What is the partnership?

To be eligible for the Partnership Grant scheme, each project must involve two partners 1) a UK school or college, and 2) a STEM professional from academia or industry, referred to as the STEM partner.

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. It is also 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.

What are the eligibility requirements to be a lead STEM partner?

  • The lead STEM partner for your project should be actively working in a STEM related role in academia or industry and cannot be retired (see also ‘multiple STEM partners ’ section below).
  • The individual must be above graduate level in a university or research institute or with appropriate industrial experience.
  • The lead STEM partner 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.
  • Full eligibility for the Partnership Grant scheme can be found here.

What involvement does a STEM partner need to have?

  • The lead STEM partner is 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(s) must actively engage with the students working on the project.
  • They cannot just have an advisory role with school staff.
  • The STEM partner(s) 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).
  • Engagement should be predominantly in-person but 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 up to £200.

Multiple STEM partners

  • Although schools need to identify a lead STEM partner, who must fulfil 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.
  • You will be able to include detail about the additional STEM partners in Stage 2 of the application process. 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.  

Partnership FAQ’s

The questions below are commonly asked by prospective applicants and the answers provide useful hints and tips for your application. Please also review the guidance pages regarding the application, eligibility and guidance to support SEND as you write your application. Don’t forget that draft applications can be sent to the Schools Engagement team for review before you submit.

Yes. It is crucial that when you plan your project you ensure the involvement of the STEM partner is sustained throughout the lifetime of the project and they are not just involved at the beginning and end of the project.

Whilst it is important that teachers are supported, the STEM partner should be working with the students themselves and engage with them directly. The STEM partner must not simply advise staff. In your application make it clear how often the STEM partner will visit the school and support the students. The judges do not expect to see exact dates but information about the expected number of visits is important. There should be several interactions per term.

Whilst the majority of the interaction should be in-person (either at the school or perhaps a trip to the STEM partner(s) workplace), yes the STEM partner can be involved remotely via email or video calls to top up engagement. The more interaction there is between the STEM partner and the students the stronger your application will be. Therefore, a mix of in-person and remote support may be the most suitable solution.