The STFC Public Engagement Early-Career Researcher Forum (the 'PEER Forum') supports talented scientists and engineers in the early stages of their career to develop their public engagement and outreach goals.
This ensures the next generation of STFC scientists and engineers continue to deliver the highest quality of purposeful, audience-driven public engagement.
Why join the PEER Forum?
The STFC community has a very strong track-record of delivering public engagement throughout the UK, highlighting the exciting benefits and impacts of STFC science - we know that our engagement has a profound effect on our many audiences.
A significant proportion of our engagement is designed and delivered by early career scientists and engineers, who balance the demands of establishing their careers alongside their passion for high quality public engagement and outreach.
We also know that this can be a real challenge: people can feel left without support, can struggle to keep abreast of current good practice, find themselves unable to make the time to plan new engagement and outreach to their satisfaction, or have no-one in their immediate peer group that shares their belief in the importance of engagement. It’s important to us that we help to change that situation. For further insight into the prevailing attitudes towards engagement in the STFC community, please see our 2016 report, Public Engagement: Attitudes, Culture and Ethos.
The PEER Forum is for practising early-career scientists and engineers who have passion and ambition for carrying out excellent public engagement alongside, and complementary to, their career in science or engineering. We are seeking Forum members from across the breadth of STFC’s pure and applied science and technology remit.
The specific personal requirements of PEER Forum membership are that members:
The PEER Forum will meet twice a year to share learning and to participate in sessions that will strengthen the depth and breadth of their understanding of public engagement and outreach.
The programme of these sessions will largely be shaped and directed by the members of the forum. The meetings (where possible) will be face to face and will consist of a mix of activities, such as interactive sessions with invited speakers from the world of public engagement. Recently speakers have included Olivia Keenan from SEPNet and Christian Diget, an STFC Leadership Fellow in Public Engagement.
Forum members will have the opportunity to provide relevant insight and feedback to STFC from their local departments and/or engagement communities.
Forum members have the opportunity to identify and participate in projects with genuine relevance that will deliver tangible outcomes and inform the STFC public engagement programme.
STFC is committed to a policy of equal opportunities, and appointments to the PEER Forum will be made on merit. We are keen to see diversity in the membership of the PEER Forum, reflected in the gender, race, and other protected characteristics of the Forum members. Gender diversity is particularly important at this point in time, and STFC has set a target for a minimum of 30% female representation on our boards, committees and networks: the PEER Forum has adopted this target. We will use diversity of membership as part of our selection criteria.
Appointments to the PEER Forum will be for an initial period of two years, beginning in September 2021. STFC may consider extension of membership for one additional year by mutual agreement, on a case by-case basis.
Forum members must be willing to actively participate, and contribute to, the Forum’s activities on a regular basis. It is expected that this participation will amount to 4-6 days of activity per year.
STFC will reimburse travel and subsistence expenses associated with attendance at Forum meetings in line with our normal policies and procedures. STFC will not routinely pay for time spent attending the two yearly core meetings of the PEER Forum, but will provide a day rate for Forum members or recharge budget codes (for UKRI staff) to cover additional activities such as project work or working group activities.
Application to the PEER Forum is a single-stage process. An applicant must submit a total of three short documents as follows:
Applications that do not conform to the specified page limits, or do not contain all three required documents, will not be considered for Forum membership.
All applications must be sent by email to STFCPublicEngagement@stfc.ac.uk by no later than 16:00 on Thursday 3 June 2021. Applications should be clearly marked in the email title as, ‘Application for STFC PEER Forum: [Applicant Name]’.
All applications will be assessed by an independent peer review panel that will make recommendations on membership to STFC. The panel will use the following assessment criteria to arrive at their recommendations:
From applicants demonstrated to meet the criteria listed above, STFC aim to ensure Forum membership diversity across protected characteristics, institutions, and research disciplines. Particular attention will be paid to the gender diversity of Forum membership.
The decision of STFC in making invitations to join the PEER Forum is final.
|w/c 19 April 2021||Call for PEER Forum membership opens|
|3 June 2021||Deadline for applications|
|Late June 2021||Assessment panel meeting|
|mid July 2021||Applicants informed of STFC decisions|
|October 2021||First meeting of the PEER Forum attended by new and current members|
All enquiries about the STFC Public Engagement Early-Career Researcher Forum should be directed initially to STFCPublicEngagement@stfc.ukri.org
Abby-Rhian is a PhD student in the Nuclear and Hadron Physics group at the University of Glasgow. Her research involves measuring the polarisation of photons used to probe the behaviour of quarks in protons and neutrons. Abby-Rhian has developed a series of nuclear scattering workshops for school students from primary to collage ages that have been delivered locally in Glasgow as well as in a national programme of nuclear physics masterclasses. She was also awarded the inaugural Kick-Start Public Engagement Internship as part of the binding-blocks programme.
