Frequently asked questions
Who can participate?
Doctoral researchers and early career researchers (ECRs) based within the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Edinburgh are invited to apply.
What is an ‘early career researcher’?
Generally speaking, an early career researcher is defined as someone who is within eight years of the award of their PhD or equivalent professional training, or within six years of their first academic appointment.
I am studying towards a Master’s degree, but I am really interested in participating. Am I eligible to apply?
We are prioritising applications from doctoral researchers in the latter stages of their degree, followed by early career researchers,then first year doctoral researchers. However, we are eager to include as many diverse voices and disciplines as possible in the project, and if your research and proposed workshop resonates strongly with our themes, then we would be happy to hear from you. Please feel free to email us if you wish to discuss this further.
I am unavailable for some of the dates. Is there any point in applying?
In an ideal world participants will be available for all three key stages of the project: the symposium, the storytelling training, and one outreach workshop. That said, we do recognise that people have many demands on their time, and it may be difficult to fit in these dates around other commitments. Please do apply but be sure to include details of your availability in your application. APPLICATIONS NOW CLOSED.
How do I get involved?
It’s easy: please fill in this form. In it you will be asked to provide some brief information about your research project and a suggested structure for either (a) the workshop you would like to run within the Widening Participation Summer School with secondary school students or (b) discussion points for the afternoon tea storytelling session with groups from Contact the Elderly. APPLICATIONS NOW CLOSED.
What are the project’s themes?
There are four core themes to the project: space, place, home and nation, broadly conceived and defined. The project seeks to facilitate discussion across academic disciplines about the tools we use to investigate these concepts and to explore how these ideas exert influence on the work done within different Scottish institutions and organisations. Central to the project is the experience and act of storytelling: how we share our research and ideas, and how we tell stories of ourselves and our relations to the spaces in which we move and live.
Does your research have to be engaged with ‘Scotland’ to be eligible for the project?
Not at all. The aim of this project is to facilitate discussion about ideas of ‘space’, ‘place’, ‘home’ and ‘nation’ across diverse research projects, academic disciplines and community groups. We also want to explore what these ideas mean to Scottish residents in the months leading up to the Scottish referendum.
I am not sure if my research falls under your remit - can I still apply?
We have deliberately made the project broad in scope in order to accommodate as many different voices as possible - so we anticipate that most research topics fall under our remit! If you really aren’t sure if you would fit, please email us.
Isn’t storytelling really aimed at literature students?
Storytelling is a way of communicating: most of us think and express ourselves through stories. The storytelling component of our skills training package hopes to get participants thinking about the ways that they structure and relay their research; how to communicate effectively with different audiences and how to best highlight and harness the stories at the heart of their research.
What is public engagement?
“Public engagement describes the myriad of ways in which the activity and benefits of higher education and research can be shared with the public. Engagement is by definition a two-way process, involving interaction and listening, with the goal of generating mutual benefit.”
The National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement
This project hopes to establish a dialogue between young researchers at the University of Edinburgh and lovely community groups to encourage the sharing of research and stories.
You can read more about public engagement here: http://www.publicengagement.ac.uk/what
How can I turn my research into an outreach session?
We are running two types of outreach session: an afternoon tea with Contact the Elderly and workshops with Kickstart, a widening participation summer school for 16-18 year olds. All events will take place on the campus of the University of Edinburgh.
The different nature of the two groups means that sessions will naturally be quite different. We imagine that the Contact the Elderly session will take the format of discussion in small groups, where you can share stories about your research and encourage the others in your group to do the same. For Kickstart sessions, you might want to devise group work exercises, give a mini-lecture, ask students to create maps based on your research...be as imaginative as you like!
Where is this all happening?
The project will take place primarily within the University of Edinburgh’s central campus and at the Scottish Storytelling Centre. The Symposium will take place at the Institute for Advanced Study of the Humanities (IASH); the public lecture will take place in the Meadows Lecture Theatre; the storytelling training will take place in the Scottish Storytelling Centre; and the outreach workshops will take place in various locations on central campus.
What are the key dates?
SYMPOSIUM AND PUBLIC LECTURE
When and where will the Symposium take place?
The Symposium will be hosted by the Institute for the Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH) on Friday the 9th May 2014 and will run from 09.30 to 17.30. Find out more information about IASH here.
What’s the point of the Symposium?
The aim of the Symposium is to bring together scholars and practitioners working in diverse fields and cultural institutions to discuss how they use and reflect upon the ideas of ‘home’, ‘space’, ‘place’ and ‘nation’ in their work. How do these abstract concepts affect the practicalities of our everyday lives? The Symposium will not only provide a discursive framework for the project’s activities, but also foster lively interdisciplinary debate and forge connections beyond academia.
Can I present a paper at the Symposium?
Papers at the Symposium will be given by selected participants to provide a discursive framework for the project’s activities. Papers will be given by members of academic staff here at the University of Edinburgh and Queen’s University Belfast and by figures from key cultural institutions based in Edinburgh.
Can I take attend the Symposium even if I’m not taking part in the project?
Unfortunately, due to the limited space available at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH), only project participants can attend the Symposium.
Tell me more about the lecture by Donald Smith on Friday 9th May.
Our keynote lecture by Donald Smith, “Scotland’s Storytelling Renaissance”, will explore: Why has live storytelling come back into the cultural mainstream in Scotland? Is it a folk tradition or a contemporary art - and why has a tech savvy generation tapped into story? Storyteller and founding Director of the Scottish Storytelling Centre, Donald Smith offers some insights and opens up the issues for discussion and debate.
The lecture will take place in the Meadows Lecture theatre, 18.30-20.00, Friday 9th May 2014.
Is this lecture open to the public?
Yes! It is open to the public. It is free, but booking is essential. Please book here.
My research involves certain materials and equipment. Can I integrate them into my workshop?
Maybe! We hope so! Provide details in your application of the type of materials/equipment/facilities you would like to use for your public outreach session, and we will investigate its feasibility.
Agh! I just found out about this project and the deadline is today/has passed. Is it too late to apply?
Email us and find out. Yep!