Beltane Public Engagement Network

Opportunities Calendar

Be part of Explorathon 2017!
May 30 @ 11:41 am – Jun 30 @ 5:00 pm

As part of the annual EU Researchers’ Night, Explorathon is back! This year’s event will be running in venues across Edinburgh on Friday 29th September, and we aim to build on the success of previous years, creating opportunities for researchers from all disciplines to share and discuss their work with a range of audiences. All information on this year’s event, including how to register an interest in participating, can be found on our website:

The deadline for expressions of interest is 5pm on Friday 30th June.


Dunbar Science Club | Invitation to deliver workshops @ Bleachingfield Community Centre
Jun 5 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
Public engagement evaluation training (Methods for Change)
Jun 5 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.

Public engagement funding opportunity | RCPathologists
Jun 5 all-day

The Royal College of Pathologists is pleased to announce that applications are now open for the Public Engagement Innovation Grant Scheme. We are looking for new projects that engage audiences such as school students, undergraduates, health professionals or local communities with pathology.

If you have an innovative idea which could help pathologists communicate the role they play in healthcare then we want to hear from you. There is funding of £1000 available.

The deadline for submissions is Monday 5 June 2017.

Science Presenter posts at Be Experimental (Edinburgh, Central Scotland and Borders)
Jun 5 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

Facilitation Skills @ 1.18 Paterson's Land
Jun 5 @ 9:30 am – 5:00 pm

Do you need facilitation skills to do your job? Probably: good facilitation skills are critical to team working, collaborating with other teams and organisations, planning and holding meetings, and small group teaching.

If you’d like to improve the communication and inter-personal skills needed to facilitate well, this course may be for you!

Skills You’ll Develop

– Enabling everyone to speak openly about their views, interests and needs

– Thinking together to tackle difficult problems or get a job done

– Fostering creativity and realise the potential for ‘group intelligence’

– Handling dominant voices and ensure all participants are heard

– Working through conflict without confrontation

– Recognising different patterns of communication and encourage ‘authentic’ communication

Using your power as a facilitator constructively

Training Approach

Our training approach integrates some ‘theory’ with a lot of opportunities to practice. Specifically, we will:

– Introduce key concepts – about different forms of communication and styles of facilitation, and about collaboration

– Work on key skills and common challenges, giving you experience of some different techniques and approaches

– Make this relevant to your circumstances and needs, and encourage your reflective practice.

What this Course Does Not Cover

Facilitation involves two skill sets: thinking strategically (for planning and evaluation); and attending to communication and inter-personal dynamics in these critical conversations. This one-day course aims to build capacity in the latter skill set only.

While this course is extremely useful for people wishing to engage others with their research, this won;t be a specific focus on the day.


This course is intended for people who already do some facilitation and want the opportunity to reflect on and deepen their practice in this area. Postgraduate researchers, and others new to faciltation and dialogue, are encouraged to attend Public Engagement Beyond Public Lectures instead.

This course is strictly limited to 16 participants.


This course is free of charge to staff (academic, professional and support) from universities in Edinburgh. Individuals from other organisations are welcome to attend, but the cost is £95, payable here.

Your Trainers

Dr Wendy Faulkner is a freelance dialogue practitioner. Working largely with Oliver Escobar, she has trained some 300 people looking to build facilitation skills – for public engagement in research, community empowerment and collaboration with stakeholders. Wendy also designs and facilitates engagement processes for academic, public and third sector organisations.


Dr Oliver Escobar is Lecturer in Public Policy at the University of Edinburgh, and Co-Director of What Works Scotland, a large research programme to improve public services and policy innovation. His areas of research, teaching and practice are democracy, politics, policy, participation and collaboration. He coordinates the Citizen Participation Network, has trained and worked with hundreds of public engagement practitioners, and is involved in developing democratic innovations across various policy arenas in Scotland and beyond.

What Works Scotland:

Oliver’s blog:

Twitter: @OliverEscobar

Public Engagement Beyond Public Lectures! @ 1.18 Paterson's Land
Jun 6 @ 9:00 am – Jun 7 @ 5:00 pm

This session of the course is FREE to staff and students from universities in Edinburgh! Individuals from other organisations are welcome, but a charge applies.

dialogue-handbookTarget audience

  • Postgraduate research students
  • Staff (academic and professional) who are new to the principles of dialogic communication and facilitation

Open to all academic disciplines and members of any university, and to people working in other types of organisation.

Why take this course?

Researchers are now expected to do some form of public engagement – to interact with particular stakeholder groups and/or wider ‘publics’ – in order to to increase the impact of their research. The impact of public engagement is strongest when researchers talk with people rather than at them, and researchers are open to hearing what members of the public have to say. Come to this course to:

  • Get an introduction to the principles of two-way ‘dialogic’ communication
  • Build your skills in facilitating dialogic communication
  • Think strategically about how to design dialogic public engagement activities, including how to communicate with your research’s audience from the very start of your research project (instead of just telling them what you’ve done when it’s over)
  • Understand the difference between ‘dialogue’ (to increase understanding) and ‘deliberation’ (to come to a decision), and why both are needed
  • Develop the skills needed to reflect and improve upon your engagement practice and wider communication techniques long after the course has ended

Whether you’re planning to work with government, business, product and service end-users, or citizens, this course could help you make your engagement more effective. You’ll leave with a toolbox of skills that you can use in a range of different settings where two-way communication is beneficial, including (but not only) public engagement with research.

