Opportunities Calendar

Call for applications | EIFF Ideas Lab
Sep 14 @ 5:00 pm

Do you know any screenwriters or directors who would like access to world-leading research? Tell them to apply for this opportunity by 5pm on Friday 14th September 2018!

We’re working in partnership with the Edinburgh International Film Festival on this Wellcome-funded initiative, which will give eight screenwriters/directors visits to three research institutions and £1,000 each.

Edinburgh International Science Festival Call for Ideas 2019
Sep 14 @ 5:00 pm

The open call to be part of the 2019 Edinburgh International Science Festival is now live, with a deadline of 5pm on Friday 14th September 2018.

The call is open to anyone – individuals, groups or organisations – with bright ideas and a passion for communicating them. You could be working in the sciences, but also the arts or cultural sectors or disciplines.

In honour of the 50th anniversary of the Moon landings, the 2019 Festival theme is Frontiers, exploring the boundaries of knowledge and the spirit of adventure and enquiry that drives science, technology, engineering and maths. Within this theme, specific areas of focus will include Healthcare Frontiers, Engineering Frontiers, Digital Frontiers, Environmental Frontiers and Planetary Frontiers.

N.B. University of Edinburgh staff and students wishing to take part in the University’s family programme at the National Museum of Scotland are asked to send proposals to Janet Paterson (who coordinates the family programme applications on behalf of the Uni) by 14th September 2018. 

Take part in New Scientist Live @ ExCeL
Sep 18 all-day

Posted on behalf of New Scientist Live

New Scientist Live is an award-winning festival of ideas and discoveries for everyone curious about science and why it matters. From 19th to 23rd September, we’re bringing together more than 140 speakers and 100 exhibitors at ExCeL to create an unrivalled atmosphere and energy, packed with thought-provoking talks, ground-breaking discoveries, interactive experiences, workshops and performances.


A number of university public engagement teams have chosen to work with us in previous years to help researchers access a high quality platform for their engagement and to benefit from exposure to a very lively and engaging festival.

There are several ways to get involved…

There is a charge for exhibiting at the festival and a small honorarium for speakers.

We are really keen to support researchers to participate, and to provide opportunities for them to involve some of their priority audiences.  For this reason we are offering members of the NCCPE network who exhibit 40 complimentary tickets rather than the standard 20. These are often used by universities to bring disadvantaged students and are in addition to exhibitor passes.

If you are involved in public engagement and want to showcase your research or university, please contact Jacqui McCarron on either jacqui.mccarron@newscientist.com or 020 7611 1248 quoting NCCPE40. If you have already booked an exhibition stand, please contact Jacqui who will adjust your ticket allocation.

Explorathon 2018 @ Edinburgh and beyond
Sep 28 – Sep 29 all-day

European Researchers Night 2018

Fancy being part of Explorathon 2018, AKA European Researchers Night?

This September, do you fancy sharing your research in a pan-European event? Explorathon 2018 takes place on Friday 28th and Saturday 29th September 2018.

Explorathon is Scotland’s event for EU Researchers’ Night. Researchers’ Night takes place on the last Friday in September each year. It is a public celebration of research that takes place in more than 300 cities across Europe.

You don’t need to be funded by the European Commission to take part in Researchers’ Night, and you can be working on any area of research – the arts, humanities and social sciences are welcome.

Universities in Scotland first ran Explorathon in 2014. This year, events will take place in the cities of Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh and St Andrews. The Beltane Public Engagement Network coordinates the events in Edinburgh. The Scottish event as a whole is led by the University of Aberdeen. 

Last year, around 3,000 members of the public turned out across the city to see events in venues including Ocean Terminal, WHALE Arts, the City of Edinburgh Methodist Church, the City Chambers, and many more.  This year, we hope to see many more people! Training will also be available the last week of July, with gamification training for specific activities in September.

If you would like to be involved, we are looking for both researchers and volunteers for the following venues:

Friday 28 September

The Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh

The Botanics will once again be a venue for researchers to share their research through drop-in activities from 12 – 4pm. The audience will predominately be adults, with a smaller audience of 5-10 year olds. The theme for the Botanics in 2018 is ‘Native’, so although anything is welcome, there is also the opportunity to align with this theme.

