The Biochemical Society provides outreach grants of up to £1000 per applicant in each round of funding on a competitive basis. Those applications are judged based on the fulfilment of the criteria below.
Criteria for Biochemical Society Education Outreach Grants:
- The legacy of the project (i.e., the production of resources that may be further and widely distributed) and the inclusion of an online-based contingency plan.
- The effectiveness of the proposal for disseminating information about (bio)sciences to young people and the general public. The effectiveness will be considered in terms of the attractiveness of the event(s) to the target audience and the soundness of the underpinning science.
- The level of relevance to the biosciences, with particular emphasis on molecular bioscience for upper secondary school age audiences and above. For primary school age audiences, the focus can be on biology or on all sciences (for further information, please see the extract from our Education strategy below).
- The number of students/teachers/members of the public reached (N.B. This may include young people involved in developing an event or people to whom material is passed on, in addition to the number actually attending).
- Consideration for widening participation: e.g. with regard to ‘difficult to reach’ groups.
- The clarity of the intended output and any performance indicators (including evidence of impact) or methods of evaluation, such as feedback forms or questionnaires.
- The likelihood of delivery within the proposed timetable and within the funding requested.
- The inclusion of hands-on/practical work.
- Long term benefits/sustainability (resource production, train the trainers, opportunities for roll out, potential for cascading the benefits).
- Events or activities that can be re-run or organized by others.
Additional criteria that will be taken into account include:
- Collaborations between, several schools, several universities, mix of organizations.
- The establishment of links/relationships between schools and universities or industry.
- The promotion of molecular bioscience career opportunities.
- Previous experience of the applicant in outreach activities (although this should NOT deter ‘first time’ applicants).
The grants can NOT be used to:
- Purchase standard school equipment which should properly be funded from other sources.
- Support commercial activities.
- Events/activities that are clearly contributing to recruitment to a particular institution or organization are likely to be given lower priority unless the advantages to participants are particularly strong. Where recruitment may be a factor, the institution will be expected to provide some of their own funding.
Once funding is awarded
Once funding is received, the event should demonstrate some form of Biochemical Society branding, and promote the Society in some way. We will send you our logo and Biochemical Society resources (membership and grants leaflets, education and careers literature, freebies) can be provided on request.
Applicants are required to provide a post-activity report within 12 weeks of the activity, to be posted on the Society’s website. The Biochemical Society reserves the right to withhold 20% of the total grant until completion of this report. Applicants should also provide an evaluation of their event/activity alongside their report. Applicants who do not complete an evaluation and final report will not be able to apply for future Scientific Outreach Grants from the Biochemical Society.
Once the report and evaluation are complete, applicants are invited to apply for extra funding (up to £500), for further dissemination of their activity. Applicants are also strongly encouraged to write an article for the Society’s bi-monthly member’s magazine The Biochemist.
The Society should be informed of any resources funded by the Grant that have an educational benefit. These resources will be made available for use on the Society’s website.
Example reports can be found here.
The report should give a brief overview of how the event(s) went, and should include photographs where possible.
Reports may be published on the Society’s website and if appropriate, in the Society’s member’s magazine The Biochemist.
- Has your activity met the aims originally set out in your application? If your aims changed during the project, please note the reason for making these changes.
- Referring to your original application, what objectives did you set for your activity? If these objectives changed during the project, please state the reasons for making these changes.
- How well you think the activity went and what could be improved. Please think of this from a variety of perspectives, including the project leader, staff/volunteers delivering the project and the audience.
- How did you benefit from this Outreach grant?
- Did the activity meet the above criteria of the Biochemical Society Scientific Outreach Grants? If not, please state why.
- How did you meet these criteria?
- Will you run this activity, or a similar project to engage the public, again?
Tips on evaluating your activity:
- Tips from the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement
- Doing a basic evaluation from Queen Mary University of London
- Tips on evaluating activities from the Wellcome Trust
Audience and aims:
- Age 4-11 – ages 4-11 need to have a “science focus”, without the emphasis on biology
- Age 11-14 – support for biology within a balanced science curriculum
- Age 14-18 – support for biology, with increasing emphasis on molecular biology
- Post-18 – support for biomolecular sciences in their own right.