Opportunities Calendar

Dr Bunhead’s Improv Explosions
Dec 15 @ 2:48 pm


SciProv needs you! Dr Bunhead (from TV’s Brainiac) and a team of crack comedy improvisers are looking for enthusiastic and talkative researchers to be the guest stars on Dr Bunhead’s Improvised Explosions. We turn your expertise into improvised scenes. Together, with the audience involvement, we find the theatre in your thesis and separate the reality from the ridiculous.

This is a fresh genre, this is improvised live science comedy (SciProv), this is ; pulling in new audiences. Think Who’s Line Is It Anyway? meets The Graham Norton Show and stuff them both into a blender with a dash of The Open University.

Target Audience:  Adults

Who Gets Involved: Researchers who want to share their passion with everyday folk. All abilities and all disciplines welcome… not just jolly scientists! We want passionate people with a story to tell. NO funny bones needed! Just bring your ideas and your enthusiasm. We support the hell out of you to make you the star of the night. Any researcher looking for a gentle and supportive introduction to public engagement should apply.

What will I Do? You do 10 minutes in the spotlight as an interview or your own presentation, depending on your preference. We will playfully get to know you and your research so the audience sees the person behind the PhD. You meet the team and have a chat, we explain the set up and support you all the way to have a great evening bringing your research to kind and curious audiences.

Timescale: Shows happen once or twice a month at comedy venues such as The Monkey Barrel.

Benefits: This is a great way to safely dip your toe in to the wider world of public engagement. This friendly event is an ideal springboard into more exposed performances such as Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas or Bright Club. The material generated in this event may also serve to illustrate comedic and metaphorical avenues of exploration for the speaker.

To Find out more:  Email us at tom@bunhead.com

To get involved: email the following details to tom@bunhead.com

your suggested talk/performance title;

a summary of the content (50 words max).

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

Curiosity Live at Glasgow Science Festival @ Glasgow Science Centre
Jun 12 – Jun 16 all-day

Curiosity Live, the celebration of research, creativity and innovation is back for Glasgow Science Festival 2019. As always I am excited to start booking in excited and ethusiastic researchers who are keen to share the work they do with little kids and big kids here at Glasgow Science Centre.

This event will run from 12th to 16th June 2019, however as with previous events we would not be expecting contributors to be here for the whole time.

We are looking for anyone who would like to share their work through exciting and interactive tabletop activities which are accessible for a range of age groups. The audience and timings for each day are as follows:

12th – 14th June – Schools event running from 10am – 2pm
15th June – Families event running from 12pm – 4pm
16th June – Families event with two separate start times
9am till 4pm to include our Autism Friendly Hours event
12pm till 4pm for general family event

We can provide tables, chairs, access to power and a limited number of TV screens. I am very keen to include as wide a range of contributors as possible, and in particular to add those from chemistry, animal biology, computing science and the arts.

If you are interested in taking part please contact:

Sam Langford

Glasgow Science Centre | 50 Pacific Quay | Glasgow
0141 420 5010 ext 363 | glasgowsciencecentre.org

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

The Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas-Fringe Preview @ The Stand Comedy Club
Jul 16 @ 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm

Now in its seventh year at the Fringe, The Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas sees some of the country’s leading academics and researchers escape from their ‘ivory towers’, with the express purpose of simultaneously explaining their most dangerous ideas and entertaining real people.

They call it ‘public engagement’; we call it ‘a right good night!’.

With plenty of time for questions and discussion, three academics preview their Fringe shows, ably assisted by compere and self-styled ‘stupidest person in the room’, Susan Morrison.

Spoiler alert: This is NOT a lecture.  Attendees are liable to learn something new and interesting!

Rebekka Puderbaugh – Don’t believe your ears!

Did Grover drop an F-bomb on Sesame Street? Do the names Yanny and Laurel make you want to fight? You know what your ears tell you – you heard it yourself! But why do so many people disagree? How can people can hear radically different things in the same sound? Who’s right? Can even a professional linguist say for sure? Pit your ears against your friends’ and neighbours’ and let’s settle this once and for all. Using acoustic trickery Rebekka Puderbaugh (The University of Edinburgh) will make you doubt reality and distrust everything (you think) you hear.

