Beltane Public Engagement Network

Opportunities Calendar

Beltane Public Engagement Fellowships | Call for Applications 2017/18
Oct 30 all-day



The Beltane Public Engagement Network (Beltane) is a network for people interested in making academic research accessible to a wide variety of audiences. We work with the four Edinburgh universities: the University of Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh Napier University and Queen Margaret University.

To date we have appointed 34 Beltane Public Engagement Fellows and two honorary Beltane Fellows, including five Parliament Fellowships. Beltane Fellowships undertaken between 2008 and 2015.

This year’s Fellowships are funded by the Institute for Academic Development at the University of Edinburgh and are only open to the University of Edinburgh staff at this time.  We are expecting to put out separate calls for Edinburgh Napier and Heriot Watt University staff shortly.

Now that public engagement and impact activities are recognised as essential to a researchers’ role these Fellowships do not buy out a researchers time, but instead provide funds (up to £1k) for training, travel and/or activities.  In addition, Fellows will have access to mentoring, advice and practical assistance to develop a portfolio of public engagement activities.

Purpose, scope and themes

Beltane Fellowships in are for academic and research staff. The Fellowships provide funding, mentoring, training, advice and practical support for staff to develop their portfolio of public engagement activities.

It is not essential, but it is desirable that you are able to show that your engagement activity is relevant to one of the six RCUK cross cutting themes in a Scottish context. The themes are:

  • Digital economy
  • Energy
  • Global Food Security
  • Global uncertainties; security for all in a changing world
  • Living with environmental change
  • Lifelong health and wellbeing

In addition the Beltane has a close partnership with Scotland’s Futures Forum based at the Scottish Parliament and there is an opportunity for the Fellowship to be hosted by SFF if the topic chosen is relevant to Scottish Parliament future business.

All Fellowship applications must show how the proposed work is relevant in the Scottish context.


Eligibility and funding

To be eligible for a Beltane Fellowship in 2017-18 you must be a member of academic or research staff at the University of Edinburgh; support staff are not eligible to apply. You must be employed at grade 6 level or above. If you are employed on a fixed-term contract, your termination date must be beyond December 2018.

Funding for University of Edinburgh applicants is provided by the Institute for Academic Development. We are expecting to put out separate calls for Edinburgh Napier, Heriot Watt and Queen Margaret University staff shortly.

All applicants must provide written support from their supervisor, line manager, Head of School or other equivalent as part of their initial application.

All applicants must be provisionally available to attend for interview on the 15 November 2017.


Application process

The application process consists of a short form and an interview. Key dates are:

  • Deadline for form submission: 11 am, Monday  30 October 2017
  • Interview for shortlisted candidates: Wednesday 15 November 2017
  • Deadline for notification of interview outcomes: Early December 2017
  • Fellowship start date: 1st January 2018
  • Latest date for Fellowship completion: 30 June 2018

Beltane Fellowship application form (Word)

Beltane Fellowship application form (PDF)

Expected outcomes

Examples of suitable activities for consideration would include but are not limited to:

  • Developing and managing a cross-discipline or cross-institution public event in an area relevant to public policy.
  • Working closely with government, charitable or public-interest agencies to foster links between academia, policy makers and the public.
  • Developing training programmes for staff development in the skills required for good public engagement.  This could include transferring existing models of best practice in training to or from the Fellow’s own institution.
  • Stimulate, support, and facilitate public engagement activity across an institution, School, Faculty or department by developing a network of PE practitioners, creating a web presence about PE activity and/or Co-ordinating and recording engagement activities across the institution.
  • Working with media partners to develop materials (print, film or podcast) for a media campaign about research in an area relevant to public policy.

We expect to see reflective evaluation by the Fellow of their experience and activities. We also hope that Fellows will share their learning with the members of the Beltane and beyond; this could be achieved through the maintenance of a reflective blog, or by publishing a detailed case study.

On completion of the Fellowship, the Fellow is expected to act as a key contact and ambassador for public engagement within their institution. The Fellow is also required to disseminate the outcomes of the Fellowship to colleagues at their employing institution.


