Latest news and views

Engaging with government programme

The Arts and Humanities Research Council, in partnership with the Institute for Government, invites applications for its engaging with the government programme. This enables early-career researchers to attend a three-day course, to be held from 6 to 8 March 2018 in London. The course is designed to provide insight into the policy-making process and to enable academics to apply this to their own research. The aim is to build links between policy makers and the new research in the arts and humanities. The programme will:

  • encourage participants to think about the ways in which their own research could make a valuable contribution to public policy;
  • challenge participants to think in more depth about the policy process, and the role of research within it;
  • increase the influencing and communication skills that participants need to achieve this.

Early-career researchers working in any area of arts and humanities, including social sciences, may apply. Applicants must be either within eight years of the award of their PhD or equivalent professional training, or within six years of their first academic appointment. They must be employed in a full- or part-time postdoctoral or equivalent position at a UK HEI, independent research organisation or research council institute.

Funding covers course, accommodation, travel and subsistence costs for up to 20 attendees.

Application form is here.

The closing date is 25 Sep 17 and if you have further questions, please email the AHRC here.

Royal Academy of Engineering Ingenious public engagement awards now open (Deadline: Mon 18 Sept)

The Royal Academy of Engineering’s Ingenious public engagement awards are now open for applications. The deadline for applications is Monday 18 September at 4pm.

Ingenious is an awards scheme for projects that engage the public with engineers and engineering and aims to

  • Inspire creative public engagement with engineering projects
  • Motivate engineers to share their stories, passion and expertise with wider audiences and develop their communication and engagement skills
  • Raise awareness of the diversity, nature and impact of engineering amongst people of all ages and backgrounds
  • Provide opportunities for engineers to engage with members of the public from groups currently underrepresented in engineering

Funding is available from £3,000 to £30,000.

The awards prioritise projects that reach diverse and underrepresented audiences including communities in the top 25% most deprived neighbourhoods in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and that engage with engineers and publics of different genders, ages and ethnic backgrounds.

Find out more on our website


Public Engagement posts at UoB

The University is recruiting two public engagement posts within the Research Planning team:

The Research Engagement Officer

The Public Engagement with Research Officer 

These two posts support activities to enhance Public Engagement with Research at the University, working closely with each other within the wider Research Planning team in the Planning Office. They operate within the context of the increasing importance placed by research funders such as RCUK and Wellcome on PER, and complement a long track record of cultural and research partnerships with external organisations, as well as a growing internal culture strengthening PER activities and opportunities. Duties are varied and involve providing advice, support and training to colleagues around PER; the development of partnerships with external organisations to facilitate the delivery of PER; organisation of events and activities; supporting and developing systems for management information and data capture; and taking on specific projects as required. The Research Planning team is part of a larger University wide team supporting research and postholders will work closely with key individuals from the academic Colleges and Professional Services, including Directors of Research and Knowledge Transfer, Principal Investigators and other academics involved in delivering PER, Research Support Partners and teams who support research bids and grants, colleagues from Cultural Engagement and other teams involved in engagement activities, Marketing and Communications and the Graduate School. It will be particularly important for the postholder to understand the wider context within which Engagement activities are delivered at the University, and to develop an active and effective network with colleagues working in similar and contiguous areas.

For specifications and further details, see individual job descriptions in link above. Closing date for both posts: July 31st, 2017

The University is one of the largest and most diverse employers in the region, with around 6000 staff working in a range of academic, professional, technical, manual and clerical roles.

We promote equality and celebrate our diversity and provide a welcoming and inclusive environment for all members of the University community, from support for students who are parents to being Stonewall Diversity Champions, we also offer dedicated disability services, a wide range of support groups and a multi-faith chaplaincy. The University holds a Bronze Athena SWAN Charter award and is actively seeking to improve the number of women in STEM subjects.


Designated Collections MUPI Match event (June 14)

MUPI Match Designated Collections, Arts Council England Offices, Birmingham, 14 June (10am-4.30pm)

Are you:

  • A postgraduate, postdoctoral or established researcher, keen to explore the rich possibilities for working with collections that are a vital part of England’s artistic and cultural heritage;
  • An academic whose students would like to research designated collections?

