Online public engagement helps bridge the divide between institutions and schools– and it’s not only school students who benefit.
Taking part in I’m a Scientist/Engineer can boost engagement, improve communication skills, and build a deeper understanding of effective engagement for researchers.
Boost researcher’s engagement
“I didn’t really know much about public engagement before taking part… I’m a Scientist really inspired me to get involved with more!
Suzi, PhD researcher
IAS is a low pressure space for researchers to ‘dip their toes’ into public engagement. Seeing students’ enthusiasm for their work gives researchers the confidence and motivation to do more outreach.
Those with less previous experience increase their public engagement activities by 130% in the year following IAS.
Improve communication skills
“The whole thing was very two-way… Some of the analogies I totally plagiarised from the students!
Max, PhD researcher
From day one, I’m a Scientist is effective experiential training for scientists in engaging the public. Researchers get to hone phrases over two weeks, helped by honest student feedback.
94% of ECR’s surveyed said taking part had improved their communication skills.
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Build capacity for high quality engagement
“IAS Academy gave me more perspective on exactly why I wanted to take part and gave me points to consider when planning future activities.
Savannah, PhD researcher
IAS Academy is a short online course for researchers to take alongside participation in I’m a Scientist/Engineer. Based on the NCCPE Engage Framework, it helps researchers understand the fundamentals of quality public engagement and Science Capital concepts at the same time as engaging students.
Supported by a science communication lecturer, researchers answer questions getting them to think about important principles such as purpose, audience needs and appropriate engagement methods.
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Reach audiences in most need
“As we don’t have a major university very near us, students wouldn’t get this chance otherwise
Online engagement allows your institution to engage school students who might otherwise miss out on STEM enrichment.
Schools more than 30 minutes drive from a research intensive Higher Education Institution are half as likely to get a visit from a university researcher as those within 15 minutes drive.
Read more on: Effect of distance on access to STEM enrichment
Case Studies from the people who’ve taken part:
Get your researchers involved
There’s a long list of scientists wanting to take part in IAS, but only a limited number of places each activity.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 01225 667922, to discuss funding to create space for your researchers in I’m a Scientist and the Academy online course.