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The Science and Technology Facilities Council invites applications for its public engagement spark awards. These support programmes of novel public engagement that focus on a topic within the council’s remit, which includes astronomy, solar and planetary science, particle physics, particle astrophysics, cosmology, nuclear physics and accelerator science, or align to the science and technology work of the council’s national and international laboratories and facilities.

Applications that highlight the social, ethical, and economic benefits of research are welcomed.

Applicants are encouraged to propose novel or innovative approaches towards engagement, and to propose engagement with audiences considered to have low science capital.

They are also explicitly invited to work with the wonder initiative’s target audience of eight to 14 year olds and their families and carers from the 40 per cent most socioeconomically-deprived areas of the UK.

Digital content is only funded as part of a wider engagement programme.

Awards are worth up to £15,000 each. There are no set restrictions on the types of costs that may be applied for, but no more than £10,000 may be spent on equipment.

The panel uses the following assessment criteria as the basis for its recommendations:

  • Has the applicant demonstrated a relevant track record in public engagement?
  • Does the application have clear links to STFC science, technology or facilities?
  • Is the rationale for the proposed award convincing and does it take account of good practice in public engagement?
  • Does it align to the STFC Public Engagement Strategy?
  • Is there a clear and appropriate plan for the proposed engagement activities, tailored to the target audiences, and including a consideration of project risk, including but not limited to the extant social distancing measures in place at date of submission and planning for their further evolution?
  • Is there an effective and suitable plan for evaluation of the outputs, outcomes and impacts of the award and does it align to the STFC Public Engagement Evaluation Framework?
  • Is there a suitable plan for publicising the outcomes of the award, and disseminating any outputs produced to wider audiences?
  • Is the proposal an effective use of funding to achieve the declared objectives?

You'll be able to find summaries of previously funded projects on their website (link below) to help inspire you and to gauge whether your idea is a good fit for the scheme.

Deadline has been extended to 4pm (BST) 28 October 2021.


Full details and application