[University home]

Public Engagement at Manchester

BIG event 2018 – 18-20 July 2018 – Winchester Science Centre & Planetarium

The BIG Event is a three day get-together every summer to share skills and experiences, develop professional links and keep up-to-date with the STEM engagement field. This is the place to hone your skills and recharge your professional batteries, pick up great ideas and show off your talents to peers.

It provides an unmissable opportunity to squeeze the skills and ideas out of all the STEM engagement people you can in a short space of time. It’s like power juice for STEM communicators.

Sessions: The content for the BIG Event is created by the members. And the people who say they get the most out of it are the people who contribute the content. The call for session proposals is now closed.

Booking: To register to attend the BIG Event 2018, click here. If you are a speaker and have a speaker registration code, you can click here.


  • Jan 2018 – The Call for session proposals closed 27 February 2018.
  • Late Feb 2018 – Registration opens (early bird prices); proposals close; sessions approved
  • Early April 2018 – Early bird registration closes and full price registration opens; BIG Bursaries open
  • May 2018 – BIG Bursaries close
  • June 2018 – Final programme published
  • July 2018 – Event takes place 18-20 July at Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium

Find out more here: https://www.big.uk.com/bigevent18/ or follow us on Twitter @bigchats or sign up to the big-chat email discussion list for developments.

Engage 2016: Inspiring Innovation

I’m delighted to let you know that registration is open for Engage 2016 – the NCCPE’s annual public engagement conference.

Featuring the finalists of this year’s Engage competition, the conference will celebrate the diversity of engaged practice across the UK. The conference will provide an opportunity both to take stock and to move forwards with our engagement work.

Engage 2016 will take place on the 29th & 30th November in Bristol. You can find out more and register via out website: https://www.publicengagement.ac.uk/engage-2016

We look forward to seeing you there! Just let me know if you have any queries – Email: laura2.steele@uwe.ac.uk or Phone: 0117 328 7191

Posted on behalf of Laura Steele, Project Officer, National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement

National Research Impact (REF) conference: Delivering Excellence

Research Impact (REF): Delivering Excellence – Tuesday 5 July 2016, Manchester Conference Centre

We are delighted with the fantastic response we have had for our Research Impact (REF): Delivering Excellence 2016 conference. Tickets are selling quickly so we encourage interested individuals to Register Today in order to secure your place(s).

Academics admit feeling pressure to embellish possible impact of research!

Why is this REF 2016 event taking place?

Following the 2014 REF the government have commissioned a UK-wide review of university research funding to cut red tape for a simpler, lighter-touch, system for the REF so that universities can focus more on delivering the world-leading research

Lord Stern is leading the review drawing on evidence from the evaluation of the previous REF exercise and will be considering other models and future iterations of research performance and evaluation.

So what will the future of research funding and evaluation look like and how can institutions continue to deliver excellence? Are other models of research evaluation likely to emerge?

  • View Programme here:
  • View Overview here:
  • Register here:

Sample list of organisations attending REF 2016 so far!

  • The University Of Manchester
  • Birkbeck, University of London
  • Manchester Metropolitan University
  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Southampton
  • University of Salford
  • Queen Mary University of London
  • Leeds Beckett University
  • St George’s University of London
  • Bournemouth University
  • University of Warwick
  • NHS England
  • Sheffield Teaching Hospitals

Confirmed Speakers Include:

  • Aaron Porter, Director of External Affairs, National Centre for Universities & Business (NCUB) – Welcome and introduction
  • Dr Simon Kerridge, Chair, Association of Research Managers and Administrators; Director of Research Services, University of Kent – The changing landscape for research funding
  • Dr Vicky Jones, REF Deputy Manager at HEFCE – The Metric Tide
  • Dr Christine Nightingale, Member of the REF Equality and Diversity Advisory Panel; Head of Equality and Diversity, De Montfort University – Writing REF bids and submissions: Improving quality and diversity’
  • Professor Roger Falconer, School of Engineering, Cardiff University; Member Panel B
  • Dr Catriona Manville, Senior Adviser, RAND Europe – High Performing Research Units
  • Peter Burnhill, Director EDINA, Information Services, University of Edinburgh
  • Katy McKen, Head of Research Information & Intelligence, University of Bath; Member of REF Panel C
  • Professor Mark Reed, Professor of Socio-Technical Innovation, Newcastle University
  • Sarah Parks, Analyst, RAND Europe

Who is the event for?

This international conference aims to help Higher Education Institutions and researchers effectively measure and evidence impact, offering practical guidance to deliver excellence.

What is different about this event?

Active Learning with breakout sessions offering practical guidance to help you improve your research excellence and to demonstrate excellence in REF submissions and interdisciplinary research

Learn about the future direction for research funding and assessment as the government reviews of governance, structure and evaluation develop.

Explore REF case studies and examples to help universities effectively measure and evidence impact, offering practical guidance on delivering high quality submissions across disciplines, institutions and projects.

