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Equality, Diversity and Inclusion micro bursaries
Applications are now open and close at 11:59pm on 31 October, 2021.
Thanks to funding from the British Science Association’s Inclusive Science Engagement Network, BIG is offering ten micro bursaries of £200 each to start or enhance Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) practice for our members.
You can suggest anything you want that will help you with your EDI practice. This could be about how you do things as an organisation (eg to change recruitment practices) or be visitor/audience/participant facing work (eg to pilot using Makaton). So the bursaries can cover anything you want to help with this. For example, you may want to use it to visit another site; buy a suite of books for an anti-racist book club for your colleagues; pay for a training course...
Applicants must be BIG members
Applications will be assessed on the following attributes:
Demonstrable commitment to EDI work
Feasibility of proposed work (remember that it’s only £200)
Clear demonstration of how the bursary will lead to longer term change
Following your work you will contribute to a BIG Skills Day to share your learning with other BIG members - this will be held online, likely to be in May 2022. We will collate the learning from the 10 projects and create a short guide for other members.
BIG will assess each anonymised application and attempt to award bursaries to cover a variety of different ideas and organisations. You will be notified either way in the w/c 22 November 2021. We will then ask you for bank details for transferring the bursary to your organisation.
To apply for a Equality, Diversity and Inclusion micro bursary, please complete this form by clicking on 'register' to the left of this text.
If it's easier for you to prepare your responses before completing the form, you can download it as a Word document to prepare and then cut-and-paste your responses.
Deadline:Sunday 31 October,11.59 pm- sorry, late applications will not be considered.
Any questions? Contact Ashley Kent the BIG Event Coordinator.
Maths communicators are invited to apply for small grants to produce resource packs for maths communication activities. These will contain materials and instructions which will be published and promoted by the IMA for anyone to use in delivering maths communication activities.
Each grant will provide £400 to cover the development of a single activity pack, and three grants are available in this iteration of the scheme.
The packs of materials will target a small-scale activity (e.g. an event at a local public library, a university outreach event or an after-school enrichment session) which is either:
* an interactive workshop;
* a drop-in stall with interactive activities.
While the pack should be designed with a particular audience in mind, materials should be adaptable to multiple audiences, including extensions and adaptations for different age/attainment groups.
Materials produced should include:
* information about the audience the activity is primarily aimed at, including how to adapt the material for different audiences;
* notes for the activity leader(s) about how to run the activity, including rough timings if this is for a workshop;
* slides (for workshop) with IMA branding (details will be supplied);
* printable handouts with IMA branding;
* further reading notes that go beyond the content, including links to other relevant resources;
* list of required equipment.
Content should feature:
* 'real world' applications of mathematics (making use of Mathematics Matters materials or materials from the Maths Careers website if possible);
* examples of mathematicians from diverse backgrounds (making use of materials from the Maths Careers website if possible).
Communicators producing materials would be able to use the activity in their own maths communication work in future, but the IMA would retain the right to distribute and/or modify the materials in future if necessary for their own publication.
Applicants for the grant can be individuals or organisations, but the IMA must be the sole funder of the development work for the materials. Recipients are responsible for ensuring that materials do not include any copyrighted images or material and that any free-to-use licensed materials used are credited correctly.
Applicants should prepare a proposal with a list of suggested themes for resource packs - this should include a title and brief outline of an activity, along with the intended audience and a summary of topics covered. This should be limited to 300 words per suggested resource pack, and you are encouraged to submit multiple topics in case of overlap with other submissions. You should also include a brief biography outlining your experience in maths communication.
The funding panel will then select which applicants and topics will be funded, and contact successful applicants. Recipients will be selected to ensure a range of subjects and activity types.
The materials can then be developed and submitted, and applicants will receive feedback from Peter Rowlett, Katie Steckles and other members of the IMA Communications Committee. Feedback will include suggested improvements to the content and delivery/format, and ensure consistency across the different projects. Applicants will then have time to act on the feedback and develop their final versions of the materials.
Completed materials will be shared as free resources on the IMA’s website, with credit to the maths communicator who developed them.
Deadline for applications: 17th September
Successful applicants notified: w/c 4th October
First submission of materials for feedback: by 15th November
Feedback to applicants: 29th November
Second submission of materials: by 17th December
Materials online: early 2022
How to apply
Please complete the online application form: https://my.ima.org.uk/services.php?section=grants&grantid=31 You must log in to apply for the grant, but anyone can create a free account just requiring an email address.
Researchers at the Francis Crick Institute and University of Dundee have screened thousands of drug and chemical molecules and identified a range of potential antivirals that could be developed into new treatments for COVID-19 or in preparation for future coronavirus outbreaks.
While COVID-19 vaccines are being rolled out, there are still few drug options that can be used to treat patients with the virus, to reduce symptoms and speed up recovery time. These treatments are especially important for groups where the vaccines are less effective, such as some patients with blood cancers.
In a series of seven papers, published today (2 July) in the Biochemical Journal, the scientists identified 15 molecules which inhibit the growth of SARS-CoV-2 by blocking different enzymes involved in its replication.
The researchers developed and ran tests for around 5,000 molecules provided by the Crick’s High Throughput Screening team to see if any of these effectively blocked the functioning of any of seven SARS-CoV-2 enzymes. The tests were based on fluorescent changes with a special imaging tool detecting if enzymes had been affected.
They then validated and tested the potential inhibitors against SARS-CoV-2 in the lab, to determine if they effectively slowed viral growth. The team found at least one inhibitor for all seven enzymes.
Three of the molecules identified are existing drugs, used to treat other diseases. Lomeguatrib is used in melanoma and has few side-effects, suramin is a treatment for African sleeping sickness and river blindness and trifluperidol is used in cases of mania and schizophrenia. As there is existing safety data on these drugs, it may be possible to more quickly develop these into SARS-CoV-2 antivirals.
John Diffley, lead author of the papers and associate research director and head of the Chromosome Replication Laboratory at the Crick, said: “We’ve developed a chemical toolbox of information about potential new COVID-19 drugs. We hope this attracts attention from scientists with the drug development and clinical expertise needed to test these further, and ultimately see if any could become safe and effective treatments for COVID-19 patients.”
The 15 molecules were also tested in combination with remdesivir, an antiviral being used to treat patients with COVID-19. Four of these, all which target the SARS-CoV-2 enzyme Nsp14 mRNA Cap methyltransferase, were found to improve the effectiveness of this antiviral in lab tests.
The scientists now plan to run tests to see if any pairing of the 15 molecules they identified decrease the virus’ growth more than if they are used alone. Targeting enzymes involved in virus replication could also help prepare for future viral pandemics.
“Proteins on the outside of viruses evolve rapidly but within different classes of viruses are well conserved proteins that change very little with time,” adds John.
“If we can develop drugs that inhibit these proteins, in the situation of a future pandemic, they could provide a valuable first line of defence, before vaccines become available.”
» Scientists and technologists with skill and experience that is applicable to food systems (cell agriculture, tissue engineering, synthetic biology, fermentation, biochemistry, food science, food engineering, agricultural engineering, plant biology, chemical engineering, bioreactor engineering, processing plant design, operations research/industrial engineering, data science, AI/ML, etc)
» Entrepreneurs with experience in business, commercialisation, logistics, supply chain and/or operations.
We're accepting applications on an ongoing basis. However, if you want to be part of our first cohort starting Autumn 2021, apply by July 15th, 2021.
For application details and a video about this opportunity by our CEO, visit us at https://www.counterfactual.co
Location: Remote / London
THIS Institute has published a new guide that explores how arts-based approaches can be effectively used to help engage people with research. THIS Institute led public engagement activities to pilot arts-based approaches to engaging NHS staff, patients and carers with our research.
The guide for community groups, artists and researchers highlights case studies and practical tips for increasing the success of an arts-based research engagement project, including how you run an activity matters, good relationships and collaboration built on trust are essential, understand and use the skills and experience of everyone involved in the project and make sure you plan ahead in order to have the impact you’re looking for.
Find out more: https://www.thisinstitute.cam.ac.uk/research-articles/arts-based-engagement/
The work and contribution of eleven eminent bioscientists and exceptional early career researchers has been acknowledged in the annual Biochemical Society Awards. Each recipient has been recognised for excellence in their field of the biosciences, ranging from bioenergetics and 3D whole organ microscopy to prokaryotic cells and cancer research.
Professor Colin Bingle, Professor of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Sheffield, and Chair of the Biochemical Society’s Awards Committee, says: “We are living in extraordinary times and the COVID-19 pandemic has helped to shine a light on the value of high-quality research and collaboration in the life sciences. Amongst this year’s nominees, there were some excellent, outstanding scientists which made the judging process very difficult. Every year, I am impressed by the contribution of these innovators and it is inspiring to see our winners are all on an upward trajectory in their chosen field. My heartfelt congratulations to our 2022 winners!”
Dr Maria Marti Solano, one of our Early Career Research award recipients, adds: “I am delighted to receive this award. I would like to thank my nominators, especially Dr M. Madan Babu, who is not only a really inspiring scientist but also an excellent mentor. Due to its multi-disciplinary nature, my research would not have been possible without the outstanding experimental and computational collaborators I’ve been lucky to work with in the past years, so I’d like to take this chance to thank them all for their continued support.”
The full list of recipients of the Biochemical Society’s 2022 Awards are:
The AstraZeneca Award
Dr Sjors Scheres, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology
The Centenary Award
Professor Jeremy Thorner, University of California Berkeley
The Colworth Medal
Dr Tanmay Bharat, University of Oxford
Early Career Research Award
Dr Hendrik Messal, The Netherlands Cancer Institute
Dr Maria Marti Solano, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology
The GlaxoSmithKline Award
Dr Ivan Ahel, University of Oxford
Industry and Academic Collaboration Award
Professor Matthias Trost, Newcastle University
Dr James Murphy, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
The Keilin Memorial Lecture Award
Professor Leonid Sazanov, Institute of Science and Technology Austria
The Morton Lecture Award
Professor Valerie O’Donnell, Cardiff University
Teaching Excellence Award
Dr Dave Lewis, University of Leeds
You can read more about the recipients here >
Each year the Biochemical Society presents a series of prestigious awards that recognize excellence and achievement in both specific and general fields of science. Six of these awards are presented annually and the remaining are awarded either biennially or triennially. Candidates are nominated by their peers and the winners are agreed by a judging panel of respected scientists, from across a range of different scientific backgrounds.
These winners will receive their prize and deliver an award or medal lecture in 2022. All of the awards and medal lectureships carry prize money and, as part of the prize, winners will also be invited to submit an article to one of the Society’s publications.
Nominations for the Biochemical Society’s 2023 Awards open in August 2021 and can be made by and for members and non-members alike.
Educational charity, We The Curious, has received a £15,000 grant from the UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres (ASDC), as part of Project Inspire: Digital Engagement and Innovation Programme. This project is in collaboration with the Inspiring Science Fund, a partnership between UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and Wellcome.
The grant will go towards creating three paid research residencies for emerging young creatives from a diverse range of backgrounds, and a shorter design programme for thirty local young people to co-create emotionally engaging, relevant online content with We The Curious, based on the theme of climate action.
Their projects will be completed ahead of November; the results of their work will coincide with the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26 which is due to be held in Glasgow in November), and will be shared with We The Curious audiences online, in the venue and on the Big Screen. It will make up part of a COP26-inspired programme of activities and events, all themed around ‘A Better World Is Possible’ - exploring major climate themes and how people can work together to co-create solutions for the future.
In 2019, We The Curious became the first science centre in the world to declare a climate emergency, with a pledge to be carbon neutral by 2030. As well as reducing energy as a venue, We The Curious has a role to increase public understanding of science and explore issues that affect people’s lives.
Building on the existing programmes and strategic community partnerships that We The Curious already hold, Project Inspire aims to bring together current STEM research together with young creatives to create inspiring, relevant content about climate action, a topic which many young people are passionate about, according to research conducted by the United Nations*.
The residents will be supported by producers from We The Curious, STEM professionals, young activists, industry specialists and community partners to co-design online content. They’ll also collaborate with thirty young people to identify climate-crisis themes in a series of rapid prototyping workshops, and will use some of the 10,000 curious questions gathered from the city of Bristol by We The Curious over the past 3 years, as inspiration for the workshops.
It is hoped that through this programme, the residents involved will be able to make connections with current scientific research, universities, industry and people in the city to develop their networks and practice. Their work will also be disseminated amongst the national and international science centre sector.
Nicole Briggs, Head of Audience for We The Curious said:
“We’re really excited to see what can be produced by bringing current STEM research and community partners together with a group of young creatives to explore a subject which, young people have told the world time and time again they are passionate about.
Our research with young people has shown us that meeting and working with different professionals can be a transformational experience, so we’re delighted that we can support emerging talent within the city in this way.
This has been a challenging year for us as a charity, it’s fantastic that with the support of ASDC and Wellcome Trust we are able to deliver this project and support young people entering a difficult creative jobs market. By working with the residencies, we are hoping to discover new ways to explore people’s curiosity, foster connections and engage with everyday science, to create positive social change.”
Collaboration and diverse participation is one of the key pledges of the guiding Manifesto for We The Curious, which has been in place since 2017; it seeks to play a part in wider positive social change, by embedding new ways of working and integrating a multi-disciplinary approach, and reflecting issues which audiences are passionate about.
We The Curious is currently closed due to the pandemic, but hopes to open in May once restrictions lift – it will reopen with the launch of a brand new experience, Project What If. The Project Inspire residences will start in late spring.
About Project Inspire
Projects from eight UK Science and Discovery Centres have been selected to receive grants of £15,000 to develop new and creative digital ways to engage and involve under-served and under-represented communities and audiences with STEM.
The selected Science Centres were chosen from a host of applicants from across the UK to join this one-year national Digital Innovation and Engagement Programme, which includes Science Centres being given training and support through a series of masterclasses and ideation sessions, bringing in the latest knowledge and expertise, as well as the funding of £15,000 to develop and deliver their individually co-created digital innovation projects with their communities.
The eight selected Science Centres are:
Proposals from these eight Science Centres were selected for the Digital Engagement and Innovation Programme because their projects demonstrated plans and ambition for inspirational digital practice that would change the way they involve under-served and under-represented communities and audiences with STEM.
Project Inspire is a one-year national Digital Engagement and Leadership Programme for UK Science Centres, led by ASDC. The project has been developed by ASDC following consultation with the sector and has two strands which together will support selected Science Centres to adapt and grow during this time of change, and help them to innovate with their communities.
The two Project Inspire strands are:
Project Inspire is a collaboration with the Inspiring Science Fund, a partnership between UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and Wellcome.
This year’s Innes Lecture will be given, online, by Professor Nick Hopwood at 19.30 on 22 April
The lecture explores the links between two challenges: producing images of hidden objects and controlling human reproduction.
It shows how gynaecologists, anatomists and artists collected material from miscarrying women, and later from operations, to construct developmental series that ever wider audiences saw in books, exhibitions, magazines and films. It highlights the crucial shift, with in vitro fertilisation and ultrasound, to viewing living embryos and fetuses that could develop into babies.
Nick Hopwood is Professor of History of Science and Medicine in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge.