Aran Singanayagam is a clinical academic at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London. He completed his undergraduate medical training at University of Edinburgh and PhD. at Imperial College. Aran currently splits his time between clinical work and experimental laboratory-based research. His research focusses on how pulmonary host-defence is dysregulated in the context of inflammatory airway diseases.
(Credit: A Singanayagam)
Emily is a researcher at the STFC Scientific Computing Department where she investigates machine learning for emulating scientific simulations. She completed a Nuclear Engineering degree at the University of Birmingham. She is a STEM Ambassador and volunteers at STFC public engagement events in addition to hosting outreach activities and mentoring work experience students
(Credit: E Lewis)
Hannah is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at The Open University. Her research is focussed on accessing water on the Moon to generate supplies for future missions. After completing a PhD looking at techniques to produce water from the lunar regolith, Hannah is now working on the LUVMI-X rover concept. Utilising her experience as a Physics teacher, Hannah is actively engaged in public outreach delivering talks and producing teaching resources.
(Credit: H. Sargeant)
Jamie is a Wellcome Trust ISSF Research Fellow at the University of Leicester, working on applications of graphene in prosthetics. In parallel, he is the PI of the RadEOT project, which uses commercially-available components and a bespoke GUI to detect, process and utilise freely available radio data for use in the classroom. RadEOT is being deployed to three institutions across the UK during 2020 to improve educational attainment, boost skills and inspire people into STEM careers.
(Credit: J. Williams)
Philippos is a Nuclear Physicist in the STFC Nuclear Physics Group, investigating exotic atomic nuclei produced using particle accelerators. He constructed several experimental setups which are used in laboratories across Europe. After completing his PhD at the University of Liverpool, he moved to the northernmost Accelerator Laboratory in the world, in Jyväskylä Finland, to continue his research. There he organised yearly large-scale outreach activities and learned what a real winter feels like.
(Credit: P. Kivimäki)
Sarah is a Lecturer in the Department of Physics at Loughborough University. Her research uses detectors that have been developed for X-ray astronomy and particle physics, and applies them to other areas such as nuclear medicine. She has been involved in a range of PE engagement activities since she was an undergraduate, and is particularly keen that current and future Physics students get the opportunity to have fun, share their work, and become better scientists through PE.
(Credit: S. Bugby)
Adam is a PhD student at the Open University studying variable stars using citizen science. Before starting his PhD, he worked as a programmer and web developer at the Zooniverse. He has experience running online citizen science projects and has enjoyed talking to the public in person at outreach events.
(Credit: Adam McMaster)
After completing her undergraduate in Geophysics at the University of East Anglia, Catherine moved to University College London where she is now a PhD student at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL) studying the magnetic environment of Mars. She is involved with missions including Mars Express and the Rosalind Franklin Rover. Since her undergraduate, Catherine has actively been involved with organising and attending numerous outreach and public engagement projects. These range from speaking at university open days, working at science festivals and visiting schools across the country to talk about a range of different topics.
(Credit: Catherine Regan)
Chloe is a PhD student at the University of Sussex, studying gravitational waves from the early universe and data analysis techniques for the upcoming space-based gravitational wave detector, LISA. Her current public engagement activities involve creating content for the LISA social media accounts and developing a gravitational wave workshop for use at the University of Sussex. Outside of Physics she enjoys being in nature and getting stuck into sewing projects.
(Credit: Chloe Gowling)
Choong Ling Liew-Cain
Choong Ling is a PhD student at MSSL (UCL). She studies galaxies, machine learning and public engagement. She is working on finding ways to teach useful skills through Astronomy and inspire people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Choong Ling also works as a Scientist in Residence at Bevington Primary School.
(Credit: Choong Ling Liew-Cain)
David is a researcher based at the STFC Scientific Computing Department working on software for analysing neutron diffraction patterns. His PhD focused on developing machine learning approaches to fragment-based energy models in crystal structure prediction. He is a cocreator of Argon, a particle sandbox app designed to explain molecular dynamics to all ages.
(Credit: David McDonagh)
James is a PhD Student at the University of York working in Nanoscale Thermometry using advanced Scanning Thermal Microscopy (SThM) to create heat maps of tiny objects such as electronics. He has worked across the complete range of public engagement activities from videos to podcasts, books to magazines and putting on a wide range of live events of all sizes.