Feedback on the October 2015 session

 “Thank you for a wonderful course”

“Absolutely fantastic. Went above and beyond my expectations”

“I was impressed with how the content was delivered and pleased to learn that we would apply our learning as we went along”

“It was a welcoming environment where I felt confident and comfortable to learn”

“A brilliant starting point for public engagement”

“I came out knowing more about myself and how I communicate, and how to improve my communication”


This course is FREE for staff and students from universities in Edinburgh! This is a trial, and we may need to revert to charging if the no-show rate is high.

If you are not a member of staff or a student from a university in Edinburgh, the cost is £190. This includes lunch and refreshments on both days, and the course handbooks in hard copy.

Your trainers

Wendy Faulkner is passionate about people participating in decisions that affect them, and about the benefits of dialogue. New understandings and possibilities can emerge when people think and work together in a spirit of deep listening and learning, and where difference is respected. A former academic, she now works freelance designing and facilitating collaborative conversations, be they exploratory or deliberative, single events or staged processes.
 Her experience covers public engagement in research, community engagement, and collaboration with stakeholders. 
She has trained some 300 people in these areas, largely with Oliver Escobar, for the Edinburgh Beltane Network and other community and third sector bodies. Wendy has an enduring love of Scottish tweeds – hence her trading name Talking Tweed.


Oliver Escobar is Lecturer in Public Policy at the University of Edinburgh, and Co-Director of What Works Scotland, a large research programme to improve public services and policy innovation. His areas of research, teaching and practice are democracy, politics, policy, participation and collaboration. He is on the Board of Democratic Audit UK, Beltane Public Engagement Fellow, member of the Scottish Government’s Participatory Budgeting Reference Group, Director of ClimateXChange’s Citizens’ Juries, non-executive member of the Scottish Government’s Digital Communications Board, and advisor to DRILL –the world’s largest research programme led by disable people. He coordinates the Citizen Participation Network, has trained and worked with hundreds of public engagement practitioners, and is involved in developing democratic innovations across various policy arenas in Scotland and beyond. He has led or co-led over a dozen research projects. His most recent research focuses on the interface between citizen participation and social inequalities (e.g.

What Works Scotland:

Oliver’s blog:

Twitter: @OliverEscobar

Beltane Annual Gathering 2017 | Responding and Reusing | 9th June @ Chesser House
Jun 9 @ 10:00 am – 8:00 pm

Chesser House ((c) Savills)

We’re thrilled that our annual celebration of public engagement will take place at one of Edinburgh’s newest bookable spaces: Chesser House on Gorgie Road.

Previously one of the homes of the City of Edinburgh Council, Chesser House is now being developed into affordable accommodation for artists and community groups by art’s complex.

The art’s complex team was also behind the original redevelopment of St Margaret’s House on London Road. Organisations already in Chesser House include InSpire Crafts Edinburg and Re-Act Scotland.

Chesser House is not beautiful, and it is definitely not a fully-equipped events venue. We’re acting on your feedback from the 2016 Annual Gathering, in which it was clear that some of you wanted to see us creating a more exciting, novel and energetic event. By choosing Chesser House, our temporary environment will force us to be nimble and innovative! And this is the inspiration for the theme for the 2017 Gathering: “Responding and Reusing”.

The other feedback we’ll be doing best to address in our event planning includes:

  • Giving you plenty of unstructured time to chat with existing as well as new contacts
  • Having engagement beyond universities in action as part of the event (while still also having space for internally-focussed conversations)
  • Cutting way down on the plenary speakers
  • Having more space in which to move around
  • Clear programme in advance
  • A stronger Edinburgh focus
  • A longer event (with no obligation to stay for all of it)
  • A wee drink…


Public Engagement Grants Available | The Physiological Society
Jun 14 all-day





The Physiological Society is offering grants of up to £5000 to support public engagement. The grants, which are available to both members and non-members, are designed to fund innovative and creative projects on any aspect of physiology. We particularly encourage collaborations between science communicators, artists, facilitators of public engagement, and our members.

We are open to any ideas from you as to how physiologists can engage with the public. We are especially keen to receive project applications which fit under our 2017 focus, ‘Making Sense of Stress’, and our 2018 focus, sleep and circadian rhythm.

Contact Anisha Tailor to talk through projects, help with queries, and put you in touch with interested physiologists.

The scheme is open year-round with two funding rounds. The next deadline for applications is Wednesday 14 June. The review period will take 6-8 weeks.

Apply via the event website.

Vacancy | Research Associate in Science Communication @ Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences
Jun 14 all-day

We are looking for part-time research management support in our science communication Horizon 2020 projects (particularly “NUCLEUS”). As you can see from the call >> <<, this is a 30% position, i.e. should also be suitable for freelancers, and would mean roughly one day / week on campus, or two days every fortnight.

Rhine-Waal is Germany’s first fully international university. All of the degree programmes in our faculty are in English. 80% of our students are international. This diversity also guides our approach in research and teaching: being comparative about the different systems of science, media, policy, etc.

Applications by 14th June 2017 to our HR department.

Our campus is located in the heart of Europe, right on the border between The Netherlands and Germany, half-way between Amsterdam and Cologne, or Brussels and Munster, at the foot of Cleves castle.

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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