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The Science and Technology Facilities Council offers funding up to £160,000 for up to three year projects as part of their leadership fellows in public engagement scheme that enables researchers in an STFC-funded area of science and technology to deliver a prolonged, thematic programme of public engagement with the aim to create a network of highly-skilled practitioners of public engagement with STFC science who inspire and involve colleagues, students, and the public in their activities. A substantial part of the activities must also be concerned with leadership and capacity building.

STFC want to:

  • Support the very best scientists, engineers and technical staff within STFC’s community to undertake extended programmes of high quality, innovative public engagement.
  • Encourage and support leadership and capacity building for public engagement activities within organisations.
  • Contribute to the wider community of highly skilled practitioners of public engagement with STFC science, technology and facilities who inspire and involve colleagues, students and members of the public, through their engagement programme and leadership.
  • Highlight the achievements of STFC science, technology and facilities, demonstrating the excitement of research and the value of STEM to the UK.

Applicants are encouraged to submit Leadership Fellowship applications that include work with the Wonder Initiative target audience and/or those considered to have low science capital.

Researchers at a UK research organisation, who have a track record of either research in an STFC-funded area of science and technology or research that has been underpinned by use of STFC’s national or international laboratories and facilities, may apply. Applicants must have a demonstrable record of success in planning, delivering and evaluating public engagement activities to a wide range of audiences. Leadership fellows must be in the employment of their host research organisation when the fellowship commences or have approached an appropriate research organisation to host the fellowship upon application. There are different criteria for researchers at different career stages.

Grants are worth up to £160,000 for up to three years.

NOTE: this scheme is not intended to support one-off projects, refer to their other schemes if that's the sort of funding you're looking for.

Applications are to be made through JeS and consist of:

  • a personal statement
  • a case for support detailing the rationale of the proposed activities and anticipated outcomes, the activities that will be undertaken, an evaluation plan (see their framework), a dissemination plan that details how resources, lessons learnt, etc., will be shared, and a justification of resources. The case for support should also explain how the proposed project supports STFC's public engagement strategy
  • A host letter of support
  • Any project partner letters of support
  • Name of reviewers


STFC provide extensive guidance and information on previously funded projects on the scheme's web pages (link below).

Full information and how to apply