Various schools across Edinburgh

Activities aimed at school groups can be shared across Edinburgh schools, either coordinated by university Widening Participation teams, or through University or Project specific contacts. Activities will take place on Friday morning, as Edinburgh schools finish at lunchtime.

Café Scientifique

Cafe Scientifique is an open and informal forum for the public discussion of science and engineering! The cafe is committed to encouraging public engagement with science and engineering by hosting monthly Cafes in which expert speakers are discussing timely topics with an audience of non-specialists. As part of Explorathon, Café Scientifique will take place in a central Edinburgh venue.

“New Scots” Science Ceilidh

Science Ceilidh is an award-winning science engagement project exploring research with traditional arts for communities across Scotland. This includes our long-term projects working with the Edinburgh “New Scots’ community (including Syrian refugees, immigrants and asylum seekers) to explore culture, including arts, music, language and science. For Explorathon, we are looking to partner with up to three individual researchers or research groups to run workshops with the New Scots community, possibly from August and certainly September, leading to a celebration “ceilidh” for the Explorathon itself (Friday night) sharing some of the learning through these new collaborations between researchers and New Scots, open to everyone. All disciplines welcome to apply – both science and humanities/social science, many of the activities will involve a mix of young children and adults.

See more: www.scienceceilidh.com/new-scots

Saturday 29 September


Building on our Explorathon activity with WHALE Arts in previous years, we will be basing one of our hubs there in 2018.  WHALE is situated in Wester Hailes in the South West of Edinburgh and is the cultural anchor organisation in its area.  It is a community-led charity and social enterprise, set up by local people in 1992. WHALE’s regular projects connect the community with creative opportunities and offer something for all ages and abilities.  We will be working with the WHALE team to create an interactive day around a number of themes: food, sustainability, placemaking and wellbeing. We are looking for researchers who use gamification and other methods of public engagement to engage for an interactive day for all the family.  Activities will take place during the day

The Lyell Centre @ Heriot-Watt

This year, the Explorathon coincides with Edinburgh Doors Open Day. To the west of the city, Heriot-Watt and BGS’s new marine and earth science centre will be opening their doors, and we will be looking for marine and earth focused activities and talks. Last years event attracted >700 people from a variety of backgrounds, and we will be building on increasing this diversity through work with local community groups. Activities and talks will take place from 10am – 4pm.

Leith Labs @ Ocean Terminal

Leith Labs is the world’s longest research-in-residency programme in a shopping centre situated in Ocean Terminal in Leith. The project aims to link the curiosity of Leithers with researchers, reaching and eventually empowering communities who many not usually go to science events (our evaluation suggest this is at least 59% of our audiences) with events year round. Activities have included table-top drop-in experiments, “science busking”, informal talks and discussions at the Living Memory Association. If you’re interested running any of these formats working with different audiences, exploring some of the 322-odd questions we’ve received from the Leith community or even partnering with a Leith Labs community scientist who has a question to ask, get in touch! All disciplines welcome (not just science!).

See more: www.scienceceilidh.com/leithlabs

Please register your interest here – note that this doesn’t commit you to anything! Any questions, please contact Explorathon@hw.ac.uk. We aim to be back in touch with all contributors in July 2018.

Key contacts for Explorathon at universities in Edinburgh are:

Public engagement evaluation training (Methods for Change)
Oct 1 all-day

Flexible 4-week online course – join when it suits you

This course will help you to:

  • Identify outcomes and develop an evaluation plan
  • Design a qualitative evaluation for your public engagement activity
  • Design a quantitative evaluation for your public engagement activity
  • Design a questionnaire to evaluate your public engagement activity

The course has been developed by Eric Jensen (Associate Professor, Dept. of Sociology, University of Warwick), a leading social scientist specializing in innovative methods of conducting impact evaluation research in informal learning and public engagement contexts.

Royal Academy of Engineering Ingenious Public Engagement Awards
Oct 1 all-day

Closing date for applications: 4pm, Monday 1 October 2018

Ingenious, the Royal Academy of Engineering’s public engagement grant scheme is now open for applications.

