Free policy conference for early career scientists

18 September 2014

The University of Sheffield group ‘Science in Policy’ has organised a free science-policy conference to be held on the 7th November 2014. The conference is tailored specifically for PhD students postdocs, research assistants and academics in the fields of biology, physics, chemistry and geography, alongside those working at the science-policy interface.

Update on the pop-up shop..

We would hugely appreciate your input and help with respect to the Think Corner ‘pop-up shop’ initiative we are delivering in just a few short weeks.

We are set with the space now – Unit 19/20 in the Pavilions (acamera shot from Eliot is attached, see for lots more). It’s a great space, containing multiple useful sections within it, and although we are still planning to have it open for the public for 3 weeks (25th August – 12th September), we will actually be leasing the unit for 6 weeks (at no additional cost), which gives us plenty of preparation time that we can use to either set-up or do some training if anyone would find this useful? Please let us know.

Ideally we want to have the unit open for 6 days per week (open on weekends, closed on Mondays), so that gives us 18 days to programme in total. We have roughly mapped out the shop space for the following broad types of activities:

  • Talks/screenings/workshops – [Note: This is a great place to ask the public to input on research proposal development, something the funders love!]
  • Mini gallery
  • Larger installations/small-scale hands-on
  • ‘Meet the researcher’ activities
  • Cultural collections/exhibits
  • Busking outside the Pavilions???

Please let us know if you would like to get involved in this great opportunity to showcase your research to the public. You can propose an activity from the list above or please feel free to suggest something entirely different. We welcome re-runs of public engagement activities that have been successful in the past (e.g. Arts and Science Festival/ Brum Dine With Me), and please do ask for funding wherever it might be needed. Time-wise we are very flexible, whether you would want an hour, a day or a week for your activity; also if you have any enthusiastic students who would like to be involved please encourage them to get in touch. If you would like to get involved please email ( by the 1st August so that we have enough time to plan the programme and budget effectively before we open.

If you can enthuse other organisations you work with/ are connected to through your research area (e.g. Royal Societies or NHS Trusts) to get involved that would be great – please promote this opportunity to them as much as possible.

If you have any questions please feel free to email me direct ( or email

Many thanks,

Lisa (as LES Public Engagement Champion)

@uobengage and – website coming soon!

NERC launches impact awards The Natural Environment Research Council has invited nominations for its inaugural Impact Awards

Originally posted on Research Professional:

The awards—for NERC-funded researchers whose work has had substantial impact on the economy and society—will be given in four categories: economic, societal, international and early career impact. Winners in each category will receive £10,000 and runners-up will win £5,000.

Congratulations video competition winners!


At the beginning of April the Public Engagement Working Group (PEWG) launched our first ever competition entitled ‘Less Talk, More Action’. Entrants were asked to create short DIY-style videos about their research. Winners were officially announced at our Engagement in Research event where Alice Roberts, Professor of Public Engagement at University of Birmingham, congratulated the winners who could attend on the day.

Below are some of the winning videos for you to watch, let us know what you think.

The PEWG wishes to congratulate all our winners and runners up! There were some fantastic videos produced and we hope that entrants will continue to make videos about their research in future. In fact, we encourage anyone who would like to make a video about their UoB research to have a go! Think you can do better? Who knows, we might run another competition in future!



Brandon Ashinoff 

Anna Philips

Chris Morgan

Chris Allen

Watch HERE

Emily Saunders


Charlie Pinder

Ansgar Koene

Murray Hoggett

Aengus Ward

Charlotte Flavell

Louis Monroy

All winners & runners up should expect an email from with information on how to claim their prize.

Birmingham 3 minute thesis competition – winner announced!

The Birmingham 3 Minute Thesis competition came back with a bang in 2014 when the top two presenters from each College ‘heat’ competed head-to-head in the final which was held on Wednesday 11 June. The competitors were amazing but there could be only one winner and it was Chris Morgan, from the School of Biosciences (College of Life and Environmental Sciences).

Famelab competition – International winner announced

Last week Padraic Flood, a PhD student in plant genetics at Wageningen University, Netherlands triumphed at the International FameLab competition. Padaric beat nearly 2,000 scientists from 22 countries to be crowned the FameLab International Champion 2014 on 5 June at The Times Cheltenham Science Festival, UK. Find out more about the competition here or watch the final online.

Bringing women in science out of the shadows

At the British Science Association’s 2014 conference last week our own academic champion Jon Wood led a discussion session on how to publicise the work of women already in science, technology, engineering and mathematics together with Suze Kundu, Laurie Winkless and Heather Williams.

You can read more about the major conclusions from the discussion here.