European Researchers' Night Returns: 29th September 2017

Explorathon is Scotland’s “European Researchers’ Night”. All across Europe on the last Friday in September the EU celebrates research and researchers with huge public engagement events. Scotland’s biggest cities will join the party as we showcase our work to the wider community by inviting people to get up close and hands on with our world leading research. 

In Glasgow last year over 400 researchers shared their work with 5,000 members of the public. We are now planning our 2017 events and will have lots of ways in which you can be part of this exciting project. If you have any questions please contact Jamie Gallagher 


2016 highlights 



12 Venues
420 Researchers
4,969 Visitors
16,504 Interactions


4 Cities
675 Researchers
9,908 Visitors
1,000,000+ Media reach


300 Cities
18,000 Researchers 
1.1 million Visitors
24 Countries 

Information on European Researchers’ Night 2017 and how to get involved:

What is Explorathon?

Explorathon is Scotland’s “European Researchers’ Night”. All across Europe on the last Friday in September the EU celebrates research and researchers with huge public engagement events. Scotland’s biggest cities will join the party as we showcase our work to the wider community inviting people to get up close and hands on with our world leading research  

Explorathon is collaboration between the Universities of Glasgow, Strathclyde, Aberdeen, St Andrews and the four Edinburgh Universities. The event is funded by the European Commission under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions programme. 

What happens at Explorathon?

ERN Stoormtrooper

‌Scotland’s  biggest cities will host huge public engagement activities. Events can run from Midday on the Friday until Miday on the Saturday.  

The goal is to share our enthusiasm and our work. To show how relevant and exciting research can be. It is the chance for the people of Scotland to learn about the world leading research happening in our universities.

You can see some of the events to feature last year on the public website

Who can get involved?

 ‌ERN Comet ‌Researchers from all areas- history, art, social science and physical science- all Schools and Institutes are welcome and encouraged to apply. Last year we had activities lead by undergraduates through to professorial level with almost every School and Institute showcasing their work. Over 300 University of Glasgow researchers were involved last year and over 550 researchers across Scotland.

How to get involved

We’d like as many researchers as possible to get involved. It is an excellent environment to showcase your work to the public, the media and to other researchers. A call for proposals will be launched in June and run until July.  Last year we had almost every School and Institute represented with over 300 University of Glasgow researchers taking part, a success which we hope to replicate going forward. 

ERN Matt


There will be 3 main ways to get involved in Explorathon:

  1. Standalone event to be advertised in our program (for example a screening, workshop, pop up event) there is funding to support these. (Deadline 4th July) Apply here
  2. School talk: Share your work with a class at a local school.  We will partner willing researchers with an appropriate school.  (Deadline 18th July) Apply here
  3. Research Station: Drop in table top areas. We will assign successful applicants to the most suitable partner venue eg The Forge or Kelvingrove (Deadline 18th July) Apply here


To get our research out and into the heart of the city we partner with a number of different venues each with their own focus, demographics and advantages. We are open to suggestions of new venues but listed below are our likely 2018 partners. Please note you do not have to pick a venue we will pair you with the most suitible partner but if the venues spark particular ideas or if you have a strong prefernce then do please add a note into your application form. 

The Forge Shopping Centre:
Time: Friday and Saturday 9am – 5pm
In the East End of Glasgow this shopping centre sees over 20,000 visitors a day. At this location we’ve found the shoppers particular keen to engage in discussion and debate. Here we are looking for Research Stations aimed primarily at Adult audiences. Many of the visitors are from low socioeconomic backgrounds and targeting those not typically engaged with research is part of our core mission.

Kelvingrove Museum:
Time: Friday 10am – 5pm
For the 3rd year we will take up residence in Kelvingrove’ s main hall with hands on activities. The hall is busy with tourists and often school groups. Interactive exhibits are particularly welcome. As an international tourist attraction there are many people on holiday and tour groups. Research relating to natural history, local interest and art are a particularly good fit.

The Hunterian Museum and Gallery:
Time: Friday 10am – 5pm
Scotland’s oldest public museum not only brings public engagement to the heart of the University all year round it also plays an integral part in our research and teaching. The Hunterian are particularly keen to welcome researchers who have used the collection, or have exhibits relating to the collections. Covering everything from anatomy, natural history, mineralogy and the legacy of Glasgow’s famous alumni all subject areas are welcome.

University of Glasgow Library:
Time Friday: Noon- 9pm
Housing special collections and a number of display and talk spaces we are keen to hear from researchers who have research relation to the library’s collections showing how it is not a book repository but a living breathing research environment. The space could be used for tours or talks.

The Andrew Stewart Cinema:
Time: Friday 5pm – 10.30pm
Last year we had two sold out screenings and discussions and this year we are inviting researchers to suggest their own screening events. Films might be relevant or include research topics in them or you could take a mainstream film and use it as a discussion space to introduce your own research topics.

The University of Glasgow Theatre:
Friday 5pm – 10pm
This flexible performance space was used for a musical lecture in 2016 and again we invite researchers to dream up innovate ways to bring topics to life through performance, music, screenings, discussion and movement.

The Riverside Museum:
Friday 6pm – 10pm
Our flagship event, the Explorathon Extravaganza moves to its biggest home yet – the Riverside Museum. This vast space will be filled with research including researchers taking over the Old Street setting up stalls in 19th century pubs and shops. We expect to have around 50 groups of researchers run Stations on the night.

Saturday 10.30am – 12 noon
Our fastest selling event returns in 2017 with a free screening of an IMAX educational film. We are looking for researchers who might want to come along and speak on Space, the Artic, Sea life or Geography. 

Important Dates

2017 timeline

06th June: Applications open for standalone events, stations and schools talks

4th July: Applications for standalone events closes
18th July: Deadline - Stations and School talk proposals
21st July: Applicant notifications

XX Aug: Evaluation information session 
18th Aug: Deadline - risk assessments and booking forms.

 Join in the conversation: 

@ERNScot #Explorathon17


Public Website

EXPLORATHON (European Researchers' Night Scotland) is funded by the European Commission under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions programme