthea Innes on email@example.com
During last week’s British Science Association’s Science Communication conference, one of the many networking activities was the appearance of a Lonely Heart’s board. This wasn’t a specialist dating scheme for scientists, but sought to make connections around communication and science.
Mainly, these are aimed at PhD students/Early Career Researchers, and can potentially provide great opportunities to develop your public engagement activities, which in turn can contribute to enhanced research and improved skills.
Sis@britishscienceassociation.org is looking for researchers and is offering training on science communication and social impacts of research
Tom.Horner@britishscienceassociation.org is offering volunteering opportunities with the British Science Association branches and organising events.
Robin@sciencemediacentre.org is offering volunteering opportunities/internships at the Science Media Centre (typically 4 weeks in a busy press office) for people with a science background looking for media experience.
Alexa.Mills@esrc.ac.uk is looking for 450 1st year PhD students to speak and inspire at the ESRC/DTC conference in September on impact, online research methods, open access data or quantitative methods.
C.H.Packman@exeter.ac.uk is looking for a partner to work on an ESRC Knowledge Exchange project bid working with schools – ideally researchers with science and social science expertise in the life sciences, especially medical sociology, health and reproduction.
F.Swain@rss.org.uk is looking for post-doc scientists to speak at training workshops for journalists and press officers.
Farrah.firstname.lastname@example.org is looking for festival assistants at the British Science Festival in Aberdeen.
If you plan to follow any of these up, please do drop email@example.com a line. You might like to attach the relevant image if you plan to follow up the original contacts to jog their memory!
The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is offering public engagement training for researchers working on a BBSRC funded grants or in BBSRC funded institutions.
This is a one day course that will provide an introduction to public engagement, the need to develop public engagement activities, social/ethical issues involved in public engagement and evaluation of public engagement activities. The course is particularly suited to early career researchers and PhD students.
The course will take place at the MRC (1 Kemble St, London) on 10th July.
For further details, please go to: http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/petraining or alternatively contact Emma Longridge on firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you plan to attend, I would be very interested to learn more about your experience of the training, so please do contact me on email@example.com.