07 October 2010
By Emma Gillaspy
I thought it was about time I told you a bit more about the Early Career Researcher Award winners for 2010. As you may know, the Vitae NW Hub ran a joint event on 6 July with the Manchester Beacon for Public Engagement. Take a look at www.vitae.ac.uk/engagingresearcher for more info about the event including lots of downloads and audio resources. The video from the day is coming soon so watch this space.
Anyway, at ‘The engaging researcher’ event, we launched two things:
1. The Vitae engaging researcher booklet (www.vitae.ac.uk/researcherbooklets). You can download an electronic copy of this booklet from the website or just contact us for a hard copy.
2. The ECR Awards 2010
The idea of the awards was that it gave early career researchers based in the North West the opportunity to partner up with a public engagement organisation to deliver some activities over the summer/autumn. 5 projects were funded by the Manchester Beacon in the awards, all of which look really exciting. Take a look at the wide range of activities they are using to get the public involved in their research.…
- All my worldly possessions: The Guernsey Evacuee Experience
Gill Mawson (University of Manchester) is researching the Guernsey to Bury evacuee experience during World War Two. For her ECR award, she is working with Joanne Fitton from the Bury Archives Service to bring the Guernsey evacuee story to communities, creating sustainable links to her continuing research with activities and materials aimed at children and adults. Gill and Joanne are putting together a CD and booklet of stories, holding a family event at Ramsbottom Library and training museum visitor assistants on the evacuee experience.
- So how green are you? Looking at how you consume energy in your home
Qi (aka Frank) Liu is working with Nigel Linge (both University of Salford) to develop an exhibit for the Manchester Science Festival. They are exploring how to use modern communications technology to monitor the use of electricity and gas in the home in such a way as to persuade people to reduce consumption and hence, reduce their carbon footprint. The reaction to their newly developed interfaces will input into their research, as well as allowing the public to see how University research is relevant to modern day living. A video of the exhibit will be published on YouTube and will be rolled out to other suitable events in the future.
- Bio-Fiction Commissions
Sarah Fox (University of Manchester) is one of 3 researchers who will act as scientific consultants on three semi-fictional short stories that re-imagine and re-create key moments in 20th century science. Sarah, working with Ra Page from Comma Press, will help a literary author tell a story based on eureka moments from her field. Sarah will inform the science content of the story and write a short afterword to the finished story that expands on the science and puts it in the wider context of her own research. The finished stories will be read and discussed at a public event at the recently opened Anthony Burgess Centre, Manchester. The readings and texts will be made available online on Comma's website as free downloads for six months after the event.
- PAGER - Public EngAGement and Education for Effective Research
Kim Linton (University of Manchester) is working with John Radford from the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC) to inform and engage the public about clinical research. At the moment, the majority of patients are not aware that relevant clinical trial options exist, or are reluctant to participate due to misconceptions about the nature of clinical research. Through a series of seminars, Kim hopes to dispel the myths about clinical trials and empower patients, enabling them to access research options whenever treatment is needed. A podcast and printed materials will also be available after the seminars.
- The Corrosion Summer Ball
Alice Laferrere and James Smith (both University of Manchester) are corrosion researchers. Together with Marieke Navin from the Museum of Science and Industry, they have come up with a classic love story between Mr Copper and Miss Sulphate. This story, to be showcased at the museum’s ‘Meet the…’ series, is designed to inspire the general public with an introduction to corrosion by offering them the chance to build, play and experiment with this exciting and complex discipline.
Congratulations to this year’s award winners – Gill, Frank, Sarah, Kim, Alice and James!
I hope this post has given you the spark of inspiration you need to go out there and get engaging. I will keep you informed about the progress of these projects and if you fancy seeing how they went for yourself, keep lunchtime on 10 November free in your diary as they will be showcased as part of the Manchester Beacon Summit week.