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 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.
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:
- An understanding of the importance of engaging the public in research
- 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.
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 email@example.com for an application form. Applications must be submitted by the 17th of May 2019.
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.
The Explorathon Edinburgh team – Laura, Dawn, Fiona, Miriam, and Ally