The Royal Society’s Partnership Grant scheme funds schools up to £3,000 to carry out a long-term investigative research project for students with active professionals of the STEM community, either industry or academy. This scheme is designed to allow students to develop crucial skills, ignite their curiosity and open new horizons of future career paths in STEM. Open to both primary and secondary schools across the UK, this scheme currently supports more than 20,000 children and young people working on 144 ongoing projects to carry out some truly exciting research answering questions such as:
What factors impact the survival of astronauts during space travel?
What would a net zero primary school look like?
A search for new heroes: Can we find novel antimicrobials in soil?
What is the impact of prelim examinations on sleeping patterns in school children?
Apart from the generous award of £1,500 or £3,000 to pay for research equipment, travel and cover costs, this scheme also helps students to develop key practical skills in relation to new and emerging technologies that will be essential for the STEM workplace in times when we need to rely on science more than ever. By working with their STEM partners on engaging scientific research and investigations students will develop skills such as practical investigative work, problem-solving and data-handling, in addition to understanding the importance of scientific methodology and what potential careers STEM can lead to.
Schools working in challenging circumstances and disadvantaged areas are particularly encouraged to apply. One of the key aims is to enable equal access to STEM opportunities and to increase the diversity of young people entering higher education and entering STEM professions. Therefore, plenty of support and guidance is provided for all stages of the application process.
This is the feedback from one of the Partnership Grants lead teachers:
“Our Royal Society funded Partnership programme has been hugely significant for our school. Our children have become more aware of the natural world in our school grounds and are now taking steps to measure and protect the biodiversity that is there. Staff are more aware of how to undertake scientific investigations with the children and are more confident in using equipment to support this."
Below you can read about how to access your grant and what support you can receive throughout the application process.
New application form and guidance
The Partnership Grant application is a two stage process that can be completed through Flexi-Grant®, an online system used to administer all Royal Society grants. Whilst Stage 1 requires general information for eligibility checks, Stage 2 requires more detail on the investigative aspects of the project.
To help the prospective applicants we have updated the whole application form making it more streamline and highlighting all the necessary elements that need to be included in the application to successfully secure the Partnership Grants project funding.
Part of these changes include a table which helps to plan out your project from the initial kick off meeting through to the end of the project. Although you must apply with a specific project rather than a series of experiments for a STEM club, each project should still include several investigations that link to each other and will help your students to answer the project title question.
The complexity of the investigations and data handling will vary dependent on the age of students involved in the project. However, the table will help to map out the tasks for each of the investigations and other project elements in relation to the equipment needed and the student and STEM partner involvement, in a very straight forward way.
This table is also available in the Project Planning Guidance document, in addition to two checklist documents for Stage 1 and 2, to allow applicants to pull together the information offline before starting the Flexi-Grant application. If you would like feedback on your project plan before starting the application on Flexi-Grant, please email a completed copy of the Project Planning Guidance document to the Schools Engagement team via email@example.com.
We have also put together some short project plans relating to a number of engaging topics. Each of these plans is based on a range of projects, previously funded through the Partnership Grants scheme to help those that are keen to apply but not sure where to start or need some inspiration. Although each of the plans has a suggested age range, every project listed can be adapted to suit a wide variety of ages, abilities and group sizes as needed to fit within your school.
These project plans provide guidance and examples of suitable STEM partners and their engagement with the students, key investigations and equipment that the grant could be used to purchase, as well as the skills and legacy activities that can be developed throughout the project - all of which can be used to form a grant application. There is also the the case studies page on our website and the Example project titles (PDF) document for more project topic inspiration drawn from previously funded projects.
Further application support
To help any teachers and STEM partners with the application, free online training sessions and drop-in applicant support sessions are being run. These sessions aim to give attendees a better understanding of the scheme and application process, giving schools the best possible chance to receive funding. This support includes providing advice on finding STEM partners, project ideas etc, as well as reading draft applications and providing any required technical support for Flexi-Grant.
- Book on to the sessions aimed specifically at teachers
- Book to attend the sessions aimed specifically at STEM partners
- Book on to drop-in support sessions for applicants to ask specific questions about the scheme or receive feedback on draft applications.
The Partnership Grants scheme is open to applications across the year with three possible submission deadlines at the end of April, June and November. It typically takes around two school terms from application to award, so a school applying this spring can expect to begin their project in the autumn term.
A wealth of information and support can be found on the Royal Society’s website, including:
- Further details about the scheme
- Further details of the application process
- Tips on making your application
- The full judging criteria.
To discuss a project idea, contact firstname.lastname@example.org