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A horse weathervane in a blue wash of colour
2019 Beacon Bursaries awarded
UCL Culture is delighted to announce the awardees in the latest round of Beacon Bursary public engagement funding.The aim of this scheme is to advance the practice and culture of public and community engagement within UCL by enabling UCL staff and postgraduate students to:Explore mutually beneficial engagement between communities and UCL research and teaching.Be innovative in their engagement.Evaluate, learn from and share their engagement activities.The Beacon Bursary funding scheme supports UCL’s Public Engagement Strategy which aims to embed public engagement as a normal, valued activity for UCL staff and studentsWe have funded eight projects in this round, three of which involve communities and local organisations in east London.The projects are:Julia Bailey – Primary Care and Population HealthContraception Choices.Contraception choices will offer a series of outreach workshops and an International Women's Day public engagement event to engage a range of audiences in discussions about contraception. This project will reach communities such as the queer, trans and non-binary communities, homeless people and migrant women, working with groups including Open Doors in Hackney and Queer Newham. It will facilitate discussions to find more about the contraception needs of these 'hard-to-reach' communities, and to set agendas for future research.Dr Julia Bailey is an associate professor in Primary Care at the UCL eHealth Unit, and a specialty doctor in community sexual health in South East LondonEllie Buckley and Ali Northcott – Centre for Research in Education and Autism (CRAE)Embodying Difference – A multi-platform event exploring neurodiversity and creativity.Embodying Difference will be a one-off event creating a public dialogue between artistic and scientific disciplines and modes of research. The event will explore new ways to generate knowledge from different perspectives - highlighting the strengths of the neurodivergent art practitioners, showcasing their insights, and highlighting how their neurodiversity and co-existing conditions such as autism, dyspraxia, ADHD, dyslexia and synaesthesia enhance and inform their creativity and artistic practice.Ellie Buckley is a current PhD student in the Centre for Research in Autism and Education. Ali Northcott is the Artist-in-Residence and Honorary Researcher for the Centre for Research in Autism and EducationRachel Frost –  Primary Care and Population HealthUpping our game: achieving meaningful patient and public collaboration in primary care research and teaching across the whole department.Upping our game will further develop PCPH’s existing project-level patient and public involvement to transform and embed long term public and patient involvement through all aspects of Departmental strategy (research, teaching, impact and patient involvement).Dr Rachael Frost is a Research Associate in the Department of Primary Care and Population Health.Valentina Giordano – Bartlett School of PlanningPlace Alliance: Child-centred urban planning.This will involve children in a design workshop to explore the question: What would child-centred urban planning look like? Students from Gainsborough Primary School, near UCL East, will be involved through an assembly, co-design workshops and the chance to share their work through public exhibitions.Valentina Giordano is a Research Fellow at the Bartlett School of Planning where she manages the Place Alliance.Ezra Horbury – English Language and LiteratureWriting Trans LivesWriting Trans Lives builds on the ‘Trans Studies, Trans lives symposium’ to bring together aspiring trans/non-binary writers with established trans/non-binary writers through three workshops, a public reading and potential publication. The established writers will provide practical advice and develop aspiring writers’ expertise and experience at writing their own narratives.Dr Ezra Horbury is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of English Language and Literature.Jaqueline McDermott – UCL Cancer InstituteVisible Vulvas – Artistic Explorations of Living with Vulval Disease.Visible Vulvas will involve the delivery of three workshops around vulval health awareness leading to an art exhibition co-produced by scientists, women living with vulval disease, and artists and, hopefully, taking place in the Vagina Museum in Camden. The project will increase awareness and understanding of vulval disease amongst the general public and the medical profession.Dr Jackie McDermott is an Academic Gynaecological Pathology Consultant at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation TrustNaaheed Mukadam – Faculty of Brain SciencesRe-framing the dementia narrative in east London.Re-framing will co-develop and run four art based workshops to raise awareness of dementia risk factors and the benefits of dementia diagnosis in the South Asian community in east London. Working with community groups such as the Sonali Gardens Day Centre and Kobi Nazrul Community Centre, it will gather the communities’ input regarding research priorities from this group.Dr Naaheed Mukadam is a Senior Clinical Research Fellow Consultant in the Division of PsychiatryMelanie Ramdarshan Bold – Department of Information StudiesThe Green Room play and workshop, Theatre PeckhamThis project will provide opportunities and a platform for authors of colour; Drawing on UCL research, the project will increase the awareness of theatre audiences of the experiences of authors of colour in the British publishing industry. To achieve this the project will co-create a reciprocal dialogue and partnership between academia and community stakeholders (Words of Colour and Theatre Peckham) and create a longer and larger-scale project.Dr Melanie Ramdarshan Bold is a Senior Lecturer/Associate Professor in the Department of Information Studies. 
