New Media and Academia: Public Engagement Training for PGRs, 10th – 11th May 2011, Northumbria University

Keynote speaker: Prof Steve Fielding (University of Nottingham)

This free two-day event, funded by the AHRC and Northumbria University, provides an opportunity for postgraduate researchers to explore both the practical and the theoretical issues arising from public engagement through new media. The event will include training sessions in public engagement and using new media alongside a conference in which panelists will consider how we choose to disseminate our research and what the effects of those choices are on audiences and the research narratives themselves. In addition, delegates will participate in a project to disseminate their research further and to put this training into practice. During the event, each delegate will produce a two-minute video about an aspect of their research. The videos will be uploaded to a YouTube channel, to be created and named by participants on the day. The channel, which will be a searchable archive of current research in the UK, will be screened to an invited public audience on Wednesday 11th May, 2011.

A panel of representatives from non-academic institutions such as museums, charities, media organisations and businesses will provide their perspectives on new social media, and Professor Steve Fielding will share his experiences of disseminating research through new social media in a keynote address, with particular reference to Twitter, the blog Election 2010 (, the YouTube website Politics in 60 Seconds, and his experience of adapting research for the BBC.

We invite proposals from arts and humanities postgraduate students for research papers exploring the dissemination of research through new media. Possible themes include (but are not limited to):

  • Sharing research online: are we selling out by broadcasting to a wider public?
  • Public engagement in the age of multi-platforming
  • Using new media to raise the profile of your research
  • Working with archives and collections and sharing the findings with new audiences
  • The digitisation of research: intellectual property rights, ethics and privacy issues
  • Experiences of adapting academic research for TV, radio and new media platforms
  • The notion of impact

Speakers must be prepared to participate in the creation of the YouTube channel, and must have material prepared for the training sessions. Please email enquiries and proposals for papers to by 10th March 2011, and include the following information: name, institution, e-mail address, title of paper, and a 250 word abstract. All papers should be in English, and should last twenty minutes. A provisional programme will be available by 8th April. Lunch, refreshments and a wine reception will be provided. Please note attendance is very limited.

For more details go to: