British Science Week 2024 Community Grants guidelines

Find all the information you need for applying for a Community Grant here

You can also download a PDF of these guidelines, including the full terms and conditions.

British Science Week is an annual celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths, coordinated by the British Science Association and funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). UKRI is providing funds to distribute grants of £500 and £1000 for community groups/organisations to run events during British Science Week 2024, which will take place from 8-17 March.

The Community Grants scheme aims to expand and diversify the audiences who engage with science and grow interest in science by empowering and supporting community groups to run their own science activities during British Science Week.

The deadline for applications is 11.59pm on Monday 6 November 2023.

What can you get?

For British Science Week 2024, there are two levels of grants that community groups can apply for:

1. £500 grants to run one or more events during British Science Week
2. £1000 grants to run one or more events during British Science Week, as well as either preparatory or follow-up activities that will lead to continued engagement beyond British Science Week

What are the criteria?

To be eligible for a grant, you must represent a community-based group or organisation that works directly with audiences who are traditionally underrepresented and currently not engaged in science activity. Our definition of groups that are underrepresented in science include:

• people from ethnic minority backgrounds
• people living in communities which face deprivation, including people disadvantaged in terms of education and income
• people with a disability or long-term health condition
• people living in a remote and rural location, defined as settlements of less than 10,000 people
• girls and women*.

* For community groups that work with girls and women, we prioritise those who work with at least one other underrepresented group.

We welcome applications from schools for special educational needs and additional support needs, from hospital and supplementary schools, as well as English as a Second Language groups. However, community grants cannot be used for primary or secondary school events or activities.

If you represent a school or college, please check the criteria and apply for our Kick Start Grants instead. School groups that are eligible for both grants cannot receive both Community and Kick Start grant funding in the same year.

Whether you have applied for our Community Grants before, or this is your first time, if you meet the above criteria, we encourage you to try!

Our priorities

We prioritise events that strongly fit with the British Science Association’s vision of a world where science is at the heart of culture and society. These include events that:

• are embedded in your local community, where community members are involved in some aspect of the planning or delivery of the event
• showcase the role science plays in everyday life, challenge the idea that science is separate from culture, and/or break down stereotypes of what it means to be a scientist or engage with science
• leave a legacy, providing a way for those involved to continue their engagement with science.

We look to fund community-based groups and organisations that have direct, ongoing relationships with one or more of our target audiences. Activity providers, libraries, museums and other institutions who are looking for funding to run an event with a group that meets one of our target audiences are encouraged to partner with a community group. The community groups should take ownership of the activity and apply for the grant directly themselves. These applications have a much better chance of being successful.

What type of event/activity could you run?

Provided it meets the above criteria, this is entirely up to you. The grant scheme aims to recognise the expertise of community leaders, so we are keen to hear what activities you think would work best for engaging your audiences with science – after all, you know them the best.

Please note we are happy to support digital and hybrid physical/digital activities.

However, if you’re stuck for inspiration, you can read case studies of previous grant recipients on our website, to find out more about the types of activity we are keen to fund.

Here are some examples of previously funded events to show the range of activities that we support:

• sports science sessions with football and rugby clubs
• community-created science exhibitions in places of worship, community gardens, libraries and pubs
• community-led research projects and experiments with youth clubs and groups with special educational needs
• theatre productions, creative and art activities inspired and informed by science
• activity packs and pre-recorded videos.

You can also find activity resources and helpful how-to guides on the British Science Week website, and you can connect with local science advisors, speakers and volunteers on

What can the grant money be spent on?

The grants can be used for:

• materials
• room hire
• audio-visual hire
• publicity
• reasonable volunteer expenses
• speakers, trainers and freelancers
• project-specific staff costs (salaries or fees for people who are essential to the project and whose salaries aren’t already covered by another grant)
• transport or other costs of activities/events celebrating British Science Week.

The majority of grant money cannot be spent on refreshments or project-specific staff costs.

Grant money cannot be spent on:

• large competition prizes
• large non-consumable equipment (e.g., microscopes, computers, cameras)
• on-going salary costs
• costs that are already covered by other funding
• general running costs and overheads that are paid for by other income.

What will we ask for in your application?

You will be asked to provide the following information in your application:

• a description of your organisation including your audiences/community members (200 words maximum)
• how many participants you aim to engage with your activities
• a description of the activities you plan to run during British Science Week (300 words maximum)
• an outline for your extended project plan (if you apply for £1000), including how you will ensure participants’ continued engagement with the project and how your participants will take part (300 words maximum)
• a description of your event objectives, including the audiences your event will target, how it will engage them and how it will benefit or impact them (300 words maximum)
• a budget (in bullet points) of costs associated with your activities and how the funding will be used (200 words maximum)
• details of the bank account which the grant will be paid into at the time of applying for the grant, including the account name, number and sort code. The grant must be paid into a UK based bank or building society account which has the same name as that of your organisation, and the account name on the application form must match the bank account name exactly.

The most common reason for an application to be rejected is that there was not enough information about the group’s audiences and how the applicant was planning to ensure their engagement/how they will actively take part. We prioritise applications when we are confident that one or more of our target groups will be engaged, particularly by an organisation with which they have an ongoing relationship.

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.

Deadlines and payments

The deadline for applications is 11.59 on Monday 6 November 2023.

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by email in early-December. If successful, payment of the grant will be made directly into the nominated bank account. Payments will be made in December 2023.

If you wish to start planning your activities 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.

How to apply

All applications should be made online via the Community Grants application form. This form is open from 20 September and closes at 11.59pm on 6 November 2023.

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 a new experience or different to your usual work. If so, do not hesitate to contact the British Science Association’s Community Engagement 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] if you need some advice.

Good luck with your application!


Useful links

Community Grants 2023

Community Grants 2022 case studies

More Community Grants case studies