Application guidelines


Applications should be made through the online application system (available soon). Both the teacher and the STEM partner must register on the system before an application can be made. The best projects are usually developed by the two partners working together on the application. To find information about registering and using the portal, please download our guidance for using the online system.

You can contact us for advice or support at any stage of your application. We can also give feedback on draft applications, if they are sent to us at least one week before the scheme closing date. We would encourage you to contact us if you would like feedback on your application. However please note that all comments are for guidance only and grant decisions are made solely by the Partnership Grants Allocating Panel.

To ensure your application has the best chance of success, we strongly recommend that you read our detailed guidelines on completing the application form (available soon), which will give you all the information you need to apply to the scheme. Take a look at our example applications to see what good and bad applications might look like.

You might also like to read Getting practical: a framework for practical work in science (PDF), which is a useful resource for designing the practical components of a project.


The Partnership Grants Judging Panel make grant decisions according to the judging criteria. Please pay close attention to the criteria and in your application include all necessary information to show that each of these criteria are fulfilled.  Be sure that your project is eligible.

To ensure all applications are judged fairly and thoroughly, each one is allocated to at least two members of the Partnership Grants Allocating Panel. The decision of the Panel is final.

The current judging panel is:

Professor David Spiegelhalter FRS, University of Cambridge (Chair)
Mr Kevin Alderton, Copland Community School, London
Cathy Brown, STEMNET
Helen Davis, Worthing High School, West Sussex
Claire Gott, WSP Group
Professor Kevin Kerr, Harrogate and District NHS Foundation
Dr Stephen Liddle, University of Nottingham
Mr Ian Murphy, Britannia Village Primary School, London
Mrs Emma Tiller, Northlands Primary School, Rugby
Professor Jon Timmis, University of York

What is an investigative project?

An investigative project is a project which makes use of scientific method(s) to test a hypothesis or research a topic. The research should be original for the pupil, i.e. the research or topic should be new to the children involved. If your project includes a ‘design and build’ aspect (for example, building a car, robots, weather station, etc.), you must ensure that the project also includes a strong focus on investigation.

What is the minimum or maximum duration for a Partnership Grant?

There is no set minimum or maximum duration. Shorter projects tend to last at least a week to see proper development of ideas, and anything longer than a year needs to be clearly phased to show how each set of pupils involved will benefit.

What is the minimum I can apply for?

The minimum amount for a Partnership Grant is £500.

Can I reapply for a Partnership Grant if I had already received one in the past?

Previous recipients of partnership grants may apply for further funding, as long as the new application is made one year or more after the previous application. However, you must make sure that your new project is not a simple extension of your previous one. You can use the same partner and even the same basic idea, but your project must involve a new investigation in which the pupils are able to develop new skills and ideas. Please note that we are not able to fund further projects until we have received the final report and all completed evaluations from the initial project.

Can the Partnership Grant be used to participate in an existing scheme?

 If your application is for funds to participate in another scheme, you should emphasise the unique, investigative aspects of your project, and there needs to be significant scientist/engineer involvement. This also means that the amount you apply for should relate specifically to the time, equipment or materials necessary for that investigation only. The grant can’t be used to pay for the fees for entry into other schemes.

Can the Partnership Grant be used in conjunction with other schemes?

We realise that projects may cost more than £3000 and that a Partnership Grant may only cover part of the total cost. We are happy to part-fund projects but need to know who you might be approaching for the remaining funding. Any potential Partnership Grant should contribute significantly to the success of your project and will only be awarded if your project meets our scheme's criteria

Can the Grant be used to do a project with other schools? How should we proceed to apply?

The application is made jointly between one lead teacher, and one lead science/engineering partner. Other schools/partners can be part of the application, and there are places within the application form for them to be mentioned.

If a consortium or a group of schools would like to apply together to work on a project with a scientist(s), they will need to nominate a lead school. The lead school will fill in the application with the scientist(s) on behalf of the group and will be the point of contact for receiving the grant if selected. The application and the plan of work of the project should clearly indicate how the schools will work together with the lead school on the project. The application should also include evidence of the way the lead school intends to manage the fund money.

Applying for this scheme

The Partnership Grants scheme is closed for applications for the 2015 Summer round. 

Please refer to our online information and guidance to get started with a Partnership Grants application. 

You can send us your draft application for comments up to two weeks before the closing date.

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.