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Eligibility and judging criteria

The scheme aims to engage audiences with the influence of science and scientists on local communities across the UK.

The below criteria applied to the 2016 round and are subject to change for future rounds. Please carefully check the eligibility criteria and make sure that you understand how the application is judged.

Applying for this scheme

Applications are currently closed but will reopen in August 2018. Register your interest to be the first to find out when future applications open.


Why apply for this scheme?

The Local Heroes scheme offers up to £3000 to accredited institutions to develop and run activities, in whatever form they like, that celebrate their community’s local scientific heroes.

Successful projects will:

  • Attract audiences to engage with the life and work of scientists local to them
  • Link local scientific heritage to contemporary science and scientists
  • Highlight the diverse range of people that have contributed to science in the UK and how they were able to do so

Who can apply for this scheme?

Applications can be made by any accredited museum, gallery, archive or library. Institutions can apply jointly or in partnership with other individuals, but will be treated as a single applicant.

  • Institutions must be in the United Kingdom
  • Institutions must be accredited museums
  • Institutions must have dedicated premises where activities can be held
  • Institutions can apply jointly, but will be treated as a single applicant
  • The selected hero(es) must have a link to the mission and priorities, or history, of the Royal Society
  • Activities must be for a public, non-specialist audience
  • The project must commence before the end of July 2017

To ensure all applications are judged fairly and thoroughly, each one is assessed by at least two members of the Local Heroes Allocating Panel. The decision of the Panel is final.

The Local Heroes Allocating Panel make grant decisions according to the below judging criteria. Please pay close attention to the criteria and ensure adequate information about them is included in your application.

Judging criteria

  • The impact of the hero(es) on the local area (scientifically, socially, economically, etc.)
  • The quality and originality of proposed activity
  • The plan for long term impact
  • The plan for evaluation and learning
  • The project’s link to contemporary science  

Judges will aim to select a demographically, geographically and scientifically diverse range of projects, so this will also influence the outcome of applications.

Restrictions on funding

  • Funding cannot be used for acquisitions

Low priority projects include

  • Those that will form a very small part of a museum’s overall activity

For further information and to apply 
Please contact the Public Engagement team on or by calling 020 7451 2203