This course may be useful for those who would like to utilize film-making in their public engagement? Find out more HERE
The Royal Academy of Engineering’s Enterprise Fellowship scheme supports outstanding entrepreneurial engineers, working at a UK university, to spin out a business by providing funding and an intensive, bespoke package of training and mentoring. Prior experience of commercialisation activities is not essential, the desire and capability to succeed is more important and we will equip you with the necessary skills through a programme of training and mentoring. The Fellowships provide £35,000 of salary support and £25,000 for the continued development of the innovation and associated spin-out company. Applications close 7 September. For more information on how to apply please visit here.
There’s just two weeks to go to get your applications submitted to the Royal Academy of Engineering Ingenious grant scheme for engineering engagement projects. The deadline is 4pm on Monday 7th September 2015. They are offering £3,000 to £30,000 for projects that engage the public with engineers and engineering and aim to:
- inspire creative public engagement with engineering
- stimulate engineers to share their stories, passion and expertise in innovative ways with wider audiences
- develop engineers’ communication and engagement skills
- create debate between engineers and people of all ages to raise awareness of the diversity, nature and impact of engineering
All Ingenious projects should engage the public with engineering while also providing engineers with skills and opportunities in public engagement, and they welcome proposals from engineers, universities, science and engineering communicators and engagement professionals, colleges and schools. There’s lots more info on their website at www.raeng.org.uk/ingenious
This past weekend a group of UoB researchers braved the elements to take part in public engagement in ‘Einstein’s Garden‘, a creative and unusual science communication event nestled among the leafy arbors and fragrant rosebeds at the heart of the Green Man festival. Over the course of the weekend they spoke to and entertained around 1800 festival goers at their Think: Green Futures stall.
To find out more about what our researchers were up to see the Case Studies section of this site.
The Guardian have also published an article from one of the other research groups that took part in the event. Read that HERE.
Smartphones are now ubiquitous, making it possible to connect with the internet permanently and without hindrance. But can they be used to create a climate of public participation? Dr Carolin Schröder and Anna Schuster (both from Technische Universität Berlin) used an app – Flashpoll – to test what does and doesn’t work, and found that various factors can influence how high participation is when it comes to their local home, work, and educative communities.
FlashPoll is designed for location-based polling and instant feedback on various issues that come up in an urban development context. The geofence can be designed for each poll separately, and consequently limits the group of potential participants to those physically entering a specific area with their smartphones at least once during the poll.
The researchers discuss four key points worth considering based on their findings:
- (Public) Awareness is key to a successful poll: people need to know there is a poll if you want high response rates
- Individual motivations to participate must be taken into consideration: is the topic of individual interest?
- Privacy is certainly an issue: the initial step of downloading and installing an app may be an obstacle to individual participation.
- Location-based polling is context-related: an immediate physical nearness seems to inlfuence response rates
To find out how they tested the app we recommend reading the full original article here: www.democraticaudit.com
A new paper discusses how co-creating the definition of public engagement with academics enables opportunities for broadening and deepening future engagement whilst addressing the confusion about the different ways that the ‘impact agenda’ of innovation, enterprise, knowledge transfer and knowledge exchange connects with public engagement with research. The authors argue that the concept of engaged research is useful because it provides a basis for exploring the mechanisms by which a wide variety of economic and academic benefits, as well as social benefits, can be produced throughout the research process. It shifts the focus from assessing the benefits that flow from completed academic research to considering how the boundaries of academic research practice can become more permeable to participation and partnership working by people and agencies that have not traditionally been considered part of the research community. This participation can be linked to achieving various kinds of impact over time but can also usefully be considered as providing value in its own right, since the methodologies that are used to generate impact can be assessed whether or not impacts are ultimately achieved.
Grand, et al. (2015) Mapping Public Engagement with Research in a UK University. PLOS ONE.
Notwithstanding that ‘public engagement’ is conceptualised differently internationally and in different academic disciplines, higher education institutions largely accept the importance of public engagement with research. However, there is limited evidence on how researchers conceptualise engagement, their views on what constitutes engagement and the communities they would (or would not) like to engage with. This paper presents the results of a survey of researchers in the Open University that sought to gather data to fill these gaps. This research was part of an action research project designed to embed engagement in the routine practices of researchers at all levels. The findings indicate that researchers have a relatively narrow view of public engagement with research and the communities with which they interact. It also identified that very few strategically evaluate their public engagement activities. We conclude by discussing some of the interventions we have introduced with the aim of broadening and deepening future researcher engagement.
Read in full HERE
Telling Tales of Engagement Competition 2015 – EPSRC
Deadline Dec 1st, 2015
We want the stories to portray impact as including what capability has changed outside the institutions, and what benefits that exercising this capability change has then delivered. Each ‘Tale of Engagement’ in showing how the actual impact arises and the evidence of the impact itself will thereby show clearly the link between the impact and the research. Choosing how to tell the story should reflect the nature of the story itself. We hope that giving the timeline of the whole story should stimulate thinking on more imaginative and illustrative ways to tell the tale of engagement and the resulting impact.
To complete the application form and for further details visit the EPSRC website HERE