Judging criteria

The Partnership Grants Allocating Panel make grant decisions according to the following criteria:

  • The project must involve a teacher at the school and a practising scientist/engineer, both resident in the UK. The scientist/engineer partner must have significant involvement in the project and with the students.
  • The project must be original to the pupils and involve research and/or investigation of an aspect of science, technology, engineering or mathematics. Topics should be exciting, imaginative and relevant to the lives of the pupils involved, and to society as a whole.
  • The project should clearly demonstrate a sound use of scientific methodology and, in addition, mathematical skills where possible.
  • The project must encompass the core values of partnership, creativity and maximum benefit to pupils.
  • The project must have clear aims and a means of evaluating whether the aims are met.
  • The projects should involve pupils as actively as possible so they gain skills and understanding.
  • The project should aim to involve as many pupils as appropriate to the project.
  • The project must provide clear benefits for the pupils they could not obtain without the funds from the Partnership Grant.
  • The project should have long-term, sustainable benefits, to pupils, teachers, scientists/engineers and the school. The panel will look for evidence that processes will be put in place to ensure that at least part of the project can be extended beyond the funding period.
  • Proposed equipment and materials must be necessary and appropriate for the project, and must not be normally covered by the school budget, nor be expected to be provided for the normal curriculum in a school of your type.
  • When a single piece of equipment makes up the majority of the project costs, it must be shown to be integral and vital to the project and have a clear legacy beyond the lifetime of the project. 
  • There should be a structure in place for disseminating the outcomes of the project as widely as possible, eg throughout the school, to parents and to the wider community.

Grants are NOT awarded to fund:

  • Consultancy or advisor fees for scientists, engineers, or freelance science communicators.
  • Bought-in kits or workshops from outreach providers or the scientist/engineer partner.
  • The purchase of pre-prepared kits (eg Lego kits, eco cars or rocket boats), unless they are to be used in a wider investigation, ie they are part of a project which clearly demonstrates a sound use of scientific methodology.
  • The purchase of PRIZES, REFRESHMENTS, services (eg PRINTING) and ICT EQUIPMENT unless shown to be integral and vital to the project and at a reasonable cost.
  • Educational research or development materials.
  • Normal running costs or equipment of a school science/technology department.
  • Fees for entry into other schemes such as CREST or EES.
  • Teachers based in educational establishments outside the UK.
  • Projects that take place outside of the UK, or travel overseas.

The following items can be funded but should not represent a significant portion of the grant:

  • Travel expenses for students. If you do include travel costs in your application, please indicate what the travel will add to the project and why you think it is relevant to the project.
  • Supply cover for teachers: we will consider requests for teacher supply cover up to £150 per day as long as you justify why it is needed.
  • Travel or hospitality costs for partners will be considered, although many institutes and industrial concerns will pay employees' expenses, so please check
  • First as we will require claims for such costs to be justified.

Low priority projects include those which:

  • Last for a short time (eg a few days) with limited scientist/engineer contact.
  • Focus only on the National Curriculum and exam results targets.
  • Are purely ‘design and build’ projects.
  • Are mainly concerned with building a pond, garden, observatory or other similar structure.
  • Are science/engineering communication projects, such as film-making.

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.