British Science Week 2022 Kick Start Grant guidelines

Find all the information you need for applying for a Kick Start Grant here

You can also download a PDF of these guidelines.

British Science Week is an annual celebration of science, technology, engineering, and maths that is coordinated by the British Science Association (BSA) and funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). UKRI are providing funds to distribute grants of £150-£700 to schools in challenging circumstances to run events during British Science Week 2022, 11-20 March.  

The grants are open to schools in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland (including special schools, Early Years education providers and pupil referral units). Fee-paying schools are not eligible for this grant. 

How to apply 

All applications should be made online via the Kick Start Grant application form:

The deadline for applications is 5pm on Monday 8 November 2021. 

When completing the application form, please ensure that all email addresses, telephone numbers and bank account details given are correct. Any mistakes in these will delay payment of the grant. As we will communicate with you primarily by email, please ensure you give an email address that is checked regularly by the person who applies for the grant. 

We understand that this type of activity planning may be different or new to your remit of work. If so, do not hesitate to contact the British Science Week team if you have any questions regarding the application procedure or what type of activity might be suitable for your audience. Please email [email protected]. 

What can you get?

For British Science Week 2022, there are four levels of grants that schools can apply for: 

  • Kick Start Grant: A grant of £300 for your school to run an activity during British Science Week. 
  • Kick Start Youth Grant: A grant of £150 for a group of three or more students aged 10-19 to organise and lead an event or activity in your school during British Science Week. The event should involve other students in the school or the local community. You can apply for this grant in addition to a Kick Start or Kick Start More Grant if you wish.  
  • Kick Start More Grant: A grant of £700 for your school to host a science event or activity which involves your students and the local community. The community can comprise families/carers, children at other schools, members of local community groups or local businesses. There are a very limited number of these grants available, and we are looking for proposed events which engage with the wider community in innovative and effective ways. 
  • Combined Kick Start Grant and Kick Start Youth Grant: A grant of £450 for your school to run an activity during British Science Week and an additional event or activity organised and led by a group of students aged 10-19. We may offer your school either a Kick Start grant or a Kick Start Youth Grant if you are not successful in your application for both. 

What are the criteria? 

You must be a state funded, non-selective school or college, in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. We cannot accept applications from non-school organisations or from private schools. 

To be eligible for a grant, your school must meets at least one of the following criteria: 

  • over 30% of pupils eligible for pupil premium, early years pupil premium or equivalent. 
  • over 30% of pupils who are from minority ethnic backgrounds. * 
  • small school based in a remote and rural location. ** 

Minority ethnic backgrounds include all pupils who don’t self-describe as White British. It includes Irish, except in Northern Ireland.  

** Remote and rural schools are in postcodes listed as ‘rural’ under the Government’s Rural Urban classification system. You can look up your school’s classification at

How are applications assessed? 

The type of activity you run is up to you and depends on the needs of your audience and the resources at your disposal. We will assess the applications against the priorities below. You do not need to meet all of these priorities, but your application should demonstrate clearly which ones your activity will address. 

  • Involve children supported by pupil premium, from minority ethnic groups or with special educational needs.
  • Involve children who wouldn’t normally choose to participate in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) activities. 
  • Are embedded in your local community and involve the wider community as a core audience.
  • Challenge stereotypes about science, and link it to the children’s everyday life beyond school. 
  • Are cross-curricular and involve teachers, professionals or organisations from outside STEM.  
  • Raise awareness of the diverse range of careers that studying STEM subjects can lead to.    
  • Have an impact on STEM activities throughout the year, e.g., staff CPD or launching a new STEM initiative in your school. 

We aim for a broad geographical spread of grant funded events and may prioritise grants from one region over another, if necessary, to achieve this. 

Tips for applying for a Kick Start Grant 

To write the best possible application for the Kick Start Grant scheme, we would recommend that you consider the following advice. 

  • Be clear how your application aligns with the British Science Association’s priorities above, and our vision and mission. 
  • We don’t tend to fund events that spend the whole budget on an external speaker. 
  • To promote diversity and inclusion, we would like to challenge the stereotype that science is only for boffins/geniuses/professors/wizards in white lab coats. We want to fund activities that help young people see themselves as scientists. 
  • Connect activities to students’ personal interests, experiences or local issues beyond science. 
  • Special Schools – We suggest emphasising how best you can integrate the activity/event with your wider school community and how you can create ongoing initiatives that will raise the profile of STEM in your school in a way that relates to your students’ lives. You are also eligible for our Community Grant. 

Tips for applying for the Kick Start More Grant (£700) 

In addition to the advice above, if you are applying for the Kick Start More Grant, community members should be a core audience rather than additional guests to a student event. We particularly welcome ideas for engaging with this audience in a way that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to, and which you can sustain beyond British Science Week.  

Past ideas have included: 

  • creating a school garden together with parents and community volunteers
  • putting on a science fair of student projects to engage with children from other schools and families
  • a STEM careers day, where local businesses were invited to a school cluster to speak with the students and work with them on a project about their industries.     

Tips for applying for the Kick Start Youth Grant (£150) 

To be eligible for a Kick Start Youth grant, the event should be organised and led by students, with the support of a member of staff. The initial application should be made by the supporting staff member, but you should explain how you will recruit or select students to take part in the event and how you will support them in organising the event.  

In your application you will be asked to explain how you will recruit the group of young organisers, and outline how you will support them to plan and deliver their event. 

