As part of Local Area Research Fortnight participants are encouraged to organise events or publish materials that will help the public, politicians, employees and the media understand the impact of local area research. This could include packaging up existing work and activities to be part of the fortnight or the development of something new, or a simple retweet using the hashtag #LARIA2016.

We will be keeping track on the LARIA website of the activities that people are arranging and will promote it further through social media and our emails. For LARIA the key event will be the LARIA Annual Conference (19th – 20th April 2016), including the Research Impact Awards.

As this is the first Local Area Research Fortnight we are open to all ideas as to what activities would be suitable. We were inspired by the excellent Measurement Week organised by AMEC and the International Year of Statistics where a series of events were organised across the globe.

The types of events you could organise are:

  1. Free half-day event with a pre-arranged list of speaker
  2. An unconference where the agenda is set by the participants on the day
  3. An internal research “hackday” where you get all your research together and think about how you could use it for another purpose – perhaps inviting colleagues from partner organisations and universities in your local area to join in
  4. A meeting in a coffee shop to discuss a particular issue with some colleagues
  5. An internal briefing within your organisation on the work your team is doing
  6. A visit to a local school or university to explain what local area research is
  7. A workshop with a local university where you explain the challenges of local area research and encourage the students to consider how they can help improve their local area through the work they do

We would like to publicise any event which people outside your organisation can attend. In particular we want to make sure that they do not clash in the diary with other events, and will also put you in touch with the Chair of your local LARIA group. So if you are interested in organising such an event please let us know the date and time, who is organising it, what the event is about and how people can register.

In addition we will accept content to put on our website or will promote content on yours. What research could you publish during the fortnight? Could you write a couple of hundred words on why local area research is important? Could you tweet or contribute to our Knowledge Hub and Linkedin pages? Could you issue a press release on some of the work you do? Is there some announcement you could make during the fortnight? The focus on local area research should help increase the profile of the work you do.

Finally we would encourage you to use our logo in conjunction with the activities you are undertaking and keep us informed. The more members who take part in the week the bigger the buzz it will create. We hope you are able to support us and look forward to anything you can contribute. If you want to discuss any aspect of the Local Area Research Fortnight please contact Neil Wholey, Chair of LARIA