Appointment criteria

Factors which will be taken into account when choosing candidates for appointment are:

  • Timeliness.
  • How relevant the applicant’s research is to the call theme (where applicable).
  • Whether the Fellowship will include cross-disciplinary or cross-institution activities.
  • Whether the Fellowship will be supported by contributions in-kind, such as hosting at a non-academic organisation.
  • Whether the Fellowship has the support and involvement of non-academic partners.
  • Whether there are plans for evaluation and dissemination strategies.
  • Whether the proposed work has the potential to leverage further funding.
  • Whether the proposed work has potential to feed into public policymaking process.
  • Whether the applicant has plans for post-Fellowship propagation of engagement activities in their home institution.
  • How the candidate will use the resources of the Beltane Network for their development plans.

Previous experience in public engagement activities will not necessarily be an advantage and we would encourage staff new to this area to apply. 


Questions and advice

 We encourage anyone considering an application for a Beltane Fellowship to contact us before submitting their form. Beltane staff will be able to offer informal advice and answer any specific questions you may have.

Take part in Edinburgh Science Festival free family fun day
Nov 3 all-day


Deadline for proposing ideas is Friday 3rd November 2017

Heriot-Watt University’s Oriam sport’s centre will be hosting a free family fun day on Saturday 14th April 2017 as part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival. Staff and students from all universities in Edinburgh are invited to get involved. Some funding is available for activities, and all other costs are covered.

The format for the day is still in development, but there are likely to be:

  • Drop-in activities
  • A  ‘Crystal Maze’ style set of research-led challenges

Community groups from Livingston/West Lothian areas, and Sighthill/Wester Hailes will hopefully be in attendance, so this is a chance to potentially reach a different audience.

The IOP Public Engagement Grant Scheme 2017 is now open
Nov 3 all-day

Our public engagement grant scheme provides up to £2000 to individuals and organisations running physics-based events and activities in the UK and Ireland. The grant scheme has two rounds each year. The second round of the 2017 scheme is now open. You can find the application from and guidance here. This grant is for projects finishing before the end of July 2018.

We strongly recommend applicants get in touch with Emma Watson, outreach officer, to discuss ideas and ask questions before submission. You can get in touch by emailing

To find out more about projects we have previously funded please visit:

You can apply by completing the application form found on our website: Application must be sent to by 12 noon on Friday 3 November 2017. Applications sent after this date will not be accepted.

Dunbar Science Club | Invitation to deliver workshops @ Bleachingfield Community Centre
Nov 6 all-day

We would like to invite Edinburgh Researchers to deliver workshops for Dunbar Science Club on a Saturday morning during 2017.

Dunbar Science Club

Dunbar Science Club was created in 2011 by a small team of volunteer parents of pupils attending Dunbar Primary School.  Our objective is to inspire and encourage a life-long interest in science amongst children living in the Dunbar Cluster area by running an annual programme of varied workshops provided by local scientists (including volunteer parents) and external providers.

Dunbar Science Club was an initiative of Dunbar PS’s Parent Council’s “Science, Maths, Engineering & Technology Sub Group” that also created the annual award winning community science festival, Dunbar SciFest.

Dunbar Science Club is supported by Community Windpower Ltd, who also support Dunbar SciFest.

Please see the Dunbar Science Club Facebook page and our website to see previous workshop blogs etc.

Dunbar Science Club Workshops

We deliver three one-hour long workshops, ideally fortnightly between September and June annually. The first two workshops, starting at 9.30am and 10.30am are for children aged 5-8 and the third workshop, starting at 11.30am, is for children aged 9-12+.

We open the online workshop booking, via our own Dunbar Science Club App, two weeks before the workshop date.

Dunbar Science Club Workshops Dates 2017

  1. 01.17
  2. 02.17
  3. 02.17
  4. 03.17
  5. 03.17
  6. 04.17
  7. 05.17
  8. 05.17
  9. 06.17
  10. 06.17

Are you interested in delivering workshops for Dunbar Science Club?

If so, please contact the organiser asap and confirm the following:

  1. Which date / dates from the list above you would be available to deliver your workshop activities?
  1. That you are happy to deliver 3 x 45-50 minute duration workshops within the hour-long slots, starting at 9.30, 10.30 & 11.30am?
  1. That your workshop activities are suitable for the 2 age groups (5-8 and 9-12+)? Please note that we are very happy for you to use us as ‘guinea pigs’ to test out activities that may wish to run at open days, science festivals etc.
  1. How many people will deliver the workshops?
  1. Whether you charge a fee and if so how much or whether you’d be happy for us to cover your travel expenses? We will provide hot drinks and snacks from the Ridge Cafe

We would need you to provide the following information asap please:

  • Workshop Title
  • Workshop descriptive blurb (ideally 50 words, max 100 words)
  • The capacity of each workshop – please advise us on what you think will work best for your activity, anywhere between 10-30 children per session
  • Workshop Risk Assessment
NUCLEUS DISSEMINATION OFFICER | Vacancy @ Rhine-Waal University
Nov 6 all-day

Rhine-Waal University is are currently inviting applications for the following vacancy in the Faculty of Technology and Bionics, Kleve Campus, to be filled as soon as possible:

Reference number 08/F1/17 Research Associate (m/f) in Science Communication, German TV-L pay scale E13, fixed-term contract until 31.08.2019 according to section 2 (2) of the German Academic Fixed-Term Contract Act (WissZeitVG), full-time.

Full details available via the website linked above.

Public engagement evaluation training (Methods for Change)
Nov 6 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.

Science Presenter posts at Be Experimental (Edinburgh, Central Scotland and Borders)
Nov 6 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

Telling my story: Analysing and Reporting on Outcomes @ Royal Pharmaceutical Society
Nov 9 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

This informative workshop investigates how to pull together evidence and make sense of it, even though it might be coming from different places and consists of different types of data!

You will gain the latest understanding of best practice in reporting and explore what a positive funder relationship looks like.

Using evaluation for learning is just as important as using it to provide outcome evidence for your funders and this workshop examines how your evaluation practice can achieve both of these and more.

At this workshop you will learn how to:

  • Analyse information collected to evidence the achievement of your project outcomes
  • Report on the achievement of project outcomes to funders and stakeholders
  • Learn from the analysis to improve project delivery
Communications Toolkit for a Public Audience @ Institute for Academic Development, University of Edinburgh
Nov 9 @ 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
This workshop is ideal for researchers who are new to engaging members of the public with their research. It is an interactive session which looks at:

– Reasons to communicate (with different publics)

– Thinking about your audience in terms of who they are, their motivations for being there, how to facilitate a good experience

– Various tools to build a narrative e.g. simple structures, jargon busting, use of questions, signposts, body language

By the end of this workshop you will be able to:

1. Draw from a selection of communication tools to perfect how you talk about your research.

2. Consider your audiences’, and your own, experiences of participating in research communication.

3. Have at your disposal a tried and tested 1 minute talk about your research.

University of Edinburgh staff and students can book a place using MyEd.

For Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh Napier University, Queen Margaret University staff and others please book a place by contacting Louise McKay (


Deputy Head of Public Engagement | Vacancy @ University of Bristol
Nov 12 all-day

Our Public Engagement team builds capacity for engagement across the University, embeds engagement in our structures and processes, works with staff and students to develop and carry out their public engagement ideas, and runs a programme of innovative engagement activities.

The post holder will be responsible for: leading on the public engagement team’s engaged learning theme; managing the public engagement team’s major grant-based activities and ensuring that they contribute to the action plan; developing funding bids and opportunities to increase the capacity of staff and students to undertake engagement beyond academia; and line managing staff associated with engaged learning and grants.  If you have significant knowledge and experience of public engagement at a senior level, can handle the peculiarities and random things that a university can throw at you and are excited by tackling new opportunities, we’d love to hear from you.


Contract type: full time

Salary: £42,418 to £49,149

Closing date: 12th November

For more details and to apply please go to or search on for SUPP103672.  If you have any questions about the role, please contact me on

Contact Us

The Beltane Public Engagement Network
The Institute for Academic Development
1 Morgan Lane, Edinburgh, EH8 8FP

Phone: 0131 650 4874/4875

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