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Judging criteria

Once submitted your application will be scored by the Public Engagement Fund Allocation Panel. This panel is made up of the Society’s Public Engagement Manager and Assistant Manager, plus the Chair and one member of the Public Engagement Committee.

Locals on the Isle of Wight hunt for dinosaur bones.

The role of the Panel is to select the projects from among the applications that best fit the scheme guidelines and are deemed to be of the highest quality. 

The panel will use the following guidelines to judge submitted applications.

Assessment guidelines 

All funded projects should:

  • Be based on Royal Society-funded research
  • Involve scientists interacting with a public group outside their institution
  • Target specific audiences based on the aims and rationale of the project
  • Encourage open dialogue and two-way communication
  • Maximise benefit for all participants

We are particularly interested in projects that:

  • Reach people that are currently underrepresented in the Society's public engagement work, including:
    • Those from economically disadvantaged populations
    • Those from geographically remote locations
    • Those without a science degree
  • Encourage collaboration between science and the arts.

Assessment process

Applications will be judged and scored on the quality, deliverability and impact of the applications.

This will be considered in terms of how strongly the project aligns with the scheme’s criteria. For example, does the project have a clear purpose and appropriate aims? Does it target a specific and appropriate public? Does the idea generate mutual benefit for the public and scientists involved? 

This is about whether the plan is feasible in the timeframe and with the money requested, as well as whether there is sufficient support and expertise to deliver the project.

This will be considered both with respect to the public and the research fellow(s) involved. For example, what will change as a result of the project? Will the research fellows gain new skills, awareness or knowledge? Will the public be empowered, inspired or more aware of issues that affect them?

Other considerations

The panel will also consider whether all the costs are sufficiently justified, and whether the project has a high likelihood of going ahead without the funding. 

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