Launching Beltane Sparks

To celebrate the Beltane Public Engagement Network turning 10, we are launching our inaugural Beltane Sparks Programme, to encourage the development of new and innovative partnerships between researchers from across the Edinburgh universities, focused on engaging the public in their research.

The Beltane partnership was originally formed in 2008, when the universities in Edinburgh were awarded over £1 million of funding to become an RCUK Beacon for Public Engagement. The mission of the Beltane Network is to support and advance a culture of public engagement with research at its partner universities. It aims to make it easier for researchers to undertake excellent, impactful public engagement with research and for partner organisations and individuals to locate and work successfully with our researchers.

Through this new cooperative model, we are exploring ways we can support interdisciplinary, multi-institution public engagement initiatives that create two-way dialogue with publics and community groups. The Beltane Sparks is one of the new ways we will be working together to facilitate high quality public engagement with research.

The Call

The call is open to researchers with an interest in public engagement, from all levels and areas of academia and public engagement experience, and applications are due 5pm on 10 May, 2019. During the half day workshop, attendees will be supported to come up with innovative public engagement projects within cross-institution, multi-disciplinary teams. Teams will pitch their idea, Dragons-Den style, to a prestigious panel, who will award funding to the winning team to pilot their idea.

The Panel
We are delighted to be welcoming Public Engagement experts from UK Research and Innovation, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and one of our key local community partners, WHALE Arts Agency, to be part of our expert panel. Places are limited and will be allocated based on the following criteria:

  1. An understanding of the importance of engaging the public in research
  2. The ability to embrace new and inspiring thinking

We will be looking for a range of researchers at different levels and areas of academia and from across all Edinburgh-based research institutions. All applicants must be available to attend the workshop in Edinburgh from 1-5pm on Thursday 13 June 2019.

Timescales and Decision making

Get your application to us by 5pm on 10 May, 2019. Your application will then go through an assessment process involving a selection panel of public engagement experts from the four Edinburgh Universities. We will inform applicants of the outcomes of the decision-making process by end May 2019.

Apply here