If so, this MUPI National Sandpit could be just what you are looking for! The event is interactive and free to take part in. Bring your ideas, your energy, and your expertise and prepare to be challenged and inspired.

Register for this event

A key element of the Arts Council England Designated Collection scheme is that the collections meet the Research Value criteria – so that the collection is, or has the potential to be, an essential research collection; and the collections makes a major contribution to the public understanding of the subject. One of the major challenges faced by museums developing academic partnerships is networking with academics, and having sufficient resources to plan effective and mutually beneficial projects.

 The ACE funded MUPI project aims to address this by bringing together museums and academics in a series of focused and facilitated networking events; which will help academics explore the research potential of designated collections, meet potential museum partners, and have the opportunity to apply for seed funding grants to help develop project ideas. The MUPI Match event on Wednesday 14 June is dedicated to museums with Designated Collections.

To find out more about the Designated Collections scheme, click here.

There are many benefits to museums and universities working together, from improving audience understanding to developing more effective collections knowledge or interpretation; from inspiring museum audiences with cutting edge research to developing new exhibits and exhibitions; the opportunities are endless; and networking within and between the sectors can help museums and academics realise the research potential of these nationally important collections.

However, finding a partner and having the resources to explore how you might work together can be challenging. This MUPI National Sandpit draws upon a tried and tested methodology, which brings people together to develop new partnerships. Each session involves museum staff, volunteers, and academics working together to find mutually beneficial ideas that they would like to develop together. This event focuses on unlocking the research potential of designated collections.

 A small grants fund of £6000 available; the MUPI Match event includes an opportunity for teams formed at the event to bid for funding (of between £500-£1500) from the MUPI Match fund. This ‘thinking funding’  will enable people to do desk research; have conversations; travel and attend site visits/meetings; test ideas; and work together to plan their potential project. This thinking funding provides a critical part of the process, helping people to work out if and how to work together and refine their ideas. Teams will be supported to develop their partnership, and find effective ways to fund their project in the future.

Please note that booking is essential. You can apply for a place using the registration link above.

MUPI Match events are delivered through the Museum University Partnership Initiative, funded by Arts Council England’s Museum Resilience Fund and developed in partnership with the Share Academy project and Paddy McNulty Associates.

Pathways to Culture Change Report

The University of Birmingham is pleased to have contributed to a new report from the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE). The Pathways to Culture Change report focuses on learning from the 10 Catalyst Seed Fund projects (CSFs), including UoB. The report seeks to ensure that other HEIs can benefit from the insights of all institutions involved by sharing the journeys they have travelled, the learning they have done, and the tools they have generated.

The ten CSF projects were established in 2015 and have evidenced significant impact within their host universities. The Pathways to Culture Change report tells an encouraging story of what can be achieved relatively quickly with a limited budget. The CSF Pathways report provides useful insights for others wanting to develop their own project.

Read it here: Pathways to Culture Change Report

AHRC Research in Film Awards

The Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) is delighted to be able to let you know that the 2017 Research in Film Awards is now live.

Now in its third year, the awards are designed to showcase, reward and recognise high quality short films which are directly linked, or inspired, by arts and humanities research.

There are two new awards for 2017, including the International Development Award and the Doctoral Student or Best Early Career Film, with the latter celebrating the best films made by arts and humanities researchers at the start of their careers. The Inspiration Award, which is open to members of the public, is also back by popular demand.

The full list of categories can be seen below:

  • Best Research Film of the Year
  • Best Doctoral or Early Career Film
  • International Development Award: Mobilising Global Voices
  • Innovation Award
  • Inspiration Award (public category)

You can read the full announcement about RIFA 2017 on the AHRC website along with further information such as the Call Guidance.

Entries will be accepted up until the closing date of Thursday 6th July (4pm) with the shortlist announced in September.

For further information about this competition, please contact Julie Venis.