Opportunities Calendar

Beltane Sparks
May 10 @ 5:00 pm

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. 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

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

Edinburgh International Film Festival call for Neuroscience Researchers
May 17 all-day

The Edinburgh International Film Festival in partnership with the Beltane Network are looking for researchers interested in meeting writers from film and television to talk about their research. Selected researchers will be invited to the film premier opening night of the Edinburgh International Film Festival on the 19th of June. They will then spend the 21st of June with the writers.

As a direct result of a similar networking event last year, Edinburgh based researchers have been hired as consultants on a commissioned BBC project due to broadcast later this year. This year we will bring together eight researchers and eight writers interested in projects with a neuroscience theme. This project is funded through the Wellcome Trust.

To apply please contact filmfestival@beltanenetwork.org for an application form. Applications must be submitted by the 17th of May 2019.

Institute of Physics Public Engagement Grant Scheme
May 31 @ 5:00 pm

The Institute of Physics Public Engagement Grant Scheme is now open!!

The IOP public engagement grant scheme provides up to £3000 to individuals and organisations running physics-based events and activities in the UK and Ireland.

The grant scheme has two rounds each year. Round 1 of the 2019 scheme is now open for applications received by 5pm on Friday 31 May 2019. You can find the application form and guidance here.

This grant is for projects taking place after 1 August 2019 and finishing before the end of July 2020.

We strongly recommend applicants get in touch with Paul Branch, coordinator of this round of the grant scheme, to discuss ideas and ask questions before submission. You can get in touch by emailing paul.branch@iop.org.

To find out more about projects we have previously funded please visit our website.



RCPath Public Engagement Innovation Grant scheme
Jun 3 @ 5:00 pm

The Royal College of Pathologists Public Engagement Innovation Grant scheme is now open and accepting applications until 3 June 2019. The scheme provides financial support for the delivery of pathology-related activities and events in the UK. Grants of up to £1,000 are available for individuals or organisations who wish to develop pathology-related public engagement activities or events.

To be eligible, proposed events and activities should:

  • include the involvement of pathologists and/or laboratory scientists as a key part of the activity (although to apply, you do not have to be a College member yourself).
  • be pathology-based and explore underlying concepts and issues, rather than just providing information.

If you have a great idea but don’t work in pathology or medicine, get in touch and we will do our best to link you up with a pathologist to work with on your grant application.

Find out more here: https://www.rcpath.org/discover-pathology/events-landing-page/funding-for-public-events.html

Register Interest for Explorathon 2019
Jun 14 @ 5:00 pm

Fancy being part of Explorathon 2019, AKA European Researchers Night?  

This September, do you want to share your research in a pan-European event? Explorathon 2019 takes place on Friday 27th and Saturday 28th September 2019.

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, Royal Botanic Gardens, the Lyell Centre, and many more.  This year, we hope to see many more people!

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

  • The Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh – daytime drop-in session for families
  • Various schools across Edinburgh – school-age focused activities
  • Café Scientifique – informal talks for an adult audience
  • New Scots Ceilidh – workshops with the New Scots community, possibly from August and certainly September, leading to a celebration “ceilidh”
  • WHALE Arts – daytime interactive activities around a number of themes – food, sustainability, placemaking and wellbeing
  • The Lyell Centre @ Heriot-Watt – daytime drop in activities and talks, themed around marine and earth science
  • Leith Labs @ Ocean Terminal – table-top drop-in experiments, “science busking”, informal talks and discussions
  • Kings Buildings, University of Edinburgh – daytime drop in activities, themed around science and engineering

Training will also be available in the months prior to the event.

Please register your interest here – note that this doesn’t commit you to anything! The deadline for expressions of interest is 5pm 14th June 2019.

If you have any questions check out this and/or contact us on info@beltanenetwork.org.

Best wishes,

The Explorathon Edinburgh team – Laura, Dawn, Fiona, Miriam, and Ally

Jun 30 @ 11:45 pm


Submissions from any field of science engagement, communication, outreach, education – large or small – are welcome. The most impactful, novel, and cost-effective projects will be invited to Berlin (travel and accommodation costs will be covered). We are looking for:

  • all forms of science engagement with a focus on impactful, cost-effective, novel approaches to building opportunities for dialogue and participation in science
  • hidden champions from the whole world who pursue scalable projects
  • initiatives with local impact or wider outreach with the potential to become role models for other projects or scientists
  • new ways of communication and cooperation with the goal of empowering scientists to engage with public audiences


  • The 20 best submissions will be invited to share their science engagement projects on 8 November in a fast-paced pitch competition in front of a peer audience and a distinguished jury
  • The winner will get the chance to pitch their project on the grand stage of the Falling Walls Conference to an audience of 750 global leaders, decision-makers, and international media representatives
  • All selected participants will receive an invitation to join the Falling Walls Conference on 9 November and its network of international science leaders, media, and outreach professionals
  • Increase international visibility for your organisation’s science engagement work
  • Share your experiences and learn from like-minded people in a co-learning environment
  • Become part of a sustainable community dedicated to a common cause – pushing forward the dialogue between science and society.


Application Deadline

30 June 2019 (23:59 CEST)

Contact us via engage@falling-walls.com

ScotPEN Wellcome Engagement Award Application due @ The University of Edinburgh
Oct 17 @ 5:00 pm

SWEA is a Scotland-wide collaborative pilot scheme designed to improve the number and quality of successful research engagement projects. Inter-institutional collaborations are also encouraged.

  • This call will close on Friday 25th October 2019 at 5pm.
  • A second call will open in early January and close on Friday 27th March 2020.

Full details of the call can be found at https://www.scotpen.org/swea-call-for-applications , along with guidance for applicants and copy of the application form.

At the University of Edinburgh applications need to be submitted via the university’s public engagement teams, and so there is an internal deadline for proposals.

Please contact your college public engagement lead prior to completing your application form and be aware that finalised application will need to be sent to them no later than 5pm Thursday 17th October.

University of Edinburgh Public Engagement Leads

College Contact Email
CMVM Hazel Lambert, Public Engagement with Research Manager hazel.lambert@ed.ac.uk
CSE Stuart Dunbar, Engagement Manager s.dunbar@ed.ac.uk
CAHSS Shonagh McEwan, Knowledge Exchange and Communications Advisor shonagh.mcewan@ed.ac.uk
Central Heather Rea, Public Engagement Coordinator h.j.rea@ed.ac.uk


You can find more local University of Edinburgh support for your public engagement work here:



Other University’s may have different dead lines.  Please contact the PE Leads to find out more

Heriot Watt University: HWEngage@hw.ac.uk

Edinburgh Napier University: dawn.smith@napier.ac.uk