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Arts & Science PER workshops 2016


We are looking for expressions of interest from PhD students and ECRs interested in getting practical training, ideas and support for the delivery of public engagement activity connected to their research.

If so this pilot programme is for you! We especially encourage STEM researchers.

PERC believes being able to engage the public with your research is an important part of being a well-rounded researcher. We have listened to your feedback from our workshops this past year and you indicated you would like more hands-on help with planning and creating engaging events and demos. You also wanted more opportunities to do public engagement with your research.

In response, Public Engagement with Research Committee (PERC) is planning a series of workshops in partnership with the University’s Cultural Engagement team to help you design and deliver an activity/event as part of Arts & Science Festival in March 2017. Due to enter its fifth year, Arts & Science Festival is a week-long celebration of ideas, research and collaboration across campus.

We are currently inviting expressions of interest from enthusiastic researchers who are committed to the professional development of their public engagement and science communication skills. This exciting pilot scheme aims to boost you public engagement delivery skills and offer you an opportunity to get out there and do public engagement!

The opportunity comprises 4 stages:

Stage 1: Expressions of Interest (Deadline Friday Sept 30th, 2016 at noon)

Email with ‘Arts & Science Festival 2017’ in the title of your email. Send up to 250 words articulating why you would like to take part. Include your name, position, School and College. Be sure to stick to the word limit and keep your language simple and clear.

Stage 2: Workshops (Oct – Nov 2016)

We will review the expressions of interest and contact successful candidates by Friday Oct 7th 2016. If successful, you will take part in our pilot programme (stages 2-4). We envision a series of 2-3 workshops that will run in October and November  2016. You must be willing to attend these workshops if you are selected as part of the scheme. We will do our best to make sure we are flexible around your availability.

Stage 3: Submit a proposal (Dec 2016)

In December 2016 you will submit an activity proposal which will be considered for Arts & Science Festival 2017. The activity will be linked to your own research, however where possible you should also try to incorporate the festival theme of ‘Land and Water’. You are encouraged to think broadly and creatively around this theme. You may work in partnership with others if you wish. Proposals will be reviewed by PERC and Cultural Engagement leads who will make a decision on the viability of your proposal and consider requests for funding.

Stage 4: Festival (13-19 March 2017)

If your activity proposal is successful you will get an opportunity to put your training into practice as part of Arts & Science Festival 2017, which takes place between 13-19 March 2017.  There will be further opportunities to access support in shaping and delivering your activity in early 2017.

Additional support: Successful applicants are welcome to attend Breakfast Brainstorm, a monthly drop-in session where you can seek support and advice from the engaged research community.

PERC also run other training and events throughout the year. On 15th December 2016, PERC will host its annual public engagement with research day which applicants will be encouraged to attend. You will have an opportunity to see other examples of public engagement activity and hear more about why public engagement is important. This year we will be inviting major research funders to take part at our event.

We will work with you to try to ensure your activity proposal is successful, but if you are unable to carry out the activity as part of Arts & Science 2017 we will help you to find alternative opportunities for you to showcase your work, contingent on an acceptable plan.

The scheme is open to University of Birmingham PhD students and ECRs. Those on ‘Teaching Only’ contacts are not eligible to apply as we must demonstrate explicit links to research to satisfy the conditions of our funding. Although aimed at PhDs/ECRs, we are happy to consider mid-career researchers if they feel they would benefit from the training on offer.

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