Funding secured for first ever Researchers’ Night in Wales
20 October 2020
Academics from Cardiff University's Schools of Physics and Astronomy and Engineering have secured European Union funding for the first Researchers’ Night in Wales, to be held on Friday 27th November as part of the wider European Researchers' Night initiative.
European Researchers' Night describes itself as a “Europe-wide public and media event for the promotion of research careers, in particular towards young people and their parents”.
The endeavour sees researchers talking about the work they do for wider society, with activities focussing on the general public, addressing and attracting people regardless of their scientific level and background, with a special focus on pupils and students.
Through a concentrated effort, Wendy Sadler, Senior Lecturer at Cardiff University School of Physics and Astronomy, gained the funding grant from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme via her successful social enterprise, Science Made Simple, alongside her engineering peers, Professor Rhys Pullin and Public Engagement Officer Debbie Syrop.
Both Science Made Simple and European Researchers' Night share a common vision - to bring researchers closer to the general public. And why? To highlight how vital their task is for the future and welfare of our societies, progress, and economic growth. At an extremely topical time, it’s not difficult to understand just how important this is.
European Researchers' Night is usually held as a big event with lots of face-to-face engagement. Typically, it consists of showcasing research through hands-on experiments, games, and exhibitions, promoting the discovery of science and innovation through entertainment.
The challenge this year, having already set the event back a couple of months, is to host this all-important activity online and Debbie, Rhys, Wendy, and her team at Science Made Simple are up for the challenge!
The funding they’ve secured is being used for a project called ‘ADIFF’, which includes engagement building up to Researchers Night. The initiative will also work towards establishing a wider support network for researchers’, helping them with their future public engagement and in turn supporting other important events and initiatives.
'ADIFF' (suggesting 'to make a difference’) will run smaller events leading up to the Researchers’ Night in Wales, covering novel ideas such as a ‘The Great Research Bake-off’, ‘Research Busking’, and the already popular ‘Cartoon My Research’ social media campaign.
As well as these engaging sessions, ADIFF will showcase the difference that research in Wales is making, through high-quality public engagement training and a robust researcher network, the ADIFF Club.
The overriding aim of ADIFF is to provide researchers with training and opportunities to support them both with engaging the public and with raising their profile. Off to a strong start, the project has over 100 researchers from across Wales already eagerly signed up to the task.
We look forward to witnessing the Researchers’ Night event and ADIFF's wider impact, and support this important endeavour of increasing awareness around research and innovation, and of sparking interest in the next generation of researchers.
Know any researchers who could benefit from this project, have any events in mind, or know any audiences who would like to hear from the scientific community? Simply contact firstname.lastname@example.org.