Registration now open for the 2020 Alan Turing Cryptography and Mathsbombe Competitions!

Alan Turing Cryptography Competition
Now in its ninth year, the online competition is open to secondary school children up to Year 11 (England and Wales), S4 (Scotland) and Year 12 (Northern Ireland). Run by the Department of Mathematics at The University of Manchester, it is a great way for children to develop their mathematical and problem-solving skills while having fun. The competition will begin in January 2020.And the best bit? There are lots of opportunities to win some great prizes, which have been sponsored by the flight search company Skyscanner. Skyscanner was set up by two former computer scientists from The University of Manchester – two people who directly benefitted from Turing’s contributions to Manchester and computing.

The competition follows the story of two young cipher sleuths, Mike and Ellie, as they get caught up in a cryptographic adventure ‘The Tale of the Bouncing Bombe’. New chapters of the story will be released every 1-2 weeks, each with a cryptographic code to solve. There are six chapters in total (plus an epilogue). Points can be earned by cracking each code and submitting the answers. The team that solves each chapter the fastest will win a prize, and there will also be a number of spot prizes chosen at random from all the correct entries.

At the end of the competition, the University will host the Alan Turing Cryptography Day at the end of April 2020. You will be able to register for this event from Saturday 1st February 2020. We anticipate plenty of code-breaking action, from a live cryptography challenge to a prize ceremony for the competition winners. It’s not to be missed!

For more details, including how to register, please visit:

Mathsbombe Competition
MathsBombe is an online competition aimed at students up to Year 13 (England and Scotland), S6 (Scotland), Year 14 (Northern Ireland). Every fortnight a new mathematical puzzle set will be released. There are prizes for the first team to submit the correct answer for each puzzle, as well as “spot-prizes” for three teams drawn at random from all the correct solutions every fortnight. The puzzles will be quirky, fun and cover the full spectrum of Mathematics; they will not be directly related to the A-Level syllabus and will be unlike problems in, say, the UKMT. Instead students will need to use their problem-solving skills and be able to ‘think outside the box’ – valuable skills for students going on to study STEM subjects at university. The competition is supported by the Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw Trust.

For more details, including how to register, please visit:

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at:

Call out for Science Fiction: Late – 18 March 2020, Science and Industry Museum

The Science and Industry Museum are looking for individuals and groups working on projects inspired by science fiction to support the delivery of their next Late on Wednesday 18 March 2020, which is going to look at how science fiction has predicted developments in technology and engineering, and reveal the science facts behind the fiction.

We’re looking for:

  • Demonstrations of new technologies
  • Entertaining shows or TED-style talks
  • Hands-on activities, crafts and challenges

They should be inspired by science fiction and appeal to an adult audience. There’s more information about the event in the call out document here.


+44 (0)161 696 7786 |

STEM for Britain – Annual poster competition for early career researchers (closes 2 Dec 2019)

Calling all early-career research scientists, engineers, technologists and mathematicians – take your research to Westminster!

STEM for Britain 2020 will take place in the Houses of Parliament on Monday 9 March during British Science Week.

Posters can be entered in one of five areas:

  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Chemistry
  • Engineering
  • Mathematical Sciences
  • Physics

There will be two poster exhibition and judging sessions during the day, each ending with a reception and prize-giving. The competition attracts over 500 entrants, of whom approximately one third are selected to present their work in Parliament. This prestigious annual event, which is attended by a significant number of Members of Parliament and Peers, is sponsored by Stephen Metcalfe MP, Chair of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee. Prizes will be awarded for the posters presented in each discipline which best communicate high level science, engineering or mathematics to a lay audience.

The closing date for applications is Monday 2 December 2019.

Who can apply to present a poster? What is meant by early-career researchers?
Poster presenters are in the early part of their careers – MSc, PhD, Post Docs, Research Assistants or Fellows, recently-appointed lecturers, part-time and “mature” students and their equivalents in national, public sector and industrial laboratories, or companies. The event is not appropriate for undergraduate students. We welcome returners, and those starting a second career – age is unimportant.

See information about the competition including FAQs here –

British Science Festival – Award Lecture nominations

Are you, or do you know, a promising early career researcher? Nominations are now open for seven Award Lectureships available to promising early career academics, skilled at engaging people with their research.

The Award Lectures are an opportunity for open and informed discussion of science and related disciplines. The selected candidates will have the opportunity to present their winning lecture at the 2020 Festival.

Nominations close on 6 January 2020 at 5pm.

More information, including the application process can be found here.

Medicine and Healthcare online mentor opportunity – sign-up by 9 Dec 2019

Inspire young people as an online mentor!

Greater Manchester Higher are looking for online mentors to share their experience of working in healthcare with young people from Year 12. It’s easy for mentors to get involved and sharing their experience can make a huge difference. Mentors can log in from anywhere and at a time that suits them (approx.1-2 hr a week for 6 weeks)

“A great way to help students be clearer in what they want to do in the future” – Insight mentee, 2019

Please find attached a flyer with more info and how to sign-up. Sign up by 9 December 2019

Posted on behalf of Emily Robinson | Student Recruitment & Widening Participation Officer (Greater Manchester Higher), The University of Manchester

Being Human Festival – 14-23 November 2019

Being Human is the UK’s only national festival of the humanities. The festival is running 14-23 November 2019 and number of events are taking place across Greater Manchester including:

Discovering Emigrant Children

This event offers the unique chance to learn about the 90,000 orphaned British children who forcibly emigrated from the North-West of the UK to Canada between the 1860s and 1920s. See:

Discovering Caribbean Family Memories

Manchester is home to a vibrant and diverse Caribbean community and during this workshop you can discover and become the keeper of your Caribbean family memories. See:

Music and Migration

Underlining the theme of Bengali folk music and its significance for the Bangladeshi (and Bengali) migrant diasporic population, two events showcase the rich heritage of these traditions for younger generations of Bangladeshis. For the exhibition see: and for the singing competition see:

Find more about other Being Human Festival events and activities: