2015 Event: Monday 9th March 2015

SET for BRITAIN Exhibition of Posters by early-career research scientists, engineers and mathematicians.

The final of the 2015 SET for BRITAIN event will take place at the Attlee Suite, Portcullis House, Westminster on Monday, 9th March 2015, sponsored by Andrew Miller MP, Chairman of the SET for BRITAIN organising group of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee.

The day will be divided into three separate sessions with the following timings. Applicants should decide for which of the 5 subject competitions they wish to have their work considered, and apply accordingly. Each poster may only be entered for one competition.

12.00 pm- 2.15 pm    Biological and Biomedical Sciences
3.00 pm- 5.30 pm    Physical Sciences (Chemistry and Physics)
6.15 pm- 9.00 pm    Engineering and Mathematics
9.00 pm     Judging for Westminster Medal followed by presentation

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS - 17:00 on 5th December 2014.
APPLICATIONS RECEIVED AFTER THIS DATE WILL NOT BE ENTERED IN THE COMPETITION.

SET for BRITAIN exists to raise the profile of Britain's early-stage researchers at Westminster by engaging Members of both Houses of Parliament with current science, engineering and mathematics research being undertaken in the UK, especially that by their local constituents and in their local University. Few of them have science or technology degrees, but we usually have around 100 Parliamentarians attending during the day.

Poster Presenters are at the early part of their career- MSc/final year PhD/Post Doc or similar, either in academia or in industry. We welcome returners and those starting a second career- age is unimportant.

How to enter

You will need to fill in the online application form as soon as possible and supply an abstract (in .pdf format) of your work - no more than a single A4 page, together with a reference, normally from a supervisor or senior academic colleague.

These all have to be submitted by the deadline, 5th December 2014; it is best not to wait until the day of the deadline as submission of many applications in the last afternoon can clog up the system and serious delays may occur.

Applications will be acknowledged by SET for BRITAIN on receipt and you will be informed of the judges' decision on allocation of places in the competition by mid-January 2015.

Judges are senior scientists from the relevant Learned Societies. They will use the following criteria:

  • Is the submission well written?
  • Does it have a clear concise introduction?
  • Does it make clear the contribution of the applicant/presenter?
  • How long has the applicant been working on the project?
  • What is the likely impact?
  • How difficult / complex is the project?
  • Could the poster be understood by a lay audience?

Selection and Judging

You have to surmount two separate hurdles.

The first is that your abstract will be judged on scientific merit by representatives of the relevant learned bodies. Depending on the subject category they will select 60 or 30 people to present their posters in Parliament.

Then if selected you will be asked to produce a poster describing your work in terms intelligible to an interested lay person. We strongly advise that you do not use a poster which has been presented at a meeting of a Learned Society; this is not the level we are seeking.

On the day the judges will visit the majority of posters, and engage you in conversation. They are now looking for enthusiasm, clarity and brevity as well as scientific or engineering excellence.

The Audience will be mostly Parliamentarians. Once selected for the competition we do encourage you to contact your MPs, inviting them to come to see you and your poster; this helps to get the date in their diaries and increases the number of MPs who visit.

Your MP will have little time, and you need to be able to get across key points in 90 seconds - imagine that you are on the Today Programme with John Humphreys as your inquisitor, or on Newsnight with Jeremy Paxman interviewing you. If that seems scary, maybe you should delay entering until next year!

The Aftermath

SET for BRITAIN prizes are worth winning - medals and £3k, £2k or £1k. The kudos even of being there is immense. We try to ensure that your local newspapers are alerted; please help us with publicising the event where you can.

We have recently established an Alumnus Club to support and now follow the careers of previous prize-winners.

MORE INFORMATION IS TO BE FOUND IN THE FAQs

Prizes

Biological and Biomedical Sciences

  • Gold Award: £3,000
  • Silver Award: £2,000
  • Bronze Award: £1,000
  • GW Mendel Medal

Physical Sciences (Chemistry and Physics)

Chemistry

  • Gold Award: £3,000
  • Silver Award: £2,000
  • Bronze Award: £1,000
  • Roscoe Medal

Physics

  • Gold Award: £3,000
  • Silver Award: £2,000
  • Bronze Award: £1,000
  • Cavendish Medal

Engineering

  • Gold Award: £3,000
  • Silver Award: £2,000
  • Bronze Award: £1,000
  • Engineering Medal

Mathematics

  • Gold Award: £3,000
  • Silver Award: £2,000
  • Bronze Award: £1,000
  • Mathematical Sciences Medal

And for the overall winner:

  • Westminster Medal in memory of Dr Eric Wharton