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Public Engagement at Manchester


The Public Engagement blog is a forum to share views, thoughts, feedback and generally chat about how the University of Manchester interacts with the public.

Judging and Mentoring Opportunity for Youth Grand Challenges 2017 Competition

The Youth Grand Challenges is a new STEM competition inspiring young people, aged 11-to-19, to use science and technology to change the world. The competition calls on students to come up with innovative solutions to address global health issues, and builds on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Grand Challenges programme for researchers.

See: http://www.crestawards.org/youth-grand-challenges/

We’re calling on STEM professionals to support the young people involved in the competition, and we hope you can join them. We are on the lookout for:

Volunteer Judges: will donate their time and expertise to help select the most deserving finalists. Judges will be registered on the online entry platform, where they will explore entrants’ innovative solutions and score their work. Judges are free to judge as many, or as little, projects as their time will allow, and will be assigned projects that fit in with their own expertise and interests.

Project Mentors: We are also looking for a smaller number of mentors to support students during their projects. Mentors play an important role by offering their experience, knowledge and enthusiasm to encourage students and provide guidance where required. Whilst the time offered by mentors varies depending on the complexity of the project and the agreement in place with their mentee, mentoring typically involves donating between 15 minutes – 1 hour a week.

Interested? To register your interest in either opportunity, please complete this short expression of interest form: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/YGC2017

If you have any questions or would like more information on the programme, please get in touch with the Youth Grand Challenges team at: youthgrandchallenges@britishscienceassociation.org

Posted on behalf of Jacob Ohrvik-Stott, Project Officer, British Science Association
T: +44 (0)20 7019 4967 E: jacob.ohrvik-stott@britishscienceassociation.org

Engagement@Manchester – Partnerships for research collaborations – 29 March 2017, 1:00 -2:30pm, Simon Building, 4.38

In our next Engagement@Manchster session we explore the diversity of research collaborations and engagement across different commercial, service, and third sector organisations. Our academics will highlight the challenges of the developing and managing such partnerships and the opportunities for pathways to impact.

When & Where: Partnerships for research collaborations – 29 March 2017, 1:00 -2:30pm, Simon Building, 4.38


  • Dr Cath O’Neil, School of Biological Science
  • Dr Rebecca Tipton, School of Arts Languages & Cultures
  • Dr Carl Diver, School of Mechanical, Aerospace & Civil Engineering

All welcome. Tea, coffee and biscuits on offer.

Missed out on our last session?

We explored how “public engagement can lead to impact” with guest presenter Paul Manners, Director NCCPE. Catch up on the video, slides, reports, and more here.

Dee-Ann Johnson, FSE Researcher Development and Rachel Kenyon, Hums, Business Engagement 

Funding opportunity – Being Human festival 2017

I am delighted to announce that Being Human, the UK’s only national festival of the humanities, will be returning for a fourth year between 17-25 November 2017.

Many of you will know already that Being Human is run by the School of Advanced Study, University of London, in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Academy. It provides as a national platform to share research in the humanities in fun and engaging ways with non-academic audiences. Our festival theme this year is ‘Lost and Found’.

As always, we are offering a number of grants to support public engagement activities across the UK. You can apply for a ‘Small Award’, a ‘Hub Award’, or apply to take part with an event that does not require funding from the festival. Please take a look at our full call for applications for details: www.beinghumanfestival.org/apply.

Last year’s programme was an incredible display of humanities fun (also featuring lots of events in collaboration with scientists, artists, social scientists). You can take a look at the programme here. There are also now a number of case-studies on the website which should be useful if you are thinking of applying.

Need further inspiration? Take a look through our gallery from 2016 events here: https://beinghumanfestival.org/image-gallery/

The deadline for funded applications is 5pm 10 April.

Posted on behalf of Dr Michael Eades, Curator – Being Human festival of the humanities

Widening participation: A qualitative study exploring accessibility and success barriers in higher education

We want to increase our understanding of how to support students in higher education so that accessibility and success are equal for all.

