15 May 2018

Four researchers granted Public Engagement seed money

The second call for the Public Engagement Seed Fund was dedicated to the national science event ‘Het Weekend van de Wetenschap’ on October 5, 6 and 7 2018. The researchers who responded to the call want to use the seed money to participate in a public engagement activity by Utrecht University.

A total of five researchers applied for the seed fund. Four of those have been granted the fund, some under certain conditions. The applications have been evaluated based on selection criteria, such as the potential for interaction and justification for the funding costs. Besides that, it is important that during the activity the audience will experience science.

How do you swim if you are a bacterium?
A fish swims using its fins, but bacteria typically have corkscrew-like swimming appendages. Why is that? You might think biology has the answers, but it is actually all about the physics of the fluid. On October 7, dr. Joost de Graaf will show families how this works, using experiments, visualizations and mechanical models. The seed money will help Joost to develop the necessary materials.

Talking about terrorism, science escape room and air quality
Three other researchers have been conditionally awarded the seed fund. These proposals were not quite meeting some criteria but did show a lot of potential. The researchers will receive the seed money, but have to slightly adapt their plan.

  1. Talking about terrorism in the classroom: ‘Ter Info’ is a mobile website which supports teachers in primary and secondary education in discussing the subjects of terrorism, polarization and radicalization in the classroom. Prof. Dr. Beatrice de Graaf will talk about this project and terrorism at Betweter Festival on October 5.
  2. Science Escape Room: The interdisciplinary Science Escape Room will consist of experiments and puzzles. The combination of biology, physics, chemistry and mathematics will challenge participants to think about different aspects of science. After their escape, the participants receive a brief explanation about the science behind the puzzles.
  3. Quality of night air: The quality of air is important for the environment and public health. People often have no clear picture of how good or bad this quality is. PhD candidate Jules Kerckhoffs will let primary school pupils measure air quality, so they will learn more about the air and be more aware of the importance of clean air.

New call
The Public Engagement Seed Fund is an opportunity for Utrecht University researchers to apply for small grants to undertake innovative, research-related public engagement activities. This seed funding amounts to a maximum of €2,000 per application.

In fall 2018 we will be running a new call for projects to fund public engagement initiatives linked to research projects conducted at Utrecht University. In due time more details about these calls will be posted on our website.

Get in touch
If you have a query or are interested in public engagement, please get in touch with us by sending an email to PublicEngagement@uu.nl.