The British Science Festival Community Grants Programme 2024 is now closed.  

The British Science Association (BSA) want to support, grow and diversify the community of people who are interested and involved in science. 

About The British Science Festival Community Grants Programme 2024 

We are providing grants of up to £1000 to community groups/organisations based in the London Borough of Newham (East London) that work directly with audiences who are traditionally underrepresented and currently not engaged in science activity. We want to empower and support community groups to run their own science activities as part of the British Science Festival, enabling new local audiences to engage with science.The deadline for applications has now passed.

British Science Festival 2023 event at Guildhall Shopping Centre 

Background to the grants programme 

Each year, the BSA provides grants to community groups/organisations in the host festival city that work directly with audiences who are traditionally underrepresented and currently not engaged in science activity.   

We want to empower and support community groups to run their own science activities as part of the British Science Festival, enabling new local audiences to engage with science.  

If you have any questions about this year's grants scheme, please get in touch with the British Science Festival team, at 

If you are part of a community group or organisation, you might also be interested in joining the BSA Community Engagement Network. Find out more here.  


2024 Grant Guidelines  

The British Science Festival, coordinated by the British Science Association (BSA), is Europe's longest-standing national event which connects people with scientists, engineers, technologists and social scientists. Thousands of people come together to celebrate the latest developments in science and to engage in open discussion about issues that affect our culture and society. 

This year the Festival will take place in Stratford and Docklands from 11-15 September, hosted by the University of East London. 

What are the criteria?  

To be eligible for a grant, you must represent or have existing connections to a community-based group or organisation that works directly with audiences who are traditionally underrepresented and currently not engaged in science activity. For this scheme, groups that are underrepresented in science include:  

  • People living in communities which face deprivation 

  • People from minoritised ethnic backgrounds  

  • People in faith/religious communities  

  • Disabled people, including neurodivergent people 

  • LGBTQI+ people, including diversity in sexual orientation and gender identity  

  • Women (if the project is linked to physics or IT in particular)   

  • People uninterested in science  

  • People who are interested in science but do not engage in science    

We will prioritise events targeting adults (ages 16+), in line with the target audience of the British Science Festival.  

* For community groups that work with girls and women, we prioritise those who work with at least one other underrepresented group. 

We are keen to support events that demonstrate how science is a wider part of culture. We will also prioritise events that are embedded in the local community and ones that will have a legacy, providing a way for those involved to continue their engagement with science. 

What type of event/activity could you run?  

This grant scheme aims to recognise the expertise of community leaders in working with their local audiences. We are therefore keen to hear what activities you think would work best for engaging your audiences with science.  

If you are stuck for inspiration, you can read case studies from the British Science Festival 2023 Community Grant recipients. In addition, here are a few examples of previously funded events to demonstrate the range of activities that we support: 

  • workshops exploring the fascinating world of mosses and discovering the vital roles that they play in responding to the climate and ecological emergencies 

  • workshops about local research and broader topics in astrophysics and astronomy, whilst carrying out creative activities with space-themed refreshments 

  • activity sessions exploring the science of remote sensing archaeology through the history of their local area. 

  • workshops hacking toys to create unique musical instruments and sound generators, whilst learning about electrical circuits and how sound is generated electronically.  

  • the first ever Exeter Tomato Festival, promoting tomato diversity and demonstrating the seed saving and the fermentation process that is part of saving tomato seeds, whilst highlighting the science of taste, and encouraging people to grow-their-own. 

British Science Festival 2023

What can the grant money be spent on?  

Grant money can be used for the following:  

  • Materials and equipment required for the event 

  • Refreshments and room hire  

  • Publicity  

  • AV hire  

  • Reasonable volunteer expenses  

  • Speakers, trainers and freelancers  

  • Project specific staff costs – salaries or fees for people who are essential to the project and whose salaries are not already covered by another grant  

  • Transport or other costs associated with planning, promoting and delivering your activities.   

However, the majority of the grant cannot be spent on refreshments or project specific staff costs.  

Grant money cannot be spent on:  

  • Large competition prizes  

  • On-going staff costs  

  • Costs that are already covered by other funding  

  • General running costs and overheads that are paid for by other income.  

What will we ask for in your application?  