The teaching and learning environment must provide an equal opportunity to all students and this study will inform this. We are interested in your views as a student or staff member who has been involved in widening participation events at The University of Manchester. This study has been reviewed and approved by The University of Manchester’s Research Ethics Committee (2016-0222-369) and the interview should take around 45 minutes. We will give you a high street voucher to say thank you for your time.

If you have any questions or would like to arrange a time for an interview, please contact Dr Debbie Smith (Debbie.Smith-2@manchester.ac.uk) or Katie Coppack (kathryn.coppack@student.manchester.ac.uk).

Cancer Research UK open evening, Tuesday 21 February

Cancer Research UK open evening, Tuesday 21st February
Michael Smith Building, 6-8pm

Join us for a fascinating insight into the world-class cancer research supported by Cancer Research UK in Manchester. Hear from Professor Martin Humphries about his pioneering research into cell adhesion and pancreatic cancer, get hands-on with our science at our interactive stalls, find out how you can support Cancer Research UK and discover how Manchester is leading the way in cancer research.

Attendance is free but space is limited so please register for your place at https://crukopenevening.eventbrite.co.uk

Please contact manchestercentre@cancer.org.uk or Sive Finlay, Research Engagement Manager on 07825933923 if you have any queries

Celebrating Community Action – Volunteer of the Year Awards now open!

Every year the University celebrates the actions of staff, students and alumni who give their time and commitment to communities locally, national and internationally through the Volunteer of the Year Awards.

Previous nominees have taken on a wide range of roles to support vulnerable members of the community both in the UK and overseas, including support to the homeless, the elderly, those in crisis and those living in poverty. They have done this through mobilising local communities, raising vital funds and providing one to one support.

Nominations are now open for the 2017 awards with three categories:

  • Student of the Year – open to any current undergraduate or postgraduate of the University of Manchester. This award is in association with University of Manchester Students’ Union.
  • Staff of the Year – open to any current staff member of the University.
  • Alumni of the Year – open to any graduate of The University of Manchester (including Victoria University and UMIST).

Do you do something to support others or know a student or member of staff at the University who does? If so why not nominate them. The process is easy!

Last year’s staff winner was Kirsty Keywood, an academic in the School of Law. She advocates for the rights of people with learning difficulties and mental health problems in a number of ways including having volunteered as an appropriate adult for Greater Manchester Police and supporting the development of services of the Manchester People First charity.

Each winner receives a financial donation to the organisation that they support: £300 for the overall winner, and £200 and £100 for the 2nd and 3rd place runners up. In addition the overall winner in each category is put forward for the University Social Responsibility Award, one of the President’s Distinguished Achievement Awards.

For more information and to make a nomination go to www.manchester.ac.uk/volunteeroftheyear.

To inspire you, information on all the 2016 winners, and winners from previous years, can also be found on these pages.

The Awards are organised by the Student Development & Community Engagement Division, which is part of the Directorate for the Student Experience.

The deadline for Volunteer of the Year nominations is Sunday 12th March 2017.

Posted by Lindsay Gilbert, Volunteering & Community Engagement Manager, The University of Manchester

Applications now open for “Standing up for Science Media Workshop” Friday 7 April, Manchester

STANDING UP FOR SCIENCE Media Workshop – Friday 7 April, 10.30am – 5pm, University of Manchester

This full day event is FREE for early career researchers and scientists in all sciences, engineering and medicine (PhD students, post-docs or equivalent in first job). Join us to find out how to make your voice heard in public debates about science. Meet scientists who have engaged with the media and learn from respected science journalists about how the media works, and how to respond and comment, and what journalists expect from scientists.

What do previous participants (researchers at the University of Manchester) have to say about this workshop:

To apply: Fill out the online form by 9am, Tuesday 21st March:

For more information, email Joanne – jthomas@senseaboutscience.org or visit: http://senseaboutscience.org/activities/manchester-workshop/