X Close

Focus on the Positive



For researchers

Are you a researcher in the School of Life and Medical Sciences (SLMS)? Do you have ideas on how to start solving one of the problems facing the world today? Are you interested in considering and presenting your research in new ways? Could your research spark a new project, a piece of advocacy, or work with a charity? Would £2000 help you to get this off the ground?
Focus on the positive is a series of events hosted by Public and Cultural Engagement and began in October 2012. In front of a live audience, each project leader spends five minutes describing a problem with the world, and how they want to fix it. You can propose all sorts of solutions: perhaps a donation to a charity or a small research project, a piece of advocacy – or something completely different.
At each event, several researchers will put forward their ideas. The audience then has a chance to mingle and debate the issues before voting on what they’d like to support right there on the spot.

The audience will choose a project they think will make a real difference. That project will receive real money to make that difference.
The winning researcher gets £2,000 to spend on the idea that they’ve proposed. A runner-up will also receive £1,000 to take their project forward.

Why take part?
Funding your ambitions to help the world is an obvious benefit, but it’s also a great opportunity to improve your communication skills, make links with other people at UCL, and think about your research in a different way. You’ll get bespoke communications training and even if the audience doesn’t choose your project, the UCL Public Engagement Unit will help you with ideas about the ways you could take it forward.

Who can take part?
If you’re a graduate student or member of staff from any of these faculties, you’re eligible to take part:
• Brain Sciences
• Life Sciences
• Medical Sciences
• Population Health Sciences
• An institute or centre associated to these faculties
If you’re not sure if you are eligible, contact the Public Engagement Unit: publicengagement@ucl.ac.uk

Next steps
If this sounds like something you might want to get involved with the first step is to contact the Public Engagement Coordinator for SLMS, Tadhg Caffrey on t.caffrey@ucl.ac.uk with an expression of interest.
Training sessions will happen just before the event that you would speak at, to give you some tips on pitching and help you to articulate your project.