Researchers in Residence

Supporting researchers across all disciplines:
The case of Researchers in Residence

We were appointed by AEA to provide training for all researchers participating in RCUKs Researchers in Residence scheme.

The Researchers in Residence scheme, which has been running since 1994, is funded by Research Councils UK and the Wellcome Trust. From 2010-2012 it has been administered by AEA, who commissioned The Training Group to design and deliver specialist PE training to participating researchers.

The scheme matches researchers across all disciplines, from the sciences through to the humanities, with schools. Once they have been trained, researchers spend at least 14 hours in their matched schools, engaging young people and developing their skills.

Considering the aims of the scheme, The Training Group developed a course with a focus on learning and working with schools. But, since the scheme can also be used as a springboard for getting involved with further public engagement activities, the course also encapsulates a number of the elements necessary for performing different types of PE.

The course introduces researchers to the benefits and structure of the scheme, along with exercises designed to teach researchers to communicate with non-specialist audiences – thinking about learning styles, jargon and body language; as well as running through the researchers’ own ideas and providing support to help them develop suitable activities.

Between 2010-2012, The Training Group delivered numerous courses across the UK, in cities including: Edinburgh, Birmingham, London, Bristol and Manchester.

Public Engagement training lies at the core of the research-based training activities of the EU-funded LASSIE initial training network. We asked the Training Group to provide appropriate and fun training for our young scientists during an intense two week programme of activities combining our science, professional skills and public engagement. The result was an outstanding success for all concerned!

Professor Martin McCoustra
Professor of Chemical Physics at Heriot-Watt University and coordinator of the EU FP7 funded LASSIE network