Places of science: Eligibility and judging criteria

Places of science provides grants of up to £3,500 to small museums, funding projects that tell the stories of science and scientists relevant to communities across the UK.

For full guidance, please refer to the scheme notes (PDF).

Who is eligible?

  • Institutions must have accredited or provisionally accredited museum status ('working towards' status will be accepted provided you supply us with evidence of this alongside your application)
  • 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 August 2024

How will applications be judged? 

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

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
  • enable possibilities for digital engagement, either as a main feature or as part of a contingency plan

We also strongly encourage projects which align with the themes of the Natural History Museum’s Our Broken Planet: How we got here and ways to fix it programme. The Natural History Museum is supporting museums across the UK to engage with topics that debate why and how our relationship with the natural world needs to change.

Projects covering these themes may be linked with the NHM and its UK-wide Community of Practice to support skills and knowledge sharing. Themes include: Climate Emergency (e.g. surviving warming waters and storing carbon), Health (e.g. the spread of disease or eco-anxiety), Eating the Earth (e.g. the future of food and sustainable farming) and Nature for Sale (e.g. fast fashion and illegal wildlife trade). The programme also aims to support the engagement of these topics with young people.

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.

Further information and enquiries

Please contact the Public Engagement team on