Apply now for funding for between £3,000 and £30,000.

If you or your colleagues have an imaginative idea that could help engineers to communicate their expertise and passion for engineering to a wider audience, the Academy wants to hear from you. You could be an engineer interested in running your own project, or a science or engineering public engagement professional keen to explore ways to provide public engagement training and opportunities.

Ingenious is an grant scheme for projects that engage the public with engineers and engineering. Ingenious projects provide opportunities for engineers to take part in public engagement activities, to gain skills in communication and to bring engineering to the very centre of society.

Ingenious aims to:

  • inspire creative public engagement with engineering projects
  • motivate engineers to share their stories, passion and expertise with wider audiences and develop their communication and engagement skills
  • raise awareness of the diversity, nature and impact of engineering among people of all ages and backgrounds
  • provide opportunities for engineers to engage with members of the public from groups currently underrepresented in engineering

The Royal Academy of Engineering prioritises projects that reach diverse and underrepresented audiences including communities in the top 25% most deprived neighbourhoods in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and that engage with engineers and people of different genders, ages and ethnic backgrounds.

The Academy welcome proposals from engineers, universities, science and engineering communicators and engagement professionals, colleges and schools.

Funding will be awarded in April 2019 with projects running from May 2019 to July 2020.


Science Presenter posts at Be Experimental (Edinburgh, Central Scotland and Borders)
Oct 1 all-day

be-experimentalFreelance Science Presenters 

Central Scotland 

Competitive hourly rate

 No application deadline

We are always looking for dynamic freelance science presenters to deliver our science experiments, demonstrations and workshops to people of all ages. We have a schools and nursery  programme, we run events for groups and clubs, and provide entertainment for parties and events.

You should have experience of working with children and presenting science to public audiences, and be enthusiastic and engaging. Must be a self-starter. A driving licence and access to a reliable car is essential.

To apply, please send a CV and covering letter to lindsaymurphy@beexperimental.co.uk.

STFC Public Engagement Funding opportunities: Reaction Awards
Oct 3 all-day

The STFC Reaction Award https://stfc.ukri.org/public-engagement/public-engagement-grants/pe-funding-opportunities/pe-reaction-awards/ scheme is still open. The Reaction Awards scheme will allow the funding of public engagement programmes that are a fast response to new and/or unexpected significant developments related to STFC’s science and technology remit.

Applicants to The Reaction Awards Scheme are advised contact the Public Engagement Team STFCPublicEngagementTeam@stfc.ac.uk to discuss their Reaction Award application.

Proposed engagement programmes for Reaction Awards must clearly focus around the remit of the STFC science programme (astronomy, solar and planetary science, particle physics, particle astrophysics, cosmology, nuclear physics and accelerator science) or clearly and demonstrably align to the science and technology work of STFC’s national and international laboratories and facilities.

The Institute of Physics public engagement grant scheme is now open!
Oct 3 all-day

The Institute of Physics public engagement grant scheme is now open!

Our public engagement grant scheme now provides up to £3,000 to individuals and organisations running physics-based events and activities in the UK and Ireland. We are looking to fund projects starting after February 2019 and finishing within a year.

To find out more about the scheme and to access guidelines on how to apply, visit the grant scheme webpage (http://www.iop.org/about/grants/outreach/page_38843.html).

Applications must be received by 5pm on Monday 29 October.

If you have any questions regarding the application process or project eligibility, please check out our frequently asked questions (http://www.iop.org/about/grants/outreach/faqs/page_71995.html). Applicants are invited to talk to Emma Watson, Outreach Officer, before submitting their application. Emma can be reached by email to engagement@iop.org or by telephone on 020 7470 4822.

Information on the types of projects we have funded previously is available here (http://www.iop.org/about/grants/outreach/page_71797.html).

We wish you the best of luck with your application.

Communicating Partnerships: Visual methods and participatory design for communicating public engagement @ The Glassroom
Oct 5 @ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Part of a series of seminars organised by colleagues at Edinburgh Napier University. Free and open to all.

Booking is essential – email k.jamieson@napier.ac.uk.