Guidance on finding a suitable partner
All Partnership Grants projects must involve a teacher and a practising scientist or engineer who is external to the school or college. Both the teacher and scientist or engineer must be resident in the UK.
The scientist or engineer must be actively engaged in science or engineering research, development, production or service. They also must be above graduate level in a university or with appropriate industrial experience, which may include PhD students and research level technicians. For very young pupils the range of appropriate partners may be wider.
In the application form section ‘relevant qualifications and/or experience’, please show how the partner’s qualifications and expertise are appropriate for the project, for example if the person describes themselves as a manager then you should clearly show the scientific work that they do. In the plan of work, you will need to describe exactly how the scientist or engineer will be involved in the project.
Examples of appropriate partners could include (but are not limited to): an astrophysicist, a mining engineer, an environmental scientist, an engineer working in aeronautics, a chemist, a mathematician, someone working in the pharmaceutical industry, etc.
Advice on finding a partner
To find a suitable scientist or engineer, start by exploring all of your contacts, including your pupils’ parents and your school’s governors. Even if they are not scientists or engineers themselves they may work with or know someone who is.
Another option is to approach a local research institute or industrial concern. Their public relations department is probably the best place to begin.
If you are near a university, you can contact the Department specialising in the subject area you are interested in. Contact the departmental secretary, the outreach or widening participation officer, or see whether the university has a centre for public engagement. You can also look up specific research groups, and contact a representative directly.
There are also organisations set up to help teachers make contact with scientists and engineers – such as your local Education-Business Partnership. STEMNET also have a networking service that can help to match you with a local STEM Ambassador.
Please note that some partners are not appropriate for the scheme. This includes fellow teachers, teacher trainers, and those whose main role is in the provision of scientific outreach or education.
You are welcome to work with an education liaison officer or coordinator to help set up the partnership and coordinate the application, however, you must also include the details of the practising scientist or engineer who will be the main partner for the project on the application form.