What is it?

Our May Festival continues the University's pedigree in conceiving, creating and delivering a high quality public event that brings thousands of people onto campus to engage with our University, its community and the world class innovation being driven forward. The University's Word Festival carried this tradition for ten years until 2011, then the British Science Festival set a new benchmark, nationally, for the University's reputation in 2012. In 2013 the University May Festival was launched reflecting the full range of University activity and incorporating for the first time a dedicated strand - called 'Discover' - to provide our academic community with a specific new public engagement channel.

Who can take part?

The opportunities to engage are two-fold. We coordinate a Call for Ideas open to all our staff and students for delivery of festival activities the following spring. This call invites ideas across a spectrum, ranging from suggestions for speakers (e.g. drawing our attention to contacts you may have with popular speakers, well known names etc) through to novel concepts for event delivery that engage the public with latest research. Secondly, the festival team is always happy to hear from volunteers to help deliver the festival. This provides useful experience in communication skills, public interaction and enhances CVs particularly for undergraduate or postgraduate students. 

The 2017 Call For Ideas has now closed.

 

Where does the festival take place?

A major aim of the festival is about breaking down physical barriers with the community and creating a vibrant focus of activity. Therefore most events take place at the King's campus in Old Aberdeen. However we also work with partners in the city and Aberdeenshire, creating an extended programme that reaches into rural communities.

Is it for me, and how can I get involved?

There are two main ways to get involved - presenting within the festival's academic-led Discover Strand - or volunteering to help with the delivery of the festival itself:-

Discover Strand: This is for anyone at the University who wants to use the festival to highlight research and its impact, engage with a non-academic audience, discuss a topical issue, try out a new engagement concept or work with others to develop an activity. You should be able to fund any specific materials or costs generated by your event, however for successful proposals, we provide basic support, venue provision, IT on campus, marketing and training. You can also visit the festival's public facing website to see the Discover Strand programme from 2016. The 2017 festival will take place 26 -28 May and the call for ideas will open in the autumn of 2016.

Helping at the Festival: If you are interested in volunteering opportunities to help deliver the festival, then please contact the festival team directly by emailing festival@abdn.ac.uk.