Royal Society scheme offers £3,500 grants to museums across the UK to celebrate local science stories

19 September 2023

Across the country, small museums are being invited to apply for the Royal Society Places of Science grant. Opening on 20 September 2023, the scheme offers grants of up to £3,500 to fund projects that present local stories of science and scientists in new, imaginative ways.  

The scheme aims to support local museums to inspire members of the public to explore the diverse ways in which science has changed and influenced society. Museums are encouraged to look to their local community to think creatively about the ways they present the science in their collections and local areas. 

Last year, 36 small museums from across the UK received funding for their projects, which included a historically accurate medieval medicinal herb garden, and local primary school students exploring the intricate workings of their local museum’s own 5-foot-tall clock tower.

Professor Carlos Frenk CBE FRS, chair of the Royal Society Public Engagement committee, said: “The Royal Society Places of Science scheme is a fantastic opportunity for museums across the nation to dig deeper into the untold stories of science in their local communities. The programme has been running for four rounds, and we have seen museums use the grant to celebrate fascinating science stories through incredibly unique and diverse projects. Science is central to the culture and heritage of places across the UK, and we want to encourage new audiences to engage with the fascinating roles science has played in shaping their local communities.” 

Dr Nicholas Wright fRNS, Museum Services Community Engagement Officer at Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, said: “Working with the Royal Society has been an extremely positive experience. Our project on the development of radio wave technologies could not have happened without the support of the Places of Science scheme, but the funding was most significant in its social impact and the facilitation of rural equality. For example, transport funding allowed schools across a large rural area with otherwise limited access to high quality science events and programmes to take part. Learning about the important scientific innovations that took place in their own area left the pupils with an enormous sense of pride in themselves and their community.”

Applications for the scheme close on 17 November 2023.

To be eligible, museums must have full or provisional museums accreditation, and fewer than 65,000 visitors, or a turnover of less than £200,000 a year.