You will be asked to provide the following information in your application:  

  • your organisation’s address and postcode; 

  • a brief description of your organisation, including the audiences/users you work with (200 words maximum); 

  • your event date and location; 

  • a general description of the event (300 words maximum); 

  • a description of your event objectives, including how your event will meet your audience’s needs and how you will ensure their engagement (300 words maximum); 

  • a rough budget outline (ideally in bullet points) of costs associated with the event and how the grant money will be used (200 words maximum); 

  • your organisation’s bank details, including account name, number and sort code.  

  • If there are any potential conflicts of interest, for example if you are already contributing to the British Science Festival or are connected with the British Science Association or the University of East London 

Deadlines and payments  

The deadline for applications has now passed. 

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by email by the end of May. If successful, applicants may be asked to confirm their bank details as part of our ongoing due diligence checks. If you receive an email or phone call requesting confirmation, you must respond and confirm your bank details within 3 working days. Grant payments will then be paid directly into the nominated bank account before the end of June. 

Financial information is stored on a secure cloud-based service and will only be used to pay successful grant applicants. Unused details will be deleted. Providing your account details at this stage allows us to pay successful grant applicants immediately, making it easier to organise events. 

How to apply 

All applications must be made online via a short application form.  

When completing the application form, please ensure that your email address and telephone number are correct. As we will communicate with you primarily by email, please ensure you give an email address that is checked regularly by the person who applies for the grant.  

We encourage applicants to contact the British Science Festival team if you have any questions regarding the application process or are looking for support in developing your event idea. Please email  


Below are descriptions of the 2023 BSF Community grant recipients 

  • Art and Energy CIC ran 4 workshops with people from the Exeter Diocese Network of Churches across Devon, to look closely at mosses and discover the vital roles that they play in responding to the climate and ecological emergencies. Participants contributed to the big Mossy Carpet artwork that they created! 

  • CoLab ran two workshops for their members on the theme of Planets and Stars, guided by academics in the University of Exeter’s Astrophysics Group. During these workshops, the participants found out about local research and broader topics in astrophysics and astronomy, whilst carrying out creative activities with space-themed refreshments. 

  • Interwoven Productions CIC worked with Chestnut Nursery and Wynstream Primary School to engage families in the Wonford area with a community-led landscape/heritage project. When the school site was re-developed in 2005 archaeologists identified Bronze Age and Iron Age ditches plus a range of artefacts from different ages. Children and their families explored the science of remote sensing archaeology through the history of their local area. 

  • Makeshift CICran a workshop for women to help introduce them to electronics in a fun, unusual way; by hacking children’s toys in a process known as ‘circuit bending’. The aim was to create unique musical instruments and sound generators, whilst learning about electrical circuits and how sound is generated electronically. 

  • Maketank Cultural Lab & Devon Ukrainian Associationorganised a 2.5 day workshop with young Ukrainian women currently living in Exeter, to envision the future of the city by introducing them to behavioural science and placemaking. They learnt how to identify the physical and cultural aspects of places to design meaningful solutions that can strengthen a sense of identity, access, and ownership of a place. 

  • Positive Light Projectsran a day of experimental cameraless photography workshops for the general public. Working in their brand new darkroom, they covered a range of analogue photographic techniques and alternative processes, including photograms, chemigrams, anthotypes, lumen prints and cyanotypes. 

  • The Pelican Project Exeter CIC worked with Ruth MacLaren of Sciencedipity, to organise a workshop for its members in response to Exeter Science Centre’s Climate Exhibition that they visited during the British Science Festival. 

For more information about the work the British Science Association does to support and engage with community groups, please visit our Community Engagement page and follow BSA Communities on Twitter. 

Terms and conditions of the grant 

1. By submitting an application to the British Science Association, the organisation named in the application (referred to as ‘you’ in these Terms and Conditions) agrees, if awarded a grant, to:   

1.1 hold the grant on trust for the British Science Association (referred to as ‘we’ or ‘us’) and use it only for your event/activity as described in your application or otherwise agreed with us, and only for expenditure incurred after the date of the grant award;    

1.2 hold your event/activity within the British Science Festival 2024 (11 to 15 September 2024). If for whatever reason you are not able to run your events/activities during this time, the grant money will have to be returned to the British Science Association. For these reasons, you will have contingency plans in case of illness or unforeseen circumstances;   

1.3 complete an organiser feedback survey (provided by the British Science Association) after the British Science Festival 2024;   

1.4 distribute a short feedback form (provided by the British Science Association) to your event/activity participants and return the completed forms to the British Science Association head office after the event/activity;   

1.5 act lawfully in carrying out your event/activity, in accordance with best practice and guidance from your regulators, and follow any guidelines issued by us about the event/activity or use of the grant;    

1.6 correctly acknowledge the British Science Association, the British Science Festival and the University of East London in any press releases or marketing material. Please contact the British Science Association for additional information.     

