1 comment on “Sense About Science – Public Engagement: A practical guide”

Sense About Science – Public Engagement: A practical guide

Sense about Science have launched Public Engagement: a practical guidefunded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). It is aimed at researchers to help and encourage them to involve the public in working out how to communicate findings — from the earliest stages of projects, and on the most challenging of subjects.

 Sense about Science, have worked with researchers on many of the most sensitive subjects – some fraught with misunderstanding – to improve the communication of their research findings. They only undertake such partnerships where there are high stakes for the public and communication is difficult. Communicating the survival statistics of children’s heart surgery at different treatment centres in 2016 was among the toughest of these, with potentially major consequences for all involved. 

 The guide uses this experience as a case study throughout. Their public engagement team worked with NIHR-funded health researchers to present research information in a way that is shaped from the outset by people who will use it. 

We hope you find the guide useful and if so please consider sharing it with your networks. You can also follow the conversation on Twitter via their hashtag #PublicLed  

Biomedical Services Unit – FAQ

The UOBengage account has received a few inquiries today regarding an article published in the Birmingham Mail. Our Press Office have provided this response:

We publish the species and numbers of animals that are used for research at the University on our website.

We are involved in research to develop drugs and medical technologies that will help in the fight against life threatening and debilitating diseases and improve health care for patients, and indeed animals too. Some diseases and health problems involve processes that can only be studied in a living organism. For example, treatments for heart disease , diabetes, Alzheimer’s and certain types of cancer have all been developed by involving animals in testing and research.

A spokesperson for the University of Birmingham said: “We adhere to strict guidelines from the Home Office and are regulated by the Operational Guidance to the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, which requires that experimentation on animals should only occur when there is no alternative research technique. As part of that regulatory framework we have periodic visits from a Home Office inspector who checks the welfare of the animals used in research and the facilities that they are kept in. During these visits the inspector is looking for evidence of a caring culture, which ensures responsible behaviour and respect for the use and care of animals.

“All research that requires the use of animals is scrutinised by the Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body to ensure that there are no possible alternatives to the use of animals and that studies are carried out to the highest standards of welfare and care, following the 3R’s principles of replacement, reduction and refinement. The 3Rs are a widely accepted ethical framework for conducting scientific experiments using animals humanely.”

In 2015, 47,657 animals were humanely euthanized. A significant number (around 70%) were part of a breeding programme and were not involved in experimental procedures.

PERCAT Postdoctoral Excellence Awards 2017 – Public Engagement category

PERCAT are very pleased to announce the first round of the PERCAT Postdoctoral Excellence Awards 2017.  The PEA awards are for outstanding Postdoctoral/Early Career Researchers who have made excellent achievements in the following areas:

  • Public Engagement
  • Academic/Science Citizenship
  • Mentoring
  • Teaching
  • PERCAT Postdoctoral Champion of the Year

You will be able to self-nominate or nominate Postdoctoral/Early Career Researchers from within the College of Medical and Dental Sciences.   PhD students and technical staff will not be eligible to apply.  The deadline for submission of applications is Wednesday 31 May and the winners will be announced and presented with prizes of £200 per award at the forthcoming PERCAT Strategy Day to be held on Wednesday 28 JuneFurther details, along with the nomination form and guidelines will be circulated next week.

Loves documentaries? Sheffield Doc Festival opportunity for postdocs…

Doc/Fest Researchers – Applications Open!

Do you love documentary film, interactive, immersive, and virtual reality projects?

Are you a postdoctoral scientist?

Sheffield Doc/Fest is offering five researchers the opportunity to attend this year’s Festival 9 – 14 June 2017. Participants will have the opportunity to network with filmmakers and broadcast commissioners, and see some of the world’s finest documentary films being made today.

Researchers are invited to network and attend daily talks in the Doc/Fest Exchange, our dedicated public space curated by Dr Erinma Ochu, and developed with Wellcome.

– Travel, accreditation, and accommodation are covered.

– Daily networking breakfasts in The Doc/Fest Exchange

– Applicants must have a PhD in biomedical sciences.

To apply – contact delegations@sidf.co.uk with a short bio and reasons why you would like to attend Doc/Fest.

The deadline for applications is 23 May 2017.

More info here.

DOC/FEST RESEARCHER PROGRAMME – CALLING BIOMEDICAL SCIENTISTS

DOC/FEST RESEARCHER PROGRAMME – CALLING BIOMEDICAL SCIENTISTS

Do you love documentary? Are you a postdoctoral scientist? Sheffield Doc/Fest is offering five researchers the opportunity to attend this year’s Festival.

Network with filmmakers and broadcast commissioners, and see some of the world’s finest documentary films being made today. Travel, accreditation, and accommodation are covered. Applicants must have a PhD in biomedical sciences.

Wellcome Trust are also supporting a series of talks at the festival which researchers might enjoy: http://bit.ly/1XnMcxG 

Please contact marketing@sidf.co.uk with a short bio and reasons why you would like to attend Doc/Fest.

Royal Society of Biology Science communication awards 2016 are open for applications

Deadline – 30th June 2016

The Royal Society of Biology invites nominations for its science communication awards. These recognise biosciences researchers who make an outstanding and consistent contribution to communicating science to the public. There are two award categories:

Wellcome Trust – Engagement Fellowships

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Deadline – 12th February 2016

The Wellcome Trust invites applications for its engagement fellowships. These aim to support and develop upcoming stars in public engagement with science.

Applicants should be based in the UK or the Republic of Ireland, and have at least three years’ experience engaging the public with science. They may be professional science communicators, research scientists, medical historians, clinicians or professionals working in the arts.