(Credit: James Lees)
Katherine is a Postdoctoral Research Assistant at the University of Oxford. Her research focuses on combining laboratory and remote sensing datasets to identify the composition of rocks on the Moon, asteroids, and comets using mid-infrared spectroscopy. She is involved in several planetary missions including the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and OSIRIS-REx, and the upcoming Lunar Trailblazer and Comet Interceptor. She has created several public engagement and outreach programmes to bring hands-on science lessons to primary school students both in the classroom and at large-scale events.
(Credit: Katherine Shirley)
Omar is a Computational Scientist working with the Computational Engineering and Environment group at Daresbury Laboratory. His work involves solving fluid mechanics problems and developing computer codes to efficiently and quickly solve complicated scientific and engineering problems using supercomputers. Omar was a PhD study at Imperial College London, and he was elected as the post-graduate representative of the Department of Aeronautics.
(Credit: Omar Mahfoze)
River is an Associate Lecturer in the Department of Chemistry at University College London. His role has a particular focus on delivering impact on the student experience and this encompasses how students and the Department interact with outreach and public engagement. Behind all his outreach work is his dedication to equality, diversity and inclusion within science. Alongside this, his research interests are investigating new pedagogical approaches to instrumentation, particularly within the field of spectroscopy.
(Credit: River Riley)
Hello, I'm Dawn Geatches, a Project Scientist in the Computational Chemistry Group of the Scientific Computing Department of STFC, Daresbury Laboratory (Cheshire). My research is quantum mechanics applied to materials, and I work with university and industry partners exploring the fundamental properties and behaviour of materials in different environments. My PE work includes volunteering at STFC Open Days, giving a talk to the general public, mentoring and supervising work experience students. I enjoy it because I can be enthusiastic about science, encourage the same spark of scientific curiosity in others and of course, it's really good fun!
Greg is a Software Engineer in STFC Scientific Computing Department and holds a Masters Degree in Computer Science. He is a STEM Ambassador and published author in academic science journals. When not writing code or engaging the public, he enjoys playing board games, watching bad movies and drinking real ale.
(Credit: G Corbett)
Josie currently works as a Teaching Associate in the School of Physics at the University of Bristol. Prior to this, she helped to coordinate a mobile outreach project called ‘Lab in a Lorry’. This project toured schools in Wales aiming to promote physics and inspire the next generation of scientists.
(Credit: J Rawes)
Kristin Lohwasser is a researcher at the University of Sheffield, investigating fundamental particles and their interactions at the ATLAS experiment in CERN, Geneva. She completed her physics degree at Dortmund University and also finished a degree in journalism, including a one-year internship at a newspaper. After her undergraduate, she completed a DPhil at Oxford and worked as post-doc at Freiburg University and at DESY.
(Credit: Susann Niedworok, DESY)
Following a PhD in materials chemistry at the University of Surrey, Laura joined the electronics and magnetic materials group at NPL. Laura has been involved in numerous public engagement events including developing science engagement activities for primary schools and introducing the three minute thesis competition to the University’s postgraduate conference.
(Credit: L Kent)
My name is Martin Black. I completed my undergraduate degree in Astronomy and Physics at the University of Glasgow. Having enjoyed my optical and practical courses, I decided to transition into engineering. I applied to join STFC, at the UK Astronomy Technology Centre, as an Optical Engineer. Since then I've worked on about 10 different project for astronomy, medical imaging, and Earth observation.
(Credit: M Black)
Sally is a Research Associate at the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, University of Manchester. Her research is on searching for pulsars using the next generation of radio telescopes, like the Square Kilometre Array. Part of Sally's research is to learn how to train computers to help identify pulsars using machine learning techniques.
(Credit: RADA Big Data)
Sabrina’s background lies in laboratory astrophysics and astrochemistry, in particular studying gas-phase ion chemistry in star forming regions. Now she is an Instrument Scientist at the ISIS Neutron and Muon Source focussing on the structure of water ice, and uses many outreach opportunities to promote what I consider to be interesting science!
William has been based at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh for the last ten years. Starting with his PhD through the University of Edinburgh and then literally moving down the corridor to join STFC’s UK Astronomy Technology Centre. He now works as a Project Scientist: splitting his time between research into Massive Stars and more technical work to help build new instruments for telescopes.
(Credit: W Taylor)
William Trickey is a PhD student at the University of York. His research involves the study of extreme shocks in plasmas with application in fusion energy. Will helps with a variety outreach projects at the University of York including the creation of a fusion podcast called: A glass of seawater.
(Credit: W Trickey)
Last updated: 19 August 2021