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EP/K027786/1 - Engaging opportunities: connecting young people with contemporary research and researchers

Research Perspectives grant details from EPSRC portfolio

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Dr RM Holliman EP/K027786/1 - Engaging opportunities: connecting young people with contemporary research and researchers

Principal Investigator - Science Interdisciplinary, Open University

Other Investigators

Professor E Scanlon, Co InvestigatorProfessor E Scanlon

Mrs K Stutchbury, Co InvestigatorMrs K Stutchbury

Ms E Whitelegg, Co InvestigatorMs E Whitelegg

Scheme

RCUK PER Catalysts

Research Areas

Other Other

Start Date

01/2013

End Date

12/2015

Value

£145,684

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Grant Description

Summary and Description of the grant

The 'Engaging opportunities' project will provide 3800 young people from Milton Keynes with opportunities to engage directly with Open University research and researchers. Researchers from a wide range of academic disciplines will work with school-age students to plan, deliver and assess opportunities for direct engagement, drawing on a flexible and adaptable framework involving four types of activities: Open Lectures; Open Dialogues, Open Inquiry; and Open Creativity. Drawing on the Open University's long-term commitment to social justice, the project will deliver activities that are meaningful and relevant to pupils studying Key Stages 3, 4 and 5, building confidence and self-efficacy among students from diverse backgrounds, and providing role models that they can aspire to. Through participation in this project young people will become more aware of the nature and challenges of contemporary research. Those who wish to make the transition from school to university will be more effectively supported, whilst prospective citizens will develop skills and competencies that will empower them to participate in debates and deliberations about the social, economic and ethical impacts of research.

The Engaging Opportunities project is built around an existing partnership between The Open University and the 12 schools that form the Denbigh Schools Teaching Alliance. Working through this partnership the project will focus on the design, development and evaluation of strategic and structured mechanisms that facilitate direct and effective schools-university engagement. Evaluation research, involving both quantitative and qualitative measures, will be embedded throughout the project and will focus on assessing success against the project's objectives, which are to: inspire young people to consider a range of careers in research and raise ambition to succeed in these ends; raise awareness of different types of academic research; develop skills and competencies that empower citizenship and facilitate media literacy; generate awareness of the nature and challenges of contemporary research; and introduce discussion about the social, economic and ethical impacts of research.

The project team will deliver a programme of mutual learning and support for researchers working across the full range of academic disciplines at the Open University. Focusing in particular on the needs of early career researchers and postgraduate research students we will develop and deliver opportunities for career development and training. This programme will explore and exchange knowledge and understanding in the theory and practice of schools-university engagement with research, e.g. thinking through aims and objectives; exploring when to engage, with which age groups, and why; using what methods, and through which media and technologies; how to present effectively and to support young people in how they respond and present their arguments and ideas; how to approach schools; forming partnerships with new schools; curriculum awareness; addressing social and ethical issues; and issues of intellectual property, data protection and rights issues.

In summary, this project will embed a culture at the Open University where schools-university engagement is strategically planned, effectively delivered, systematically assessed, and where contributions from all participants (school-age students, teachers and researchers) are more valued, recognised and rewarded.

Structured Data / Microdata


Grant Event Details:
Name: Engaging opportunities: connecting young people with contemporary research and researchers - EP/K027786/1
Start Date: 2013-01-01T00:00:00+00:00
End Date: 2015-12-31T00:00:00+00:00

Organization: Open University

Description: The 'Engaging opportunities' project will provide 3800 young people from Milton Keynes with opportunities to engage directly with Open University research and researchers. Researchers from a wide range of academic disciplines will work with school-age stud ...