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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.

Research Council Policy Internships Scheme for PhD Students (Closes 10 Aug)

The Research Council Policy Internships Scheme provides the opportunity for Research Council-funded PhD students to work for three months in one of a selected group of highly influential policy organisations.

You can find out more about the scheme and application process here (closing date 10 August).

Policy@manchester are happy to offer support and guidance with applications so please do get in touch with jess.lishak@manchester.ac.uk if you’re considering applying.

The Research Councils organise internships for current Research Council-funded PhD students to work at partner host organisations on one or more policy topics relevant to both the student and the host. The student will be expected to produce at least one briefing paper, participate in a policy inquiry and/or organise a policy event, or equivalent piece of work. Internships are awarded to a number of Parliamentary, Government Departments and Non-Governmental Bodies, Learned societies and organisations.

The 22 Hosting Partners for the 2017/18 competition round are:

  • Department for Education
  • Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)
  • Food Standards Agency
  • Government Office for Science (GoS)
  • Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC)
  • HM Courts & Tribunals Services
  • Home Office
  • Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC)
  • National Assembly for Wales Research Service
  • Natural England
  • Northern Ireland Assembly (RaISe)
  • Northern Ireland Housing Executive
  • Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST)
  • Public Health England
  • Scottish Environment Protection Agency
  • Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe)
  • Scrutiny Unit
  • Sentencing Council
  • The Royal Society
  • The Royal Society of Biology (RSB)
  • Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP)
  • Youth Justice Board for England & Wales

Interactive Masterclass: The Wow! to How? of Science Communication seminar – 5th July 2017, 2-3pm

Registration is now open for “The Art of Attraction” seminar by internationally renowned TV science performer Tom Pringle (AKA Dr Bunhead from Brainiac) on Weds 5th July at 2pm in Roscoe Theatre B.

The seminar is suitable for anyone with an interest in science communication.
In this interactive presentation Tom will distil 30 years of science communication experience into one hour of proven tips and techniques to attract lay audiences into science. From public speaking skills to theatrical techniques, this whirlwind tour will cover everything you ought to know to shape up your science communication skills.

Attendance is free but sign up is essential!! Tickets are available on a first come, first served basis and we expect this event will be extremely popular so book now to avoid disappointment!


Meriel Maddocks – Outreach Administrator (Mon-Weds 8am-4pm, Thurs 10am-2pm) Room G.027 I School of Chemistry I The University of Manchester I Oxford Road I Manchester M13 9PL
E-mail : outreach.chemistry@manchester.ac.uk


Widening Participation Fellow Recruitment 2017

Are you passionate about your subject area? Would you like the opportunity to work with local school children? …then the Widening Participation Fellow programme might be for you!

The Student Recruitment and Widening Participation Team is currently recruiting non-final year PhD students for the position of Widening Participation Fellows. These positions support the University’s widening participation activities with a range of learners from primary through to sixth formers. There are a number of posts available in each Faculty.

You can learn more about our Widening Participation work by visiting our webpages and view our annual report from last year.

Applications are online via this link and should be submitted by 5pm on Friday 25th August 2017.

You can find out more information about the WP Fellow positions online here.

Please note these positions are open to PhD students who won’t be in their final year from September 2017. Students who will be 1st Years in their PhDs in September are able to apply.

For further information and enquiries, please contact the relevant Faculty Officer below:


Just So Festival: Science Workshop 2017


The multi-award winning Just So Festival is on the lookout for an exciting porposal for a science workshop over over 8’s. A weekend camping event for families in Cheshire (a short 45 mins from Manchester) on the 18th, 19th & 20th of August Just So provides a space to take families out of their day to day lives and into the extraordinary. A place where art, music, theatre, puppetry, circus and literature are embedded in the beautiful wild landscape of Rode Hall, Cheshire. All of our programme, from pillow fights and midnight feasts to performances and dance workshops are designed for families to do together.

We have recently created a new area of our festival, in partnership with The Week Junior, The Forgotten Courtyard, which is a space full of interesting talks and workshops -we have a whole host of brilliant people, from The School of Tropical Medicine to Project Real Junk Food along side award winning authors and adventurers and The Week Junior themselves hosting big debates and journalism workshops.

You can see a bit more about what we do here and here. If you are interested in proposing something for the festival contact Cathryn on cathryn@justsofestival.org.uk with a brief outline of what you would like to do and any costs associated by the 2nd of June.

