Research and Knowledge Exchange

Public engagement opportunities

Festivals and events where you can share your research with the public.

Edinburgh International Science Festival 

The oldest and still one of Europe’s largest celebrations of science and technology. The University of Edinburgh puts on a Families Programme at the National Museum of Scotland.

When? April

Call issued: August


Go to the Edinburgh International Science Festival website

Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas at Edinburgh Fringe

The Beltane Public Engagement network organises a series of shows during the Fringe.

When? August

Call: January


Go to CODI 2017 website


Explorathon is Scotland’s European Researchers’ Night. The Night gives researchers the opportunity to share their research with members of the public. All subject areas and career stages are welcome. Your research does not need to be funded by the European Commission, and it does not need to be science-based.

When? September

Call: May


More information on the Beltane Public Engagement Network website

Being Human – a festival of the humanities

From philosophy in pubs, history in coffeehouses, classics on social media and language lessons on street corners – the Being Human festival provides new ways to experience how the humanities can inspire and enrich our everyday lives. Supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

When? November

Call: April

Contact: shonagh

Go to the Being Human festival website

ESRC Festival of Social Science

The ESRC Festival of Social Science offers a fascinating insight into some of the country's leading social science research and how it influences our social, economic and political lives - both now and in the future.

When? November

Call: May

Contact: shonagh

Go to the ESRC Festival of Social Science website

Previously... Scotland's history festival

Previously…Scotland’s History Festival is Scotland’s largest history festival, with more than 200 events in November. We aim to bring Scotland’s history out in to the streets, bars, cafes, bookshops, and even comedy clubs!

When? November

Call: Open all year (submit details via website)


More information on the Beltane Public Engagement Network website

Go to Previously... website

Leith Labs

Monthly public engagement with research activities at Ocean Terminal Shopping Centre in Leith. Featuring free hands-on activities, informal discussions over tea and biscuits , a hacked Lab Unit in the middle of the mall for hands-on experiments, there's something for everyone.

When? Monthly

Call: None - email us with your idea anytime


Go to Leith Labs website

Other festivals

There are many other festivals – e.g. for politics, history, mental health and arts; in addition to the 12 major Edinburgh Festivals, which the University engages actively with.

Get an overview of all the festivals in the city  (external site)

Find out more about the University’s engagement with festivals


The Knowledge Exchange Office encourages engagement with humanities and social science research through festivals in Edinburgh and elsewhere. You can apply for the Knowledge Exchange and Impact grant to undertake this activity.

View Knowledge Exchange and Impact grant details and application forms

Support available

The University provides a range of dedicated support and advice for engagement with festivals. Please contact the Knowledge Exchange office in the first instance (contact details above top right of page). We will direct you to those best placed to help.