A horse weathervane in a blue wash of colour
2020 Train and Engage funded projects
UCL Culture is delighted to announce the awardees in the latest round of Train and Engage funding.Train and Engage is a training and funding program for postgraduate research students, who are looking to connect their work with public groups. We are pleased to announce the 7 successful projects awarded in the latest round of funding and brief summaries are below.Siegfried Wagner – Institute of Ophthalmology.Windows of the Soul.This project will unite members of the public, patients, and scientists at UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and doctors at Moorfields Eye Hospital to communicate the effect of general health conditions on their eyes using the medium of art. Patients and members of the public will be recruited through clinics at Moorfields, digital callouts, links with charitable organisations and London-based corporate organisations. An art exhibition will be launched in a central London venue consisting of images of how the eye changes in systemic diseases and artwork from patients affected by these conditions. The evolution of original film photographs to modern high-resolution scanning techniques to more recent artificial intelligence methods will be explored in the exhibition. Following the launch, the material will be displayed in the Moorfields Eye Hospital Art Section for four months. A monthly symposium at Moorfields will guide attendees through each piece of work and also provide a platform for discussion with the patients involved in the exhibition. In addition, to expand the potential audience of this project, a website illustrating digitised versions of the content shown will be available.  Myrofora Kakoulidou –  Institute of Education.Involving children, teachers, parents and researchers in dialogues around school wellbeing.Considering that children spend a large proportion of the day at school, schools provide an ideal environment to promote child wellbeing by implementing practices tailored to children’s particular needs (Department for Education [DfE], 2018). School-based wellbeing projects that actively involve children, teachers and parents in conversations around school wellbeing may be particularly relevant in post-lockdown times facilitating the transition from the pre-COVID 19 to the new reality. During this project, Year 5 children (aged 9-10 years old) will be involved in discussions and creative activities around their own school wellbeing and co-create a school blog to share their ideas with their own community. Children’s blog will provide the stimulation for teachers, parents and the project team to bring their different expertise to the table and exchange ideas around wellbeing in schools during an online event. Jenny Ray - Psychology and Language Sciences and Olha PryymakEmbracing the power of art and tea to create positive changes in practice that better support children with speech, language and communication needs.Jenny will work with children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) to discuss and create visual representations of the key research outcomes using Duplo, Lego, paint, mood boards, and online quiz platforms. Children from the whole school will be invited to participate in painting a mural screen for the tea sessions, depicting their ideas about speech and language therapy. In this way, many different children and staff within this east London primary school community can be involved and feel proud of their contributions. Olha and Jenny will then run a workshop with the children with SLCN to explore how they would most like to be supported in their therapy sessions. They will spark the imagination using herbs, leaves, and plants, linking these to keywords and phrases, for example, ‘enthusiasm’ - lemongrass, and ‘take your time’ - chamomile.  Children will weave their selected plants into simple mandalas. The events will culminate in an afternoon of tea sessions for the "teams around the child": parents/carers, teaching assistants, teachers, special educational needs co-ordinators (SENCos), headteachers, and speech and language therapists. The children’s visual representations of the research outcomes and nature mandalas will be on display during the tea sessions. Through this gentle coming together in mind and body, we will create an opportunity to share responses, feelings, ideas, and reflections on the research outcomes and create a clear plan with tangible, positive steps going forwards.Natallia Kharytaniuk– The UCL Ear Institute.Living with superficial siderosis – patients’ journey.This project, consisting of several activities, will provide an insight into the challenges of being diagnosed and living with a rare neurological condition called infratentorial superficial siderosis (iSS), the hallmarks of which are hearing and balance impairment. Through first-hand patients’ accounts and a dedicated information-sharing event we would like to bring together patients with iSS, their families and carers, clinicians and interested members of the public, to share their experience and knowledge, and as a learning opportunity about this rare condition. This event and the patients’ narratives will be recorded and made into a short informative video. These will be shared on a dedicated website set up in collaboration with UCL IoN Stroke Research Centre and EI to further raise awareness around iSS. We will apply for permission for this activity to be featured as part of ‘Rare Disease Day’ and as part of ‘World Hearing Day’.Amanda Ford Spora – Institute of Archaeology.Co-producing a Manga_Zine with teens using digital replicas of ancient objects.This will be a collaboration with a group of teen participants (aged 13-15 years), who will engage with digital replicas