For more information and to book visit:
Applications are now open to study for an MSc in Science Communication at UWE Bristol’s renowned Science Communication Unit. The course starts in October 2021.
The programme has been running for well over a decade and has developed an international reputation with employers for the practical skills in science communication that its students develop - practical skills that are underpinned with theoretical knowledge. The Unit pools its expertise, resources and contacts to deliver a programme that offers excellent professional development opportunities for those already working as science communicators or those aiming to move into the field.
Our MSc in Science Communication programme was given a 100% satisfaction rating by its students in the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) in the 19/20 academic year. In this survey, our students said they value the practice-focused approach of the programme that provides an opportunity to learn new skills.
The course is taught on UWE Bristol’s Frenchay campus in Bristol and we have access to excellent facilities such as radio studios and TV editing suites.
We provide opportunities to combine study with placements and projects hosted by organisations in the field in Bristol and elsewhere. Full-Time Home Award Fees are £7250. Student loans are available for those studying the MSc full time and part time. The course is timetabled to allow our students to fit their studies around work commitments and a 25% fee discount is available to UWE Bristol alumni to study with us.
An online open event is taking place at 7pm (GMT) on Thursday, 13 May 2021 and you can register your interest for the session here: https://www.uwe.ac.uk/courses/open-days/postgraduate-open-events. Alternatively, contact Programme Leader Andy Ridgway directly at Andy.Ridgway@uwe.ac.uk for further information.
You will find more information about the MSc in Science Communication here: https://courses.uwe.ac.uk/P90012/science-communication
Science Communication Unit
University of the West of England
Follow us @SciCommsUWE
The Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), also known as the Spanish National Research Council, signs up to the Biochemical Society and Portland Press’ pilot Read & Publish transformative deal. Corresponding authors at CSIC institutions will receive unlimited open access (OA) publishing across the entire journal portfolio.
The CSIC has 120 research institutes across Spain, joining 130 other organisations already participating in this Read & Publish scheme. This pilot transitional agreement will help CSIC´s researchers working in biology and the life sciences to gain more impact and visibility for their articles. Portland Press is the Biochemical Society’s publisher, and its pilot Read & Publish scheme, offering unlimited OA publishing, first went live in 2020 as a means of transforming more of its published research and review articles to OA. This Read & Publish agreement guarantees all corresponding authors OA publishing by default at no additional author-facing charges.
Professor Richard Reece, Chair of Portland Press Board, Trustee of the Biochemical Society and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Kent, says: “We are delighted to work with CSIC on signing up to our growing Read & Publish offerings. The CSIC is determined to contribute to making academic publications more accessible, which aligns with our own mission, transforming to open scholarship. We look forward to publishing OA research from CSIC authors on diverse topics in molecular biology and the life sciences.”
Agnès Ponsati, CSIC‐Director at the Unit of Information Resources for Research, says: “Our institution's commitment to open science contemplates the progressive transformation of the traditional subscription deals with scientific publishers, towards agreements that promote immediate open access. We are happy to have achieved this agreement with Portland Press. We have worked with other big publishers, but we want to offer equal support to others of unquestionable scientific relevance, as it is the case with the Biochemical Society. We are eager to contribute with them in their various ways of transitioning toward open access.”
Portland Press publishes seven journals covering different areas within molecular biology and the life sciences; two are fully open access (OA) titles and there are five hybrid journals where content is usually published behind a paywall, with authors either choosing to pay an article publishing charge to have their work published OA or benefitting from default, charge-free OA publishing where their institution has signed up to a Read & Publish pilot.
To support and accelerate a transition to OA, these pilot Read & Publish offerings provide an alternative to regular subscriptions. The Biochemical Society and Portland Press are committed to a sustainable transition to a more open scholarly publishing landscape and our Read & Publish initiative builds on the principles set out in our Open Scholarship position statement.
Visit portlandpress.com/OpenScholarship for more information.
BIG's Statement on COVID-19
BIG: the skills sharing network for STEM
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