Astronomy council puts global brief up for grabs

The body responsible for monitoring the universe and seeking evidence of extra-terrestrials is on the hunt for its first PR agency.

The Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) is to merge in April with sister organisation the Council for Central Laboratories of the Research Council. The agency will promote the new body ahead of its launch via a brief that includes creating a corporate identity nationally and internationally.

‘As a non-departmental government body there is still so much for us to do.

Scientists say they only understand four per cent of the sky in terms of particle physics,' said PPARC head of comms Peter Barratt. ‘We would like to raise our profile on the international stage,' he added.

Barratt said the procurement process will take place ‘quickly', with the corporate identity work due to be complete by the end of March. He refused to reveal the value of the contract.

PPARC is also responsible for encouraging school-leavers to take a career in particle physics and astronomy. It reports to the DTI's Office for Science and Technology. Chancellor Gordon Brown announced his decision to merge the PPARC with its affiliate agency in March.

PPARC's public affairs contract with Edelman is not affected by the new brief.

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