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EXPLORATHON - European Researchers' Night Scotland

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - EXPLORATHON (EXPLORATHON - European Researchers' Night Scotland)

Reporting period: 2014-12-01 to 2015-11-30

Over 2 editions of the Night in Scotland 14,805 members of the public engaged with 786 researchers at a variety of different events. Our pan-Scotland approach has created the largest mass public engagement with research activity that the country has seen. The social media reach and Twitter impressions have reached remarkable levels and in total in excess of 2 million people have been made aware of the project.
Our participation has forged a new partnership based on innovative high quality public engagement across four key research driven universities in Scotland. This partnership has greatly enlarged the collective audience that each partner university has previously reached.
Participation has meant that the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Programme has achieved an enviably high degree of visibility across Scotland. Through our work in 2014 and 2015 we have created a brand, Explorathon, which people now recognise and with which researchers are keen to be associated.
Our involvement in the 2 editions of the Night has greatly enriched the experience of researchers in their roles, both those with Marie Skłowdowska-Curie and Horizon 2020 funding and those funded by other streams, whilst it has introduced others to the importance and value of public engagement. We have brought research and researchers to a wide variety of audiences across the country and in a variety of different ways. We have helped to break down barriers to communication and have shown researchers as people with extraordinary jobs and showcased research as an important career path.
In short this has been an excellent project that has greatly benefited the partner universities and the researchers involved as well as enriching the lives and widening the horizons of the members of the public who attended the events.
"Target audiences
o Public at large regardless of age and scientific background;
o Special attention to be paid to young people, especially those facing a career choice;
Messages conveyed
o Researchers are amongst us;
o Researchers are ordinary people with an extraordinary job;
o Technological advancements and infrastructures often follow from research;
o Public can play a role in shaping research;
o Come and discover driven by curiosity and inquiry, trails which we all have;
o Collaboration is fundamental for modern research;
Main communication tools to rely on
Off line
o Set up of an EXPLORATHON brand image insuring strong message and national uniformity;
o Publication of articles, announcements, advertisements in nation la and regional press thanks to support from communication teams of all the 4 universities involved;
o Airing of some promotional spots on local community radio station in Aberdeen SHMU FM ;
o Mailing to 23.000 households;
o Direct reaching of several local communities in both Glasgow and Edinburgh through the Glasgow City of Science and the Edinburgh Active Citizenship group;
o Attempt for TV coverage through BBC Scotland a and /or Scotland TV channels;
o Display of promotional material (flyers) in tourist info centres, event racks, cafés, bars, community centres and local libraries;
o Production and display of brochures promoting the activities and featuring researchers’ stories, puzzle and games research-themed;
o Specific communications to disadvantaged postcodes areas through cooperation with Community councils and their newsletters;
o Promotion of the Researchers’ nights through other public events (Aberdeen science festival, Glasgow City of science, Beltane network, 3dinburgh Fringe shows…
On line
o Setting up of a project website, linked with o-participants’ websites, institutional and popular ones;
o Use of national e-zines and e-newsletters of cooperating bodies for promotion (participants, cooperating bodies, alumni);
o Setting up of social networks profiles;
Promotional material
o Banners, roll ups, posters, flyers, brochures;
o Ads, banners and websites, hyperlinks, dedicated Twitter hashtag (ERNSCOT);
o Mention of ""This European Researchers' Night project is funded by the European Commission under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions"" on all promotional material displayed;
o Promotional gadgets (displayed through the European corner notably), complying with the general guidelines available at
Overview of the results
o Conception, realisation and display of promotional material (flyers, posters, brochures, special magazines co-produced with research students);
o Publication of announcements and articles in local newspapers (such as the Press & Journal and Evening Express in Aberdeen);
o Public advertising (posters in city centres);
o Promotion of the event during public events (Science festival, public and school events, science cafés, University Open Days, lectures…);
o Setting up, constant updating and maintenance of project website announcement and detailed programme in each city;
o Setting up, constant updating and maintenance of social network profiles (Facebook Twitter, Flickr);
o 284 Facebook and 215 Twitter followers, 1.400.000 Twitter impacts;
o Links with popular and institutional websites, as well as with European and other Researchers'Night websites;
o Posting of annoucements and promotion on University homepages, newsletters, e-zines, news sections and events listings;
o Airing of promotional spots on radio Station (Original FM, 42 adverts) and of special edition of community radio programme “Talking Science” on Aberdeen’s SHMU FM (Aberdeen), interviews on Scottish TV and Inverclyde Radio (Glasgow);
o Airing of a special 6 minutes feature for the Good Morning Scotland radio programme on Saturday 27th September by BBC;
o About 1,4 million peo"