To be eligible for the scheme, each Partnership Grant project must involve two partners – a UK school and a STEM professional from academia or industry. The STEM partner’s role is to actively engage and work with the students during the running of the project. The partnership is designed to give students an opportunity to learn from STEM professionals and see the range of potential career opportunities. Whilst also being an opportunity for the STEM partner to develop skills in school engagement and for a long-term sustainable relationship to develop between the school and STEM partner. Further information about the STEM partner, including guidance on how to find your partner, can be found below.
"It's been such a wonderful experience working with the young people on this project and watching them engage with biology in a way that they can really connect with." Partnership Grant STEM partner
What are the eligibility requirements to be a STEM partner?
Actively working in a STEM related role in academia or industry and cannot be retired - see multiple STEM partners section below.
The individual must be above graduate level in a university or with appropriate industrial experience.
Cannot be an individual whose main role is the provision of outreach or education e.g. a public engagement officer, education coordinator or fellow teacher - see multiple STEM partners section below. However, outreach providers working in industry or academia, with a research background, may be considered depending on the project being undertaken.
What involvement does a STEM partner need to have?
They are required to complete basic information about themselves and a declaration on the application form.
They must be involved throughout the lifetime of the project.
The STEM partner must actively engage with the students working on the project.
They cannot just have an advisory role with school staff.
The STEM partner must aim to visit the school and work with the students several times a term at the minimum (this does not always need to be the lead STEM partner).
In-person engagement can be supplemented with digital support, such as video calls and email communication.
The more interaction there can be between the STEM partner(s) and the students, the stronger an application will be.
Funding cannot be used to pay for a STEM partner’s time.
Funding can be used to pay for travel to allow the school group to visit the STEM partner’s place of work, if appropriate.
Travel expenses for STEM partners can be covered but these need to be clearly justified in the application form.
Multiple STEM partners
Although schools need to identify a lead STEM partner, who must fulfill the criteria above, it is much more beneficial to form a group of STEM partners to support your project. This may include Masters and PhD students, retired STEM Ambassadors etc. Besides giving students a wider experience of STEM careers, involving multiple STEM partners means there is less time pressure on any one individual.
Education outreach or public engagement personnel can also support the facilitation of the STEM partner group.
If you have multiple STEM partners, this must be clearly stated on your application form and include information about where the different partners will be involved. However only the lead STEM partner will need to complete the form declaration.
Guidance on how to find your partner
The Society does not match schools and STEM partners and instead the relationship must be formed by you. The list below contains suggestions and advice for how to find a partner but please note this is not an exhaustive list and successful partnerships can be formed through many routes.