Public Engagement With Research
The Faraday Institution and its research universities actively engage with the public and share a commitment toward increasing the ways that members of the public can join with our researchers in dialogue. Our communications and engagement programmes demonstrate the many ways in which our research programmes in battery energy storage can be shared with the public.
Researcher training on public engagement
All Faraday Institution researchers are encouraged to take part in public engagement activities as one way of boosting their researcher identity. In May 2021, the Faraday Institution launched a Faraday STEM Network to build a community of researchers active in the space to share ideas, resource and best practice. Approximately 30 researchers participated in the initial meeting. Faraday Institution-funded PhD researchers receive Dynamic Presenter training in their second year and in September 2021 this training opportunity will be opened up to the wider research community.
The Faraday Institution participated at Big Bang Fair 2019 with a stand organised and led by our PhD and early-career researchers; the fair drew crowds of 80,000 young people. Faraday Institution PhD Researchers were featured in a session on careers in battery research at the virtual Big Bang Fair in 2021.
Engaging with young people to inspire them about research
STEM Ambassador training is at the heart of the PhD cohort training programme with 71 STEM Ambassadors trained so far, and further training planned for the wider Faraday research community to engage the public and school children. In 2019 our PhD STEM Ambassadors were active on a stand at the Sandhurst STEM Careers Fair. STEM Ambassadors are also active at local events near their research institutions as well as conducting online outreach to schools during the pandemic. See our case study.
With the Curiosity Box, the Faraday Institution co-developed the Faraday ‘Fully Charged Battery Box’ to support researchers, teachers and STEM Ambassadors in delivering highly quality sessions for key stage 2, building science capital through STEM days, clubs or series of science lessons. This has reached 12,000 students. See case study and video.
The Faraday Institution has sponsored and has presented at the Young Scientist of the Year Awards in Buckinghamshire and in Oxfordshire as well as Science Oxford Work Experience Awards, exciting and inspiring 180 award winning young scientists and engineers.
Faraday PhD Researchers use their outreach skills to engage with the public
-Lizzie Driscoll recognised for RSC “Inspirational Member” award in June 2021, largely for outreach and public engagement activities
-The importance of recycling electric vehicle batteries by Beatrice Browning
-Award winning STEM outreach activity, Crunchie Bar Batteries by Beatrice Browning and Rosie Madge
Presenting to the public
To help the general public engage with, explore, and form opinions about the complex questions raised by the electrification of transport, the Faraday Institution formed a partnership with the Royal Institution. Together, since 2019, the two organisations have co-curated a series of six thought-provoking events, open to the general public, and held in the iconic Royal Institution lecture theatre. The programme was developed to inspire and share the thoughts and opinions of leading thinkers from business, academic and policy who are helping to lead and shape the transition to EVs and bringing new industries to the UK. Videos of the talks and their Q&As have since been watched over 290,000 times on the Ri’s YouTube channel.
Attracting undergraduates to battery research careers
The Faraday Institution hosts a series of attraction programmes to promote STEM careers and to engage those historically under-represented in battery careers:
Faraday Undergraduate Summer Experience (FUSE) Each summer, the Faraday Institution supports up to 50 undergraduates across UK universities through the (FUSE) programme, with a total of 200+ internships to date. These 8-week, competitive internships give students access to leading scientists, unique facilities, hands-on research experience and inspires them for future careers. The interns benefit from a programme of career-shaping events to give greater insight into the field and potential opportunities, culminating in research poster presentations at our annual conference. A number of graduates from this programme have since gone on to pursue PhDs in energy-storage disciplines, internships, work in battery development for UK industry, intern at a Faraday Institution spin-out and be employed by the Faraday Institution as digital and social media coordinator. A dynamic and diverse pool of talent was drawn from over 17 universities and including some students who had previously attended our SEO London undergraduate attraction event. See case study.
Fully Electric Engagement Programme (FEEP) In 2019, with SEO London the Faraday Institution reached 88 undergraduate students at the Royal Academy of Engineering and 46 at the Birmingham Conference Centre from minority groups, connecting them with industry partners (including from Rolls Royce, Siemens and Jaguar Land Rover) and inspiring them about battery related careers. A virtual attraction event was held in 2021 attended by 50 people.
Engage the media to inform the public
With one objective to inform the public about matters relating to batteries and electrification the Faraday Institution has sought to build a reputation as a source of independent, responsive information and comment across trade, and national UK media. The work of the Faraday Institution was cited in over 200 pieces of news in the 2021-22 financial year, with substantial top tier coverage, representing hundreds of thousands of views, in outlets including the BBC, The Telegraph, Reuters, Bloomberg, The Times, The Guardian and The Financial Times.
For any questions regarding the Faraday Institution's approach for public engagement with research please contact Matt Howard.
This page was published July 2021.
Signatories to the Manifesto for Public Engagement
All of the universities involved in Faraday Institution research programmes have signed the NCCPE manifesto.