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Public Engagement at Manchester

Call for researchers to join community engagement scheme

The British Science Association has announced a call for researchers to join our community engagement scheme, the Community Buddy programme.

For the last seven years, the BSA has been building a community engagement portfolio through a series of programmes, workshops, and grant schemes. Community organisers have told us that they rarely have access to researchers. As such, we are looking for researchers that live in specific areas to connect with our existing group of Community Leaders, who have an established record of delivering high-quality, impactful science engagement with the BSA.

We are looking for a researcher to match with our Community Leader based in Oldham which is why I’m reaching out to you. Perhaps in your network you know some researchers who may be interested in this scheme?

To be a Community Buddy, we ask that, researchers:

  • Live locally to one of our 2021-22 Community Leaders;
  • Be a researcher actively linked to a university or research institution;
  • Attend one half-day online introductory session in September of 2022;
  • Commit to meeting with your buddy at least six times between September 2022 – March 2023;
  • Take part in a ‘community of practice’ to share your experience with other buddy pairs in three online sessions during the programme and one in-person meeting in London in March 2023;
  • Set aside any pre-determined agendas when you first meet and be open to developing any outcomes together using a relational mindset.

The full details of the Community Buddy scheme can be found in our recent Call for Community Buddies news piece, including the link to an Expression of Interest Form which is open until Monday 18 July 2022.


New Fund to support community engagement

Tap into the power of IF: The Ideas Fund launches in Oldham

A unique opportunity to work with communities to explore mental wellbeing in Oldham.

The British Science Association (BSA) and the Wellcome Trust have launched The Ideas Fund – a new grants programme to enable people in the UK to develop and evaluate local projects that aim to help to improve mental wellbeing. The Fund is designed to help people tackle issues that matter to them by connecting them with researchers who can help bring their ideas to life. Initially the Fund is focusing on mental wellbeing, with £3.29m funding to support community initiatives in four UK locations including Oldham in Greater Manchester.

The Fund is prioritising support for people who may not have had the opportunities to play an active role in research before, including people in rural locations, people from minority ethnic communities, and young, marginalised people who are socioeconomically disadvantaged.

Vocal is working in partnership with the BSA to help researchers and community groups to create partnerships and develop ideas for the Fund.

Are you a researcher or support researchers in their work?

We are interested in hearing from researchers from a wide range of disciplines. You don’t have to specialise in mental health, but your area of work needs to be linked to mental wellbeing (e.g. psychology, physical health, nutrition etc).

Whether you already have an idea, connections with community groups in Oldham, need some help forming a partnership or even if you want to find out if your research area fits the Fund, please get in touch with us.

If you want to know more about the Fund:

1. Visit The Ideas Fund website: https://theideasfund.org
2. Attend the pre-application workshops, the first one is on the 18th of February at 2pm.
3. Get in touch with us here.

Posted on behalf of Paolo Arru (he/him), Project Manager, Vocal (formerly called the Public Programmes team)

Be part of the UoM Community Festival 2020

Get involved in the next University-wide Community Festival, Saturday 27 June 2020

As part of our commitment to enhancing our relationships with members of our local community, we will be holding our annual University-wide Community Festival on Saturday, 27 June 2020 from 11.00am-4.00pm.

Last year over 3,000 people, many from our local neighbourhoods, were welcomed to our campus to discover more about what we do. Next year’s festival will be centred round Manchester Museum, University Place and Brunswick Park. Building on the success of the last two years, we will again be inviting our local friends and neighbours to enjoy family-friendly interactive activities, discover the wide variety of things we do and the opportunities available to them.

If you are interested in taking part, please complete an expression of interest form by 23 January 2020 and return it to engagement@manchester.ac.uk

We look forward to seeing you at the festival next June.

Posted on behalf of Suzanne Spicer, Social Responsibility Manager, The University of Manchester

Calling all scientists and engineers – looking to engage new audiences with your research?

Wonder Match Manchester – Tuesday 8 October, at Bridge 5 Mill.

Are you a scientist or engineer who would like to engage with new audiences with your research?

There is funding available to help this happen! Come to a Wonder Match event to find out more…

Wonder Match provides an opportunity to find out how you could access up to £15,000 for projects that support diverse audiences to engage with STFC-related science and technology. This event will be a chance to hear from the funders, find out about the STFC Spark Award, and meet potential project partners from community organisations.

You will also have the chance to apply for up to £1000 of ‘thinking funding’ to help you establish and develop community partnerships that could strengthen your Spark Award application.

Find out more and apply here: https://www.publicengagement.ac.uk/wonder-match

Posted on behalf of Dr Neville Hollingworth, Public Engagement Manager, Science and Technology Facilities Council
E: Neville.hollingworth@stfc.ac.uk