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Public Engagement at Manchester

Free Training: Engaging with Select Committees and MPs – 9 May 2018

Engaging with Select Committees and MPs – Wednesday 09/05/2018 13:00 – 16:30, Kanaris Lecture Theatre, 2nd Floor, Manchester Museum

Run in conjunction with the Royal Society

In the last Research Exercise Framework, 20 percent of impact case studies outlined substantive engagement with Parliament, while Parliamentarians are often cited by researchers as being among those they want to influence. Arguably, technology and a drive towards more ‘open policy making’ now makes it easier to connect with policy actors.

But do you really understand what these policy actors want from academics? How is academic research and evidence viewed – and used – by your target audience? And what are the secrets to getting your messages across, to shape debates and decisions?

This session is specifically designed for researchers who intend to actively engage with politicians and policymakers in the near future.

Contributors to this session include;

  • A member of staff from a Parliamentary Committee
  • A former Parliamentary Assistant to an MP
  • A member of the Royal Society’s Public Affairs Team.
  • Academics who have engaged with Parliament and policy

Places are limited and are expected to be in high demand, so please only book if you can definitely attend. Please note we may charge for non-attendance or restrict your ability to book onto future training if you book a place and do not turn up. (Please note that lunch is not provided.)

Register: https://app.manchester.ac.uk/TP45MP


Learn the basics of UK Policy Making and Influencing – Free Training!

Policy@Manchester is offering researchers a chance to get a basic grounding in public policy and policymaking; with the aim of helping them better understand opportunities for impact.

Introduction to UK Policy Making and Influencing, run by Policy@Manchester, will run on Wednesday 28 March, 2.00-4.30pm.

Register: https://app.manchester.ac.uk/TP45P

This session is designed to be a primer on what is meant by public policy and policymaking, the environment in which national and regional policy is made, and the policy actors who have the ability to influence decisions.

It is suitable for those with no or little public policy experience, who want to understand more about the policy environment and landscape regionally and nationally, and how they might use their research to engage. This session is aimed primarily at researchers, but will also be of relevance to PSS support staff working in engagement and knowledge exchange, who need to facilitate academic and policymaker interactions.

Places are free, but are limited and must be booked here; https://app.manchester.ac.uk/TP45P.

The session will take place on the 5th Floor in the Roscoe Building on the Oxford Rd campus. Please only book a place if you can definitely attend on that day.

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

Call for applications: Royal Society Pairing Scheme 2016

Royal Society Pairing Scheme for Scientists, Parliamentarians and Civil Servants

The Royal Society Pairing Scheme aims to help MPs and civil servants establish links with practising research scientists and to help research scientists understand political decision making and its associated pressures.

The scheme offers scientists the opportunity to understand the policy process and explore methods of sharing their knowledge with Government. Scientists will be paired with either an MP or civil servant. They will spend time together in their Laboratory and in turn in their paired MP’s constituency or Civil Servant’s Government office. All scientists will participate in a ‘Week in Westminster’ providing a valuable insight into how science policy is formed.

Applicants are required to have at least two years postdoctoral research experience. Applicants should also be able to demonstrate good communication skills, and in particular, an ability to communicate their research to a lay audience.

The scheme is now open for applications from scientists until Wednesday 9 March.

Find out more and apply at: https://royalsociety.org/grants-schemes-awards/pairing-scheme/

Posted by Dee-Ann Johnson, Faculty of Engineering & Physical Sciences, The University of Manchester

Early career researchers – take your research to Westminister

SET for BRITAIN Poster Competition 2016 – now open

Applications are invited from early-career research scientists, engineers, technologists and mathematicians who wish to exhibit at the SET for BRITAIN poster competition.

Awards are made on the basis of the very best research work and results by an early-career researcher (MSc/PhD/Post Doc or similar, either in academia or industry) together with their ability to communicate their work to a lay audience.

SET for BRITAIN exists to raise the profile of Britain’s early-stage researchers at Westminster by engaging Members of both Houses of Parliament with current science, engineering and mathematics research being undertaken in the UK, especially that by their local constituents and in their local University.

The competition is divided into five subject areas:

  • Biological and Biomedical Science
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Engineering
  • Mathematics

There are 3 poster exhibitions and judging sessions during the day, each ending with a reception and prize-giving. The competition currently attracts around 500 entrants, of whom approximately 35% are selected to present their work in Parliament.

Previous winners – Last year’s Gold Award winner in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences, was Dean Lomax, from the School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, University of Manchester. Take a look all the 2015 winning posters.

Applications for submission close 21 December 2015 – You will need to submit (i) the online application, (ii) an abstract of the poster in PDF and (iii) a letter of reference from a senior colleague in PDF. (Application is solely by electronic submission.)

For full application, eligibility, and competition details see: http://www.setforbritain.org.uk/index2016.asp

Take chemistry to Parliament

If you’re a Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) member with or currently working towards your PhD, you can apply to get directly involved in communicating science for and to parliamentarians through the RSC Westminster Fellowship scheme.

Two successful applicants will spend three months working at the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST), an office of the two Houses of Parliament that provides balanced and objective analysis of science and technology issues, where they will:

  • Brief MPs on science and technology issues
  • Aid scientific research into public policy areas
  • Help raise public awareness.