Feedback from REF 2015

99% of feedback from our previous conference which took place last year graded the speakers as good or excellent. We had representation from 75% Russell Group Universities and 85% of attendees represented the top 50 Universities in the UK.

This year’s Research Impact (REF): Delivering Excellence 2016 conference promises to be even bigger and better and we have delighted with the overwhelming response we have had so far with representation from across the UK and Europe.

If you would like to know more about this event, please click here for more details and to register your place

If this one is not for you on the 14 July 2016 once again in Manchester is our National Teaching Excellence Framework conference. Details of this event can be found here

If you need any assistance or would like to discuss in detail please do not hesitate to contact me on my details below.

Jonathan Smith

Senior Marketing Executive
Open Forum Events
0161 376 9007

Communicate 2015: Challenging Partnerships

We invite you to join us for Communicate 2015: Challenging Partnerships for two days of inspiring content, interactive workshops and engaging discussion in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere that provides fantastic opportunities for networking with fellow communicators.

This year the event takes places 10 & 11 November, At-Bristol Science Centre, Bristol

Registrations are now open – www.bnhc.org.uk/communicate/

Communicate is the UK’s leading conference for environmental communicators, bringing together over 150 delegates each year to develop their skills, share best practice and debate the latest issues in engaging people with the natural world.

If you are discussing a controversial topic and everyone in the room agrees with you, you are in the wrong room” – Ben Summerskill,  Communicate 2014. Revisit Ben Summerskill’s inspiring keynote in the Communicate video archive

Twitter: @Communicate_15

British Science Association 2015 Science Communication Conference – call for proposals

The call for proposals for sessions at the 2015 Science Communication Conference is now open.

If you’d like to propose a session that you would like to help organise, complete this online form – https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2QXKYYY

Your session could look to the future of communications, and science’s role in culture and society, or it could address one of our key topics for 2015:

  • Communicating through play
  • Science communication for the public good?
  • Crowd-sourcing
  • Telling stories with complex science and big data.

The deadline for proposals is 9 January 2015.

About the Conference:

When and where is the Science Communication Conference in 2015?
The 2015 Science Communication Conference will take place on Thursday 18 & Friday 19 June at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Who organises the Conference?
The Science Communication Conference is organised by the British Science Association in partnership with the Wellcome Trust.

Who attends the Conference?
We welcome anyone who works in or has an interest in public engagement with science. That includes people who work in all sectors, as well as freelancers and small consultancies. The Conference will include sessions for all levels of experience, from seasoned pros to those new to the sector.

What is the Conference for?
The Conference aims to:

  • Address key issues facing all people doing and researching science communication, policy and public engagement
  • Link together this diverse group, to share new ideas and move the sector forward
  • Help the community to find inspiration and connections from culture throughout the UK.

Not sure if this conference is for you? Read this handy blog post from Dr Sam Illingworth:

Engage conference 2014 registration now open!

The NCCPE annual conference is sneaking up on us! In Bristol on the 3 and 4 December 2014 we will be bringing together people who are interested in public engagement to be inspired, challenged and refreshed.

Our conference theme this year is Captivating places; Captivating ideas; Captivating people: Unlocking the potential of curiosity-driven engagement, and in the coming weeks we’ll be blogging, tweeting and discussing what these themes mean to you, so do share your thoughts!

You can see a provisional programme of what to expect at Engage 2014 here, and to register for Engage, please click the following link.

We are delighted to announce that plenary speakers include Madeleine Atkins, Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England – who will be sharing her insights on how universities need to engage with the public; Dominic Gray, Projects Director at Opera North, and Michael John Gorman, Director of the Science Gallery in Dublin – two organisations doing quite extraordinary work to engage with the public; and Eleonora Belfiore, Associate Professor of Cultural Policy at the University of Warwick, a leading thinker about the dynamics of engagement and how to value it.

Has the REF helped to embed support for public engagement? As universities await the conclusions of the REF 2014 assessment exercise, the NCCPE having been considering the impact of the REF on public engagement, and whether this has been positive or negative. Join in the discussion by sharing your comments on our blog. We will be picking up this discussion in more depth at Engage 2014 where we are hosting a seminar all about the REF, so look out for that when planning your visit.

Posted on behalf of becci.feltham@uwe.ac.uk

synergize2014: making collaborative research happen – 22 & 23 September, Lancaster University

synergize2014 addresses the greater pressure for research to have impact on society and the economy via collaborative research where academics partner with business, community groups and the wider public.

It will bring together a range of innovators to celebrate their projects, demystify practices and terminologies and provide a forum for all stakeholders.

Keynote speakers with backgrounds in journalism, art and design, technology and computing, health and social services, secondary education, and environmental activism, will share their experiences across the conference themes of: co-design, research in the wild, citizen science, research partnerships, engagement and impact.

Who should attend?
Academics, researchers, industry professionals, technologists, business and SME’s, charitable and community organisations, students, or individuals with ambitions for new research partnerships. This may include individuals with interests in computing, art and design, business, management, social scientists, practitioners of innovation, established academics and early career researchers.

For more information and to book please visit: www.synergize2014.org/