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Places of science: Eligibility and judging criteria

Places of science provides grants of up to £3,000 to small museums, funding projects that tell the stories of science and scientists relevant to communities across the UK.

A walker inspects a specimen found on the beach near Brighstone, Isle of Wight, the home of the clergyman and palaeontologist William Fox.

Applying for this scheme

This scheme is now closed for applications. 

Funding for Places of science will return in 2021.

To be notified when applications open, please register your interest

Who is eligible?

  • Institutions must have accredited or provisionally accredited museum status
  • Institutions must have fewer than 65,000 visitors, or turnover of less than £200,000, per year
  • Institutions must be in the United Kingdom
  • Institutions must have dedicated premises where activities can be held
  • Activities must be for a public, non-specialist audience
  • The project must commence before the end of July 2019

How will applications be judged? 

Applications are judged by the Places of science allocation panel, which is made up of museum professionals, scientists and historians of science. 

We want to fund projects that

  • highlight the topics, stories and people that are relevant to your local community
  • present science in new and interesting ways
  • encourage participation and involvement of the local community
  • provoke curiosity, interest and enthusiasm among those that take part

We are particularly interested in projects that

  • explore the experiences of historically underrepresented people
  • are led by organisations that don’t normally feature scientific content
  • involve partners that can enhance the project’s outcomes, impact or quality
  • reach audiences who do not normally engage with science

Assessment process

Applications will be judged on their relevance and suitability, impact and significance, and planning and evaluation.

Relevance and suitability (40%)
The extent to which the project meets the scheme’s criteria.

Impact and significance (40%)
The effect of the project on the community, the museum and any partners and volunteers.

Planning and evaluation (20%)
The coherence and feasibility of the proposed timeline, budget and evaluation plan.

The panel will aim, where possible, to select a demographically, geographically and scientifically diverse range of projects.

A note on Local Heroes

Institutions that were funded by the Local Heroes scheme in 2016 are eligible to apply, but in order to spread the benefits of funding and put limited funding to the best use, the panel will favour applications from those not previously funded.

Applications from museums who were unsuccessful in 2016 are welcome and encouraged.

Further information and enquiries
Please contact the Public Engagement team on

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