Partnership Grants

This scheme helps schools to run exciting and innovative projects in partnership with a professional scientist or engineer.

Plaster "I would strongly recommend all schools to get involved in the Partnership Grants scheme." - Carl Williams, Markland Hill CP School, Bolton

Do you have a great idea for bringing science to life in schools?

The Partnership Grants scheme provides grants of up to £3,000 for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) projects run at a primary or secondary school  or college in partnership with a professional scientist or engineer.

Since 2000, the scheme has awarded over £1.3 million to 770 schools and colleges, and has ignited enthusiasm for science among young people across the UK. 

Find out all the information you need to apply to the scheme.

In 2015, the Royal Society is marking 350 years of scientific publishing, which was pioneered with Philosophical Transactions. As part of the celebrations, we are partnering with the Young Scientists Journal to produce a special edition of the journal to coincide with the Summer Science Exhibition in July. Partnership Grants schools have been invited to write up their research to contribute to the journal. The journal will be available online in the Summer.

Benefits for teachers and schools

Introduction to the Partnership Grants scheme (2 mins, requires Flash Player).

For teachers, a Partnership Grants project is a rare opportunity to enhance and go beyond the curriculum, as well as to take students out of the classroom to do something ‘hands-on’ and exciting. Teachers get the chance to work alongside practising scientists and engineers, allowing them to keep up to date with cutting-edge research and the latest developments in science – an excellent source of continuing professional development (CPD). 

A Partnership Grant can allow schools to buy specialist scientific equipment, to be used not only for the initial project but for years to come. Partnerships created through the project, with other schools, local businesses, and universities, help build vital links within the community, and the interest from local media helps to raise the school’s profile. 

Benefits for pupils

St Mary's CE Primary School talk about their project (3 mins).

A Partnership Grants project gives pupils the chance to work in a ‘hands-on’ environment with a scientist or engineer, gaining a better understanding of what they do and of the STEM involved. They can also provide an opportunity for pupils to get out of the classroom on field or residential trips.

Participation in innovative projects can contribute to improvements in practical and thinking skills, as well as scientific knowledge. Pupils become more enthusiastic, participation in classroom activities increases, and valuable communication and understanding skills are developed, which can then enhance future classroom-based work. 

Projects can also help raise pupil aspirations. By making close links with businesses and universities, schools get the opportunity to find valuable work experience for pupils and give them a taste of university life. 

Benefits for scientists and engineers

Scientists and engineers who get involved with Partnership Grants projects are fantastic role models for careers in STEM. Partners enjoy getting the chance to work with pupils who appreciate their knowledge and help, and all who have participated agreed that they would like to undertake an activity like this again in the future. Partnership Grants projects challenge partners to develop their research in a way that is interesting and accessible to pupils. 

These projects provide a valuable opportunity for scientists and engineers to improve their teaching and communication skills with a young audience, as well the chance to contribute to science education in the UK.

Applying for this scheme

The Partnership Grants scheme is now closed for applications. The next round of applications will be in the Autumn of 2015.

There are two application rounds per year, one in Autumn and one in Winter.

You can send us your draft application for comments up to one week before the closing date. See the Application guidelines for more details.

When the project is finished, you are expected to evaluate its impact. You might also consider ways to build on the project in the future.

Scientists and engineers

If you are a professional scientist or engineer and would like to take part in a Partnership Grant project you can read our advice on getting involved.

If you are a teacher looking for a scientist or engineer partner then please read the guidance on finding a suitable partner.

Case studies

Get inspiration for your project from case studies of work we have previously funded.


'I would strongly recommend all schools to get involved in the Partnership Grants scheme, as it interfaces science with the wider world...the children are able to relate to scientists as real people, and many of my pupils now aspire to becoming scientists themselves....'
 - Carl Williams, Markland Hill CP School, Bolton

'I like investigating in the woods and using the magnifiers to see what's there.’
 - Pupil from John Ball Primary School

‘I really enjoyed seeing the results: the work demonstrated that the children had engaged with my talk, and it was clear that they had put a lot of effort into it.’
 - Dr Gemma Bramley, Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew

The Partnership Grants scheme is partly supported by The Radcliffe Trust.