If successful, you will need to recruit a group of between three and 10 students to plan and deliver the event. The students will need to complete and return to us an event proposal telling us about their plans and how they will spend the £150 by mid-February 2022. They will need to return completed evaluation forms from attendees after their event. 

Student organisers who complete all the necessary requirements for their event will be eligible for a free CREST Bronze Award. 

Additional criteria for this grant 

  • All student organisers should be between 10-19 years. 
  • There must be at least three young people in the event organising group.
  • The event audience must involve other young people in the students’ school, young people in other schools or young people in the wider community. 

How to apply for the combined Kick Start grant and Kick Start Youth grant (£450) 

You will be asked to complete a description of your school’s main activities, its objectives and a budget. You will then be asked to complete a separate description for the Kick Start Youth grant, including how you will recruit the group of young organisers and how you will support them to plan and deliver their event. We may award either a Kick Start or Youth grant on its own if you are not successful in your application for the combined grant.  

Can I apply for more than one grant? 

We will only accept one application per school. To avoid duplication, we recommend you check with other staff and senior leaders at your school before applying. 

What type of event/activity could you run? 

There are no restrictions on the activities or events you could run using the funding, but they could include the following ideas.  

  • Activities from our home-based activity packs and our activity packs.
  • Online presentations from invited speakers on science and/or engineering topics. 
  • Field trips to local science centres, museums or university science departments. 
  • Student-led interactive displays, online demonstrations or investigations for parents or other schools. 
  • Zoom family days where family projects and initiatives are showcased.
  • Mini festivals or science fairs.
  • Activities of engagement with local organisations and wider community e.g., writing letters to a care home. 
  • Student-led building projects such as a school garden, community lab or pond. 

What can the grant money be spent on? 

Grant money can be used for CREST Award entry fees, consumables, equipment, field trips, speakers, presenters, outreach shows or other costs of activities or events celebrating British Science Week. Only a third of the grant money can be spent on large non-consumable equipment (e.g., microscopes or computers) and journal subscriptions.  

Grant money cannot be spent on large competition prizes, salary costs, and costs that are already covered by other funding. More than half of the grant cannot be spent on refreshments. 

What will we ask for in your application? 

You will need to complete the final application using the online form. We will not accept applications sent as email attachments. You will be asked to provide the following information in your application. 

  • Criteria under which you are applying. This will be cross referenced with government school databases. 
  • A contact email address. Where possible, you should use a school email address. 
  • A general description of the event (300 words maximum). 
  • A description of your event objectives (300 words maximum). Your objectives should include how you will ensure the engagement of your target audience(s) and how your event meets the British Science Association’s wider priorities and vision. 
  • A rough budget outline (ideally in bullet points) of costs associated with the event and how the grant money will be used. You will not need to provide receipts. For the Kick Start Youth Grant, we will ask for a budget breakdown later from successful applicants. 
  • Details of your school’s bank account including account name, number and sort code. Providing account details at this stage allows us to pay successful applicants immediately, making it easier to organise events. This should be your school’s bank account details unless otherwise stated or a reason is given.  

Financial information is stored on a secure cloud-based service and will only be used to pay successful grant applicants. Unused details will be deleted. Providing your account details at this stage allows us to pay successful grant applicants immediately, making it easier to organise events. 

Please note, if the bank details supplied in your application are incorrect, this will significantly delay the payment of your grant and may result in the grant being withdrawn. Please ensure that you have the correct bank account details before applying. 

Conditions of the grant 

By applying for a grant, you are agreeing to the following conditions. 

  • Your event must fall within British Science Week 2022 (11 – 20 March). 
  • You must complete an online organiser feedback survey (provided by the British Science Association) after British Science Week. 
  • You must distribute a short feedback form (provided by the British Science Association) to your event participants and return these forms to British Science Association Head Office after the event. 
  • British Science Week, UKRI and the British Science Association must be correctly acknowledged in any press releases (please contact the British Science Association for additional information). 
  • The event must be STEM related. 
  • The British Science Week logo must be used on any marketing materials produced, either in print or online. Downloadable logos can be found here. 

If for whatever reason you are not able to run an event within British Science Week 2022, the grant money will have to be returned to the British Science Association. For these reasons, please ensure you have contingency plans in the case of health and safety restrictions or partial school closure  

If the paper feedback forms and organisers survey are not completed and returned to us or if your event differs greatly to the event specified in your application, the British Science Association reserves the right to ask for the funding to be returned. 

Deadlines and payments 

The deadline for applications is 5pm on Monday 8 November 2021. 

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by email in mid-December. If successful, payment of the grant will be made directly into a nominated bank account. Payments will be made in mid-January 2022.  

If you have not received an email response to your application by early January, please get in touch. You will not be able to track applications via the website.   

If you wish to start planning your event in advance of knowing the outcome of your application and require funding to do this, please note that the British Science Association is not liable for any lost deposits or payments if your grant application is unsuccessful. 

What if I am unsuccessful? 

The Kick Start grant scheme is very popular and regrettably we must turn down many applications each year. Although we realise that this will be disappointing, we encourage applicants to have a back-up plan for a smaller scale event to celebrate British Science Week if their application for a grant is unsuccessful. There are many things which can be done at low cost or even for free, for example inviting a STEM Ambassador or an Inspiring the Future volunteer to your school to support classroom activities.