of objects from ancient Sudan and Egypt, as well as artistic pieces created by focus group participants previously; with the purpose of exploring the creation of Manga cartoons as a commentary about ‘authenticity’ of ancient artefacts and the impact of the past in the present. The main output of the project will be a co-produced Manga_Zine of the collected manga commentaries. It is anticipated that the co-produced Manga_Zine of the collected Manga cartoon commentaries will act as a companion piece to viewing the replica objects and their originals, which are part of the Petrie Museum and Manchester Museum. The Manga cartoons and Manga_Zine will be translated into Arabic and produced in both Arabic and English to make it accessible to the source communities of these ancient objects.Rebecca Graham– Division of Medicine.Lungs for Living: How can we promote screening for lung cancer?During this project, we aim to promote awareness of early detection and lung cancer screening, and to encourage discussion on these topics. Many lung cancers are diagnosed at a late stage, where tumours cannot be surgically removed. Screening for lung cancers in at-risk groups could help to identify these at an earlier and more manageable stage; this is being investigated in the SUMMIT clinical trial. As well as sharing information about the research that we do, the project aims to generate conversations around attitudes towards screening and barriers to attending. Particularly, we would like to explore how COVID-19 has affected the public’s feelings towards screening and how we could make them feel more comfortable with the idea of attending. This will be achieved by engaging with a group who might benefit from screening but may be concerned about attending a non-essential medical appointment in the current public health climate. The project will work with BAME communities which have a high prevalence of smoking and have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. To explore how best to reach this group, we will collaborate closely with representative members of the public audience to co-design an event intended to engage a wider groupJen Datiles – School of Pharmacy.PLANTS ON OUR PLATES: sharing (hi)stories of botanical foods and medicines.project description to follow shortly.
Beacon Bursaries
For over 12 years now, the Engagement Team at UCL Culture has run the flagship Beacon Bursary Funding Scheme to advance the practice and culture of public and community engagement within UCL.  We’re thrilled to be launching this scheme again in 2020. Applications are now CLOSED, and we hope to update on succesful applications by December 2020. What’s different this year? We are launching later in the year than we would have liked, due to delays caused by the Covid-19 crisis. This means that: You will need to be able to spend your funding award by July 2021. Successful applicants will be notified by December 2020.  We expect all applications to consider alternatives where face to face contact may not be possible, and subsequent accessibility implications for engagement activities such as digital poverty  We encourage applicants to consider their own workload before applying, given the short application period and the extra-ordinary demands many staff will be facing at this time. However, the Engagement team is ready and available to provide advice and support to potential applicants. As part of our ongoing work to improve the inclusivity and accessibility of the scheme, we encourage applications from those who are underrepresented in the sector and at UCL including but, not exclusive, to disabled, D/deaf and neurodiverse people, LGBTQ+ people, people from Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority backgrounds. In particular we commit to making efforts to develop and support bursary applications from the Black academic community at UCL. With support from UCL East we also have dedicated funding for projects working with communities in east London.  ApplicationsDownload the application form (Word) We strongly advise that before you submit an application you read the following. Application Form Guidance PDF Funding Scheme Guidance PDF  What willl Happen if you are Successfully Funded Guidance PDF We also suggest speaking to a member of the Engagement Team before you submit your project. Open Support and Advice sessions will take place on MS Teams from: 3.00-5.00 Tuesday 29th September 11.00-13.00 Thursday 8th October A further support session being developed and delivered in collaboration with Race Matters @UCL. Follow the link to find out more about Race Matters @UCL or to join the forum. If you would like to book a half-hour during these sessions to discuss your project, please email the team with a brief (paragraph at max) length description of your idea, your name and research department. Note that these sessions will be first-come, first served – if you are not able to attend the sessions please email the team and we will be happy to try to arrange another time, capacity permitting. For announcements and further information sign up to our newsletter.  We awarded 8 Beacon Bursaries in 2019. Read more about them here.You can also download a list of all previously funded projects. [[{"fid":"6595","view_mode":"medium","fields":{"height":"500","width":"800","class":"media-element file-medium","format":"medium","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Beatboxing image","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"Beatboxing after laryngectomy ","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":" Beatboxing after laryngectomy, a Beacon Bursary funded project led by Dr Evangelos Himonides ","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"},"link_text":null,"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"height":"500","width":"800","class":"media-element file-small","format":"medium","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Beatboxing image","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"Beatboxing after laryngectomy ","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"%3Cp%3E%3Cem%3E%26nbsp%3BBeatboxing%20after%20laryngectomy%2C%20a%20Beacon%20Bursary%20funded%20project%20led%20by%20%3Ca%20href%3D%22https%3A%2F%2Firis.ucl.ac.uk%2Firis%2Fbrowse%2Fprofile%3Fupi%3DEHIMO21%22%3EDr%20Evangelos%20Himonides%3C%2Fa%3E%26nbsp%3B%3C%2Fem%3E%3C%2Fp%3E","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"},"2":{"height":"500","width":"800","class":"media-element file-medium","format":"medium","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Beatboxing image","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"Beatboxing after laryngectomy ","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":" Beatboxing after laryngectomy, a Beacon Bursary funded project led by Dr Evangelos Himonides ","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"}},"attributes":{"height":"500","width":"800","class":"media-element file-medium"}}]]  
Beacons for Public Engagement
Beacons for Public EngagementThe UCL Public Engagement Unit was created in 2008 as one of six in the United Kingdom to be funded by the beacons for public engagement programme set up by HEFCE, Research Councils UK and the Wellcome Trust.Beacons funding was intended to help the staff of UCL:To work with audiences that UCL has not traditionally talked or listened to, including socially excluded groups.To better connect UCL with London, through work with local communities and creative organisations in the local area.To find new models and opportunities for dialogue between academic and non-academic groups in all of UCL's subjects.To increase the amount and quality of public engagement work undertaken at UCL.This report captures and describes the activities that have taken place under the UCL-led Beacon as part of the BPE programme. The Public Engagement Unit (PEU) was established within UCL to support staff and students to involve members of the public in their work. Achievements from May 2008 to December 201191 public engagement projects have been funded through various grantsOne Beacon Fellowship has been completed and five public engagement mentors have been appointedA total of 237 partner groups/organisations have been linked to the programmeCreation of the Annual UCL Provost’s Awards for Public EngagementCreation of the Annual UCL Public Engagement SymposiumOver 37,560 people have attended programme and project activitiesOver 1600 UCL staff and students and 530 people outside UCL, have taken part in training and mentoring on public engagement£98,136 additional funding has been received from external agencies to support projects facilitated by the PEUAdvice and support has been provided on 47 public engagement and research funding applications to external bodies. These have been awarded funding totalling over £10 million37 Bright Club events have been delivered, and attended by approximately 3,933 people60 Bright Club podcasts have been created with an average download figure of 1,955 per episodeCreation of the Bite-Sized Lunchtime Lecture series featuring 44 speakers over three academic termsDevelopment and approval by the UCL Senior Management Team and UCL Council of a UCL Public Engagement StrategyPublic engagement is now included as a requirement in the UCL academic staff promotions criteriaThe PEU has had a long term impact in supporting institutional commitment to public engagement. It has been successful in creating an independent structure and model for public engagement, and has addressed many barriers traditionally faced by HEIs undertaking public engagement. The PEU has also driven a culture change at UCL both at a strategic and grassroots level, which has led to a longer term commitment to public engagement through the continuation of the unit. The PEU can now build upon the success that the Beacons for Public Engagement programme has allowed, and focus on a more targeted approach within the Schools and Faculties.You can find out more about the Beacons for Public Engagement Programme on the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement's websiteYou can download the final report on Beacons for Public Engagement Programme by going to our resources section.
Grant Museum interior
Bloomsbury Festival
The Bloomsbury Festival is an annual celebration of the diverse communities that live and work in the Bloomsbury area.UCL hosted a hub for the festival in 2016 and 2017 and it has been a fantastic opportunity for UCL staff and students to engage with communities in the Bloomsbury area.[[{"fid":"4735","view_mode":"small","fields":{"format":"small","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Man with book","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"small","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Man with book","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"300","width":"450","class":"media-element file-small"}}]]In 2016, UCL Culture supported 14 research teams to set up stalls and activities across campus with the theme of “Language”. We discussed topics ranging from using baking to tell stories about dementia, speaking to cephalopods and the language of data. The campus was host to dance troupes, theatre companies and artists, as hundreds of attendees arrived to find out more about the work going on at UCL.UCL Culture is looking forward to again hosting a hub in 2017, working on the theme of “Independence”. For more information, sign up to the UCL Culture mailing list and keep an eye on the Bloomsbury Festival website.
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