Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click on 'Find out more' to see our Cookie statement.

NERC are offering environmental science researchers the opportunity to take part in public engagement activities as part of UKRI’s partnership with Swindon Science Festival 2021 Festival of Tomorrow, taking place digitally throughout February.

Providing a digital platform for the engagement, Swindon Science Festival are looking for exciting, engaging activities suitable for families with children, throughout  February 2021.

There are various ways for researchers to get involved with the festival including:

Digital exhibitor stand:

During Swindon Science Festival NERC have their own digital exhibition. The digital exhibition space offers NERC researchers the opportunity to host live engagements at a time* that suits them! Possible ideas could include, but not limited to:

-        Live talks with Q&A’s

-        Science shows including experiments

-        Showcasing of digital assets and/or games 

-        Anything else exciting and engaging you may wish to share 

-        Have an idea – let us know!


NERC researchers are reminded they have access to the Operation Earth kit to conduct family friendly experiments and engagements.

*the digital exhibitor stand is ‘open’ from 9am – 10pm on the 19th and 20th of February. 


School talks including Q&As:

Swindon science festival are looking for 3 or 4 digital school talks focusing on climate science to be delivered to schools in mid-late February.

-        Talks will be to primary school children (Key Stage 1 – ages 5-7 (Years 1 and 2) Key Stage 2 – ages 7-11 (Years 3-6)) and should be no longer than 45 mins (suggested 30 min talk and 15 min Q&A)

-       Sessions can be live streamed to schools via suitable platforms (Zoom, MS Teams etc.)

-        Suggested time slots available (please note these are subject to change):

·        Monday 22.02.21 – 10am

·        Tuesday 23.02.21 – 10am and 2pm

·        Wednesday 24.02.21 – 10am


I’m A Scientist:

I’m a Scientist is an online, student-led STEM enrichment activity. It connects school students with scientists through energetic real-time text-based chats. This is an excellent opportunity to have direct engagement with school children in and around Swindon. Click here to find out more about I’m A Scientist.


If you are interested in taking part, click here to sign up for the Festival of Tomorrow zone.

Click here to read about one NERC researcher’s previous experiences of this on NERC’s Engage Blog


Information on grants:

NERC are offering small grants to individuals from UKRI eligible research organisations, who are involved in the festival.



  *   Grants will be available to cover time and other small expenses related to the engagement

  *   Costings for grants will be at 100% FEC

  *   Grants will only be available to individuals from eligible organisations. Click here for more information on eligible research organisations.

  *   Eligible individuals include; NERC funded researchers, NERC funded PhD students, those who work on NERC funded projects, individuals (e.g. public engagement and or communication staff) who work for NERC and/or NERC funded research centres including UKCEH and NOC. Please note: if you are interested in this engagement opportunity and sit outside of the eligible individuals please contact NERC Public Engagement team to discuss

Please note: NERC head office staff are not eligible to request payment for time, but should discuss taking the time as volunteer hours with their line manager. 

  *   The amount of the grant given to individuals will be agreed with NERC, but will be no more than £2,000. With NERC having a full budget of £10,000 for supporting Swindon Science Festival

  *   Funding will only be given to individuals where public engagement sits outside their usual expected activities, and/or is not already funded through their NERC grant

  *   Full Terms and Conditions of the grant will be issued with those who are offering confirmed engagement activities



Focusing on themes including the future of food, climate change and artificial intelligence, the festival aims to inspire the next generation of science researchers in Swindon, Wiltshire and beyond.


The festival aims to: 

  *   help inspire the next generation of scientists & engineers in Swindon, Wiltshire and beyond

  *   provide opportunities for everyone to grow our understanding of how science works

  *   help empower us all to take decisions in our lives and contribute to democratic debate 


The festival runs throughout the month of February, key dates include: 

  *   Schools’ engagement: 8th – 26th February

  *   Online digital conference: 20th February

  *   Digital engagement opportunities: 15th – 28th February

  *   I’m a scientist: 1st – 14th March


For more information on the above opportunities please contact Hannah Lacey Public Engagement Programme Manager.