Beltane Public Engagement Network

Opportunities Calendar

Fun Palaces 2017 @ You choose :)
Oct 7 – Oct 8 all-day

Save the dates: 7th-8th October 2017

Fun Palaces is an ongoing campaign for culture at the heart of every community, with particifun-palace-illustration1_smallpation led by, for and with local people.

The 2017 Fun Palaces weekend is 7th-8th October. Anyone and everyone – anywhere –  is welcome to make a Fun Palace.

The guidelines are that each Fun Palace is :

  • Free (for people to participate)
  • Local (ideally made by local people, for local people)
  • Innovative (a space or a place doing something they don’t usually do)
  • Transformative (changes the nature of the place it happend in)
  • Engaging (so there is something for everyone, all ages, all abilities, to DO, not just observe/audience)

Fun Palaces Scotland has been set up to coordinate Scottish Fun Palaces. Keep an eye out for their preparatory meetings in 2017.

New Generations Thinkers 2018
Oct 12 all-day






New ideas, new voices and new creativity are being sought for the 2018 New Generation Thinkers scheme. The Arts and Humanities Research Council and BBC Radio 3 are keen to hear from academics that are passionate about communicating their research and have a keen interest in working with a variety of media from blogging to TV. It is now open to researchers who work in areas of social sciences and medical science whose work intersects with the arts and humanities.

Full details on the website linked above.

Deadline 12 October 2017

Getting started: Outcomes and Indicators @ Royal Pharmaceutical Society
Oct 12 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Writing an application for a new project and want to write meaningful outcomes? Want help with setting useful indicators? Or maybe you knew about all this but have got confused!

This stimulating workshop gets you started by explaining what outcomes and indicators are and how they can help you to explain the difference your work makes. It will give you clarity on the building blocks of evaluation and includes lots of time for working on your own projects.

At this workshop you will:

  • Understand the importance of outcomes and indicators
  • Write clear outcomes for your project / organisation
  • Set indicators to help measure whether you are achieving your outcomes
Marine Citizen Science Project Co-ordinator | Vacancy @ Newcastle University
Oct 20 all-day

Capturing our Coast is a Marine Citizen Science programme across England, Scotland and Wales investigating the rich ecology of our rocky shores. It trains and supports thousands of volunteers to assist in data collection that contributes to our understanding of marine intertidal community functioning and anthropogenic threats to biodiversity. It aims to raise awareness of marine issues, and engage members of the public with the natural environment and with the scientific process. The project is funded by Heritage Lottery Fund.

The post-holder will be responsible for ensuring the research programme in the north-east region runs according to the project objectives, and will oversee the recruitment, training and support of the volunteers. She/he will liaise with our officers in the 6 other hubs Officer, ensuring consistency in delivery across Hubs, and timely reporting to funders and relevant organisations. Please see details about this vacancy through the website linked above.

Beltane Breakfast: Meet the EIFF Screenwriter-in-Residence @ Filmhouse Cafe Bar
Oct 20 @ 8:30 am – 10:00 am

Nicole Taylor

Beltane Breakfasts and Twilights are informal meetings where people from Edinburgh’s universities can come to find out more and share information about specific public engagement topics. At this Beltane Breakfast, it’s a chance to meet the new Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) Screenwriter-in-Residence, Nicole Taylor!

The EIFF Screenwriter-in-Residence work with the universities in Edinburgh for an academic year. During this time, the screenwriter works with researchers to develop ideas and content for screenplays. The aim is to spark new ideas and to make sure research is represented – and done so well – on screen. The EIFF selects the screenwriter, who must have been born and/or now reside in Scotland.

Nicole is a a Glasgow-born screenwriter who is now based in London. She most recently wrote BBC One’s three-part series Three Girls about the Rochdale grooming scandal. We are thrilled to have such a high calibre professional working across our universities this year!

The residency is funded by the Wellcome Trust, so there is a focus on science, health and the human condition. The latter, in particular, can cover a multitude of research areas and questions across a range of disciplines, so please do not automatically assume your research is not relevant!

Rough programme

8.30am Grab breakfast (provided)

8.45am Introducing Nicole

9.00am 2-minute wonders [quickly share your research with Nicole]

9.30am Chance to share contact details with Nicole and chat to other participants

10.00am End

Vacancy | Head of Research, Knowledge Exchange and Impact Office @ University of Edinburgh
Oct 25 all-day

Applications are invited for the post of Head of Research, Knowledge Exchange and Impact Office within the School of Law within the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. You can read more about the School on The Law Website.

This is a new challenging and wide-ranging post working closely with the Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange, Director of Professional Services and Head of School providing professional advice in support of the development and enhancement of the School’s research culture, profile and funding portfolio. You will have specific responsibility for the School’s administrative preparations for REF 2021, supporting external funding applications, administering large grants and managing and developing the School’s REKIO professional services staff.

With several years’ management experience at a senior level, and in-depth knowledge of the full range of research support activities, you will also have excellent interpersonal, communication and leadership skills and a clear understanding of research objectives. You should hold a good honours degree or equivalent and have experience of managing people, processes and large budgets, preferably in a University, Funding Council or Government environment. In addition you will also be able to demonstrate your ability to manage large projects and contribute to the strategic management of research in the School of Law.

It is intended to hold interviews in mid-November 2016.

This post is full time (35 hours per week) and open ended.

Salary: £39,992 – £47,722 per annum..

Closing date: 5pm GMT on Monday 25 October 2017.

Further details on the website. Vacancy Ref: 041484

Informal enquiries may be addressed to the Director of Professional Services, Julia Dawson.

Make to measure: Evaluation Methods and Plans @ Royal Pharmaceutical Society
Oct 26 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

This creative workshop which follows on from ‘Getting started: Outcomes and indicators’ shows you what evaluation methods to use and how to make a monitoring and evaluation plan.

Explore the questions and processes involved in choosing the best methods for your project including looking at sources of evidence, the level of user involvement the tool can provide, and keeping evaluation proportionate to your resources.

At this workshop you will:

  • Understand the steps and principles to follow when choosing or developing evaluation methods
  • Use different methods and tools to collect information about your outcomes
  • Put in place a monitoring and evaluation plan for your project /organisation
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.

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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