If you’re looking for opportunities to get your research out into the ‘real’ world or you’re interested in teaching (as a future career or as part of an academic workload) the Researchers in Residence programme may be for you. Researchers in Residence offers researchers (post-grad or post-doc) placements in schools where they can disseminate their research to a totally different audience.
Research councils and other funders are increasingly looking to the people they fund to disseminate their research outside of academia (check out the new sections of the AHRC application where they ask about your plans for ‘impact’ if you don’t believe me), and researchers are also beginning to recognise the benefit of public engagement for their own work and profile. Explaining your research to a totally new, non-specialist audience can help you get back to basics in a way a conference paper never could, and having to justify why what you do is important can help to remind you why it’s all worth the effort.
Further information and application materials for Researchers in Residence can be found at: www.researchersinresidence.ac.uk
However, if working with kids is not for you, there are other initiatives intended to help researchers to engage with the public, including the Manchester Beacon which is working to support researchers in engaging with the local community. For more information about the Beacon and how it might help you see http://www.publicengagement.ac.uk/beacons/manchester or contact firstname.lastname@example.org