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Public Engagement at Manchester

Visualising Research – bringing public data to life

A competition for designers, graphic artists, software developers, programmers and anyone with an interest in data visualisation. Aligned with the British Library’s Beautiful Science exhibition, February – May 2014.

The challenge

Bringing public data to life – Can you present complex data to tell a compelling story that anyone will be able to understand?

Every year our seven Research Councils, funded by UK tax payers, spend around £3 billion on research that improves lives and the world around us. Research Council funds are awarded on the basis of applications made by researchers, which are subject to independent, expert peer review. Applications are judged by considering a combination of factors, including their scientific excellence, timeliness and promise, strategic relevance, economic and social impacts, industrial and stakeholder relevance, value for money and staff training potential.

Key data from the seven Research Councils, are now available from one place – Gateway to Research – enabling anyone to interrogate grants awarded, publications, people and organisations.

The purpose of this challenge is to develop visualisations of the Gateway to Research data that can be easily understood by the public. Displaying these data in an accessible way will also have benefits for a range of sectors, stakeholders including policy makers, other funding bodies and the media.

The competition

Who can enter – Anyone can enter – either as an individual or with others. You don’t have to be based in the UK. We are looking for strong design elements that get the message across to the public but the data has to be right too. If you are a great designer or a great programmer, you might like to work collaboratively to complement your skills. We are inviting designers, graphic artists, software developers, programmers and anyone with an interest in data visualisation to produce images that will show how this public funding contributes to research in the UK.

What we’re looking for – For this competition, we value:

  • Enlightening the general public over targeting niche special-interest groups
  • Use of Open Data over use of proprietary data
  • Open collaborations over entries by individuals
  • Conveyance of accurate and clear information over sensationalism
  • Cross-disciplinary teams (developers, designers, graphic artists, journalists, etc) over single-discipline teams
  • A finished, re-usable, shareable visualisation over a concept or paper prototype

Next steps – If you want more information then come to our workshop at the British Library in London on 24 January 2014. You don’t have to attend the workshop to enter the competition.

Entry forms will be available from Monday 27 January 2014.

The closing date is 21 March 2014 (17:00 GMT)

Find out more here.

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