Do you have a passion for public engagement and science-based competitions? Would you like the opportunity to present a science topic of your choice in just three minutes?
FameLab UK is calling on all scientists, mathematicians and engineers across the UK to take part in its flagship science communications competition.
The UK competition is in three stages:
- Regional Heats: the Oxford Heats take place on the 21 and 25 January, with the Regional Final on 18 March 2016.
- Regional finalists participate in a FameLab Masterclass 1-3 April 2016
- National Final takes place in London on 25 April 2016 with a cash prize of £1,000 and £750 to spend on a science communication activity.
The overall UK national winner then goes on to competes against 25+ other international finalists for the title of FameLab International Champion at The Times Cheltenham Science Festival in June 2016.
Judges are made up of leading researchers, media personalities and science policy makers who will make their decision based on the content, clarity and charisma of the contestants’ 3-minute presentations.
For more information about the event and to register, go to:
FameLab was set up in 2005 by Cheltenham Festivals in partnership with NESTA to find and nurture scientists with a flair for communicating with public audiences.
Oxford Sparks offers training each term on various aspects of doing public engagement, these are open to researchers from DPhil upwards.
Course Title: Introduction to public engagement
Date: 20th October 2015
Description: An introduction for those looking to get started in Public Engagement and Science Communication covering the basics of what it is, how to do it and a chance to be inspired by those already doing it.
Course Title: Translating your research into a hands-on activity
Date: 5th November 2015
Desription: This comprehensive introduction to working with hands-on activities will include thinking about how people learn, the value of a hands-on approach and consideration of the practical issues you may face.
Course Title: Podcast your science
Date: 12th November 2015
Description: From inception to publication, this session is a whirlwind tour through the basics of how to share your research in an engaging manner through podcasting. The session will introduce approaches to podcasting and some of the basic technical skills of recording, editing and publishing audio files.
Registration – coming soon
Course Title: Using social media to communicate your research
Date: 7th December
Description: A practical introduction to using social media tools to develop and maintain an on-line presence, and how to start defining your audience and developing strategies for engagement.
Course Title: Narrative and storytelling skills
Date: 9th December
Description: This course will help you develop an understanding of what makes a great narrative or story and develop your communication skills for different non-academic audiences.
Other Courses Coming Soon!
— Grant writing for Public Engagement – TBC
— Lunchtime networking sessions – TBC
— Evaluating Public Engagement – TBC (Next Term)
Is it time to welcome our new robot overlords? Probably not quite yet (thankfully) but there are still a lot of interesting things happening in the world of Artificial Intelligence that are changing how the world works.
Part 1 of the most recent podcast series from the people at Oxford Sparks discusses a variety of issues surrounding AI, including using AI to help save the world, using machines to spot tiny scientific needles in massive data haystacks, and can machines learn?
Listen to it now at http://bit.ly/1JNfQ5d
With Trinity Term almost upon us we thought it’d be a great time to share some of the different training opportunities available to develop and hone your public engagement and science communication skills, and also provide the chance to hear about new and innovative approaches to public engagement.
All of the below courses are free to attend and are open to DPhil students, ECRs and other University staff from MPLS and MSD (unless otherwise stated). Click on the title for more information and how to register. Scroll to the bottom for details on one-to-one sessions you can book with our Public Engagement guru, Michaela!
*Lunchtime networking sessions
- 23 April, 1-2pm, Wager Room, Earth Sciences – ‘Science sound waves: science podcasts’ with Steve Pritchard (In the Abstract) and Brian Mackenwells (Action Science Theatre, Wager Room – Earth Sciences building
- 6 May, 1-2pm, JSR Seminar Room, PTCL – ‘Hands-on at exhibitions, festivals and fairs’ with Marie-Claude Dupuis, Public Engagement Manager of the Royal Society
*Podcast your Science
6 May, 9.15m-12.15pm, IT Services Banbury Road
*Translating your research into a hands-on activity
7 May, 1-4pm, University of Oxford Botanical Gardens
*Narrative skills – Save the date, registration opening soon.
20 May, 10am-4pm, Mathematical Institute
*Using social media to communicate your research
2 June, 10.15am-12.15pm, IT Services, Banbury Road
*Supporting public engagement sessions for Medical Sciences Division
Every Fortnight, 1-2pm, various locations
You can attend Public Engagement surgery hours most Tuesday afternoons or Friday mornings to get support and advice about public engagement activities or projects you’re doing. Visit the website and find an available slot, then email Michaela Livingstone.
Are you working to enhance the quality, visibility and impact of public engagement with research? Are you responsible for developing a strategic approach to engagement with research for your department, research organisation or university? Would you like to work with others to develop your skills in this role?
If so the NCCPE’s Public Engagement Academy could be for you. The Academy provides a space for professional development for those working to embed high quality engagement with research in their institution, to encourage them to develop their practice, confidence and skills.
The Academy aims to provide an opportunity for participants to:
- Gain insights into how public engagement is being supported and led in other HEI
- Explore the current and future policy and funding drivers for engagement, including the relationship between public engagement with research and the impact agenda
- Develop contacts with key policy makers / funders
- Develop a network of peer support for individuals working to embed engagement into their organisation
The Academy will run from May 2015 until January 2016, and will be made up of three core two-day training sessions held in Bristol, interspersed with some reflective work and Action Learning Set meetings. To attend, you must register before the 13th March 2015 The dates of the two-day training sessions are, as follows, and participants are expected to attend all three of the core training sessions:
Date(s): 12th – 13th May 2015, 15th – 16th September 2015 and 20th-21st January 2016
Cost: £750 for the full course (although reduced rate available if you meet the criteria
To find out more about the Public Engagement Academy – Click Here
To find out more about the 6-day course programme – Click Here (PDF)
To register for the 6-day course – Click Here