1.7 use the British Science Festival logo on any marketing materials produced, either in print or online. Downloadable logos can be found on the British Science Festival website;   

1.8 hold the grant in a UK based bank or building society account which has the same name as that of your organisation;   

1.9 immediately return any part of the grant that is not used for your event/activity or constitutes unlawful state aid;  

1.10 where your event/activity involves working with children, young people or vulnerable adults, adopt and implement an appropriate written safeguarding policy, obtain written consent from legal carers or guardians and carry out background checks for all employees, volunteers, trustees or contractors as required by law;    

1.11 comply with data protection laws and obtain the consent of your beneficiaries for us and you to receive and process their personal information and contact them;    

1.12 keep accurate and comprehensive records about your event/activity both during the event/activity and for seven years afterwards and provide us on request with copies of those records and evidence of expenditure of the grant, such as original receipts and bank statements;    

1.13 allow us reasonable access to your premises and systems to inspect event/activity and grant records;   

1.14 the British Science Association publicising and sharing information about you and your event/activity including your name and images of event/activities. You hereby grant us a royalty free licence to reproduce and publish any event/activity information you give us. You will let us know when you provide the information if you don’t have permission for us to use it in this way.    

1.15 you, or someone from your organisation, will inform us immediately of any safeguarding incident or allegation involving a member of your organisation, project staff, volunteers or agents which occurs within the grant funded project. You, or someone from your organisation, will inform us immediately in the event of an investigation against your organisation or a staff member or volunteer by the police or a regulatory body which relates to the grant funded project.  

2. You acknowledge that we are entitled to suspend or terminate the grant and/or require you to repay all or any of the grant in any of the following situations. You must let us know if any of these situations have occurred or are likely to occur:   

2.1 you use the grant in any way other than as approved by us or fail to comply with any of these Terms and Conditions.    

2.2 you fail to complete the feedback forms or your activity/event differs greatly to that outlined in your application.   

2.3 you have match funding for the project withdrawn or receive duplicate funding for the same project costs as funded by the grant.    

2.4 you provide us with false or misleading information either on application or after award of the grant. In relation to the grant funded project, you or your organisation act dishonestly or are under investigation by us, a regulatory body or the police, fail to inform us about a relevant safeguarding incident or external investigation, or if we consider for any other reason that public funds are at risk or you do anything to bring the British Science Association, the British Science Festival or the University of East London into disrepute.  

2.5 you enter into, or in our view are likely to enter into, administration, liquidation, receivership or dissolution.   

3. You acknowledge that:   

3.1 the grant is for your use only and we may require you to pay us a share of any proceeds from disposal of assets purchased or enhanced with the grant;    

3.2 we will not increase the grant if you spend more than the agreed budget;    

3.3 if the provided bank account details including account name, account number and sort code, are incorrect, your grant payment may be significantly delayed or your grant offer may be withdrawn;   

3.4 the grant is not consideration for any taxable supply for VAT purposes;    

3.5 we have no liability for any costs or consequences incurred by you or third parties that arise directly or indirectly from the project, nor from nonpayment or withdrawal of the grant, save to the extent required by law;    

3.6 the British Science Association will not be held responsible or liable for any consequences, whether direct or indirect to any loss or damage, personal or otherwise, injury or death however arising in grant-funded events and activities. Grant recipients are responsible for taking out any public liability or other insurance necessary to cover the activities.   

3.7 these Terms and Conditions will continue to apply for one year after the grant is paid or until the project has been completed, whichever is later. Clauses 1.6, 1.7, 1.9, 1.12, 1.13, 1.14, 3.5 and 3.6 shall survive expiry of these Terms and Conditions; and    

3.8 if the application and grant award are made electronically, the agreement between us shall be deemed to be in writing and your online acceptance of these Terms and Conditions shall be deemed to be a signature of that agreement.   

The British Science Festival is produced by the British Science Association  

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