If you’re a scientist, social scientist, clinician, or engineer and you want to spend time over the summer understanding the way media works you’ve still got time to apply for the British Science Association’s Media Fellowships.
This year the media hosts include BBC News Online, BBC Radio 4, Financial Times, The Guardian, Times Higher Education, and the Times. The scheme will improve Fellows’ public engagement skills, give increased confidence when dealing with the media, and enhance understanding of how to pitch a story to media organisations.
Here’s more about the aims of the scheme from the BSA:
Media Fellowships aim to bridge the communication gap between scientists and journalists and give space for a dialogue between the two. They reflect the British Science Association’s committment to increasing the accessibility of the sciences and providing opportunities for discussion and debate. The Media Fellowships aim to give scientists and their colleagues, the confidence and willingness to engage with the media and tackle issues of mistrust and misrepresentation and to give journalists access to new scientific expertise.
The deadline for applications is 15th March 2012. Full details of how to apply are available on the BSA’s website.
The fossil record of life on earth, the science behind our Olympic hopefuls and the psychology behind governmental decision-making are just some of the highlights of Northumbria’s events at the 2012 Newcastle Science Festival
, which runs from 8th – 15th March
This year, for the first time, Northumbria is playing a leading role in the festival with participation in almost half of all festival events and representation from almost every School.
The week-long programme features a mix of exhibitions, performance, special events, lectures and debates.
|Lucy Winskell, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Region Engagement and Partnerships, said:“This year Northumbria is playing a key role in ScienceFest with the aim of both celebrating and improving understanding of the world around us.“”As ScienceFest is all about showcasing science and the impact it has on people’s lives, it provides the perfect platform for Northumbria to demonstrate its commitment to conducting meaningful research that makes a difference to people’s lives.”
Further details about the 2012 Newcastle Science Festival are available from their website at: www.newcastlesciencefest.co.uk Or, to download a PDF version of the brochure, please go to: www.newcastlesciencefest.co.uk/programme.html.
The ESRC has recently announced a number of changes to their grant application process which will be of interest to all potential applicants. Most of these changes bring the ESRC more into line with its sister Research Councils. Full details are available on the ESRC website, but I’ve summarised the headlines below:
- Classifications: From today you can now identify relevant public and third sector engagement activities in the classification section of proposals. This change reflects the increasing importance being placed on impact and engagement outside the academic sphere across the Research Councils.
- Grant administration: The three changes under this heading reflect the ongoing cross-Council harmonisation process and move to a shared back-office via the SSC. Applicants will now have the opportunity to reply to reviewer comments on all Standard Grants, not just those over £500K as previously. In addition, the reviewer scoring has shifted to a numerical 1-6 scale, rather than A+, A, A-. Finally, Je-S has revised its user expertise classifications so all Je-S users will need to log in and amend their expertise to reflect the new categories.
- Equipment: In line with EPSRC changes last year, ESRC has increased the threshold for equipment from £3,000 to £10,000. Anything up to £10K should now be classed as directly incurred. Items from £10K to £113K (the OJEU threshold) need additional justification and will typically be funded at around 50%.
ESRC’s current knowledge exchange funding call, which includes public engagement, will close on 7th February. The programme provides part-funding for knowledge exchange activities – it is not for new research. External (non-academic) partners need to provide the balance not covered by ESRC.
This is a valuable mechanism for maximising the impact of research, and is very timely in relation to the Research Excellence Framework‘s Impact component. Projects can be up to 12 months’ duration, starting from September 2012. This means they provide a good chance of helping you achieve impact from your research in time for the REF submission deadline of November 2013.
To quote the ESRC material:
The scheme provides the opportunity to apply for funding for knowledge exchange activities at any stage of the research lifecycle, and is aimed at maximising the impact of social science research outside academia.
The flexibility built into the scheme is intended to encourage applicants to think creatively about knowledge exchange, and applications are welcomed for either a single activity or a combination of activities; be it setting up a network to help inform the development of a research proposal, arranging an academic placement with a voluntary or business organisation, or developing tools such as podcasts and videos aimed at communicating the results of research to non-academic audiences.
Applicants can apply for projects up to one year in duration. However, the proposed start date should be no earlier than 1 September 2012.
Call information is at: http://www.esrc.ac.uk/funding-and-guidance/collaboration/knowledge-exchange/opportunities/index.aspx