Ron O’Donnell – Art is Shit!

What is art and should we fund it? Have you ever thought: “What the f**k is that? People pay money for that? A two-year old could do it!”.  We’re talking art with Ron O’Donnell (Edinburgh Napier University).

Who decides what is valuable, or creative? Do you need to be educated to understand it? Would you despair if a great artwork was destroyed? Would you give a shit if all contemporary art disappeared tomorrow? If art is an act of expressing feelings, thoughts, and observation, why is so much of it baffling and aloof?

RayyaGhul – Are you a problem addict?

Problems are like whirlpools – they suck you in.  How often have you found yourself talking over and over about the same ‘difficult’ people and other irritations?  What if you don’t actually need to understand a problem to come up with a great solution?  This is the radical idea at the heart of Solution Focus.

Rayya Ghul (The University of Edinburgh), internationally-renowned solution-focused practitioner, will bust myths about the value of problem-solving.  You’ll have a chance to learn the skills behind conversations that can create real and lasting change.  Are you ready to give up stressing?

Duration: 120minutes | Show ends: 10.30pm approx. | Age Guidance: 18+ | Bar: From when doors open and after the show | Food Service: Bar snacks available

Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas-Fringe Preview @ The Stand Comedy Club
Jul 24 @ 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm

Now in its seventh year at the Fringe, The Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas sees some of the country’s leading academics and researchers escape from their ‘ivory towers’, with the express purpose of simultaneously explaining their most dangerous ideas and entertaining real people.

They call it ‘public engagement’; we call it ‘a right good night!’.

With plenty of time for questions and discussion, three academics preview their Fringe shows, ably assisted by compere and self-styled ‘stupidest person in the room’, Susan Morrison.

Spoiler alert: This is NOT a lecture.  Attendees are liable to learn something new and interesting!


Paola Ruffo – Can Google really translate?

What does it mean to be a human in the era of Google Translate? Is it really taking over human translation? What if it isn’t just words after all? Can machines replicate human feelings and language nuances?  Paola Ruffo (Heriot-Watt University) explores how the boundaries between humans, words and machines are being redrawn. Join her at the edges of the magic world of translation to discover what happens when humans and machines meet new languages. Can you tell the difference between a text from a human and one written by a machine?


Amy Andrada – Are Women Assholes?

Women are constantly measuring one another by ideals of thinness, beauty, ‘best mommy practices’, and keeping a happy home with a happy partner. Why? Are their values warped? Are they not happy with themselves, or are they afraid of being alone? Why is single status so threatening? Does competitiveness drive their insecurities or do women’s insecurities drive their competitiveness? Amy Andrada (The University of Edinburgh) dares to ask. In her quest, she discovers that women are much more than they appear and accept far less than they deserve.

Jenny Paterson – Neglecting Midwives Gives Mothers PTSD

The NHS are getting it wrong! Funny? No! Laughable? Maybe! Jenny Patterson (Edinburgh Napier University) hits out at the NHS for neglecting midwives and heartlessly letting women suffer – almost like trauma-stressed war veterans. Neglected midwives can end up lashing out or burning out, leaving some women feeling shocked and abandoned. Sadly, both midwives and women can end up with PTSD. Do midwives need to toughen up? Do women? Jenny doesn’t pull her punches and says: “Never mind the women, what about the midwives?”.

Duration: 120minutes | Show ends: 10.30pm approx. | Age Guidance: 18+ | Bar: From when doors open and after the show | Food Service: Bar snacks available

Explorathon 2019 @ Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh and St Andrews
Sep 27 – Sep 28 all-day

EXPLORATHON 2019 is Scotland’s European Researchers’ Night and will take place on Friday 27th and Saturday 28th September 2019.

The Night gives researchers the opportunity to share their research with members of the public. All subject areas and career stages are welcome. Your research does not need to be funded by the European Commission, and it does not need to be science-based.

Find out how to get involved here.


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