Cathryn Peach, Creative Producer, Wild Rumpus

MakeFest 2017 – call out for Makers

MakeFest is the Museum of Science and Industry’s annual celebration of hands-on, do-it-yourself making. Artists, makers, crafters and coders will take over the museum for a whole weekend to show off their skills and encourage everyone to have a go at making something for themselves.

Be a Maker at MakeFest 2017 –  19-20 August.

We need all kinds of people to make MakeFest happen. High tech or low tech and anything in between, if you want to be a Maker at this year’s MakeFest then we want to hear from you.

You can apply to:

  • Have a maker station to show your work and get people making
  • Run a workshop
  • Give demonstrations
  • Have another idea? Let us know on your application

Applications can be submitted from individuals or groups. Your creation doesn’t even need to be finished – works in progress are always welcome. All applications must be submitted by 23.59 on Friday 26 May 2017.

Please click here to apply:

Posted on behalf Georgina Wells, Contemporary Science Programme Coordinator, Museum of Science and Industry

Only a few days left to apply for the UK’s national award in science communication!

Get your skates on, folks! There are only a few days left to apply for the UK’s national award in science communication, established to recognise and support up-and-coming talent in science communication.

The winner of the 2017 Josh Award will get a fantastic string of prizes, including the opportunity to become the science communicator in residence at the Manchester Science Festival

You’ll also receive up to £2500 to develop your project or event with Manchester Science Festival and up to £1000 personal expenses budget.

Attendance at the annual BIG Event (conference fee and annual membership provided by BIG, worth around £300 – http://www.big.uk.com)

A personal prize cheque of £500 provided by the Josh Award. The Josh Award trophy, held for one year. And bags and bags of prestige and kudos!

Applying is really simple so there’s no reason not to try! Apply by 5pm on Monday 22nd May 2017 by clicking on http://www.big.uk.com/josh

Posted on behalf of, Sarah Vining, Membership Services Manager, BIG STEM Communicators Network

Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition – call for volunteers – apply by 19 May

Volunteer at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 2017

The Royal Society is looking for reliable and highly motivated volunteers to work on the 2017 Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition this July.

The Summer Science Exhibition is the Society’s flagship event, attracting thousands of visitors over the course of a week. Bringing together 22 exhibits and over 600 scientists, it showcases the most exciting cutting-edge science and technology research from across the UK and provides a unique opportunity for members of the public to chat to scientists and ask them questions about their work. Alongside the exhibition, we run a programme of events including an adults-only Twilight Science evening, Café Scientifiques, panel discussions and interactive activities.

With so much going on, we rely on our dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers to ensure the success of this event. We are looking for people who are happy to engage in a wide variety of tasks, have good team working skills, are comfortable talking to the public, have an interest in science and, above all, are enthusiastic. The exhibition takes place 3 – 9 July. Working hours are flexible although we would usually expect volunteers to commit to 15 – 20 hours across three or four days of the exhibition. Although this volunteering opportunity offers ideal experience for someone looking to get involved in science public engagement or events management, we are also keen to hear from those who are simply passionate about science. The Society is committed to increasing diversity in STEM and we particularly welcome applications from under-represented groups.

In return for your time, you will learn new skills, meet some of the world’s leading scientists and get the opportunity to go behind the scenes at this prestigious event. The Exhibition is always a busy time at the Royal Society, but it is also a very fun and rewarding event to work on, and successful applicants will also get the opportunity to volunteer at other events throughout the year should they wish to.

Tasks during the exhibition will include:

  • Taking responsibility for particular events, including speaker management, checking set up and introducing the event
  • Interacting with the public, greeting visitors and responding to queries
  • Briefing school groups and teachers visiting the exhibition
  • Staffing the information desk
  • Acting as human signposts outside the buildings and assisting with queue management at busy times
  • Media tasks (such as podcasting, supporting filming and interviewing and social media such as Facebook Live)
  • Supporting evaluation of the event through observations and data reporting
  • Administrative tasks including evaluation and monitoring emails

Volunteers will be given a full day of training prior to the exhibition, scheduled for Friday 16 June at the Royal Society.

We will cover travel expenses and provide meals and refreshments during exhibition opening times.

If you are interested, please send a CV and a brief cover letter of no more than one page explaining why you would like to volunteer and why you think you would be suitable for the role to exhibition@royalsociety.org by Friday 19 May. Interviews will take place by phone on 30 May – 2 June.

Please include information about your availability for the week and contact details for two referees.

Volunteers will be required to attend training on Friday 16 June 2017 prior to their placement.

For more information please call Emma Slater at 020 7451 2242 or email exhibition@royalsociety.org