The closing date for applications is 15 May 2014 and candidates should be available to start between October 2014 and May 2015. Each successful fellow will be funded by a £5,000 bursary from the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Find out more and download an application form here – www.rsc.org/science-activities/parliament/westminster-fellowship-scheme/index.asp

You can also read about the Westminster Fellowship and hear from past fellows in the latest issue of RSC News (pages 10-11). Download the digital edition here – www.rsc.org/AboutUs/News/RSCnews/

Policy internship schemes – Academy of Medical Sciences

The Academy of Medical Sciences runs three-month policy internship schemes for PhD students who are funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) or the Wellcome Trust.

Students spend three months at the Academy offices in central London. The scheme is designed to give students first-hand experience of the medical science policy environment, to gain insights into how research can impact on policy, and to build valuable networks with the UK’s most eminent medical scientists and key science and health stakeholders.

Interns are supported by a three-month extension to their PhD stipend.

Applications for the Medical Research Council 2014/15 policy internship scheme will open on Monday 16 September. The closing date is 5pm on Friday 1 November 2013.

Please contact Dr Naho Yamazaki on naho.yamazaki@acmedsci.ac.uk
or 020 3176 2168 with any queries related to the MRC internship scheme.

The next round of applications for the Wellcome Trust scheme will open in spring 2014. More details will be available nearer the time. Please contact Dr Richard Malham on richard.malham@acmedsci.ac.uk or 020 3176 2152 with any queries related to the Wellcome Trust internship scheme.

Are you interested in finding out how Parliament examines and influences science policy in the UK?

Parliament’s Outreach Service is to hold a free interactive event that will demonstrate how select committees work and give attendees the opportunity to ask questions about the issues that concern them, as part of the British Science Festival in Newcastle on Thursday 12 September 2013.

‘From Big Ben to Big Bang: how Parliament impacts on science’ offers members of the public the opportunity to take on the role of select committee members and quiz three eminent North East scientists on what they see as the biggest challenges facing the Government and the UK today.

The event will be chaired by Lord Krebs, Chair of the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee and Andrew Miller MP, Chair of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee.

The scientists acting as ‘witnesses’ for this unique event include:

  • Professor David Burn, Director of the Institute for Ageing and Health and Professor of Movement Disorders Neurology, Clinical Ageing Research Unit at Newcastle University
  • Professor Roy Sandbach, David Golman Visiting Professor of Innovation and Enterprise at Newcastle University
  • Professor Nicola Pearsall, Professor of Renewable Energy at Northumbria University

Where and when

‘Big Ben to Big Bang: how Parliament impacts on science’ will take place on Thursday 12 September 2013 from 2-3.30pm at the Spence Watson Room, Armstrong Building, University of Newcastle, NE1 7RU.

More details and online bookings can be found here.


BIS Science and Innovation Podcast – Volume 2

Some of you may have already seen our Tweets etc about the second BIS Science & Innovation podcast. “First impressions & reaching out” features snippets from Sir Mark Walport (who reflects on his first two months in office as GCSA, and gives a taste of what’s to come); Leila Luheshi, who was on secondment within BIS from her day job in Cambridge; and Karen Folkes, who is head of Public Engagement with Science. Karen reflects on her session on inclusive initiatives last week at the sci-comm conference, and talks about the Public Attitudes to Science blog and more.

Have a listen here and let us know what you think or what you’d like to hear more of in this series.

Posted on behalf of Marilyn Booth, BIS Digital

Take your research to parliament – 2013 SET for Britain (Closing date 24 December 2012)


Applications are now open for SET For Britain 2013, an annual poster competition with cash prizes.

It is a career advancing opportunity for an early-stage researcher (including Masters/PhD students and post-docs) to present their work to VIPs at the House of Commons, engage with fellow researchers and help to raise the profile of science and engineering within the Houses of Parliament.

Cash prizes of up to £3,000 are awarded for posters which best communicate high level science to a lay audience.

Previously presented posters can be used, but the research must be original and we recommend presenting your latest findings.

What is meant by early stage or early-career researchers?

This includes university research students/postgraduates, appropriate MSc students, research assistants, postdocs, research fellows, newly-appointed lecturers, part-time and “mature” students, and those who are embarking on a second career, etc. and their equivalents in national, public sector and industrial laboratories, or companies, all of whom are engaged in scientific, engineering, technological or medical research.

Applicants do not have to be British nationals, but they must be conducting research in the UK.

What does the application process involve?

The process involves completing an application form, uploading an abstract and reference by the closing date of 24 December 2012.

Finalists will have the opportunity to present their research at the House of Commons on 18 March 2013.

  • The abstract should be no longer than 1 side of A4.
  • It should indicate the research problem being investigated, why and how it is being investigated (e.g. the techniques being used), the results being obtained and the conclusions reached.
  • Posters are not required at the time of application; they should only be produced when an applicant has been selected and notified to submit a poster.
  • A maximum of 2 authors per poster is acceptable but only one of them may present the poster on the day. (Both authors can attend).

If more applications are received than there are poster places in any session, the judging panel will make a selection based on the following criteria:

  • Is the submission well written and could it be understood, preferably on first reading, by a lay audience?
  • Did the abstract have a good introduction and did it make clear the contribution of the candidate?
  • How long has the person been working on the project and is the project at too early a stage for submission to SET for Britain?
  • Novelty and/or importance of work.
  • Difficulty and/or complexity of project.

More information and applications

Find out more information and upload an application via the SET for Britain website.