The British Science Association's mission is to transform the diversity and inclusivity of science; to reach under-served audiences; and increase the number of people who are actively engaged and involved in science. Via programmes like the British Science Week Community Grants and the British Science Festival Community Grants, we provide small pots of funding for community groups to run science events, and our Community Leaders programme trains individuals to become science ambassadors in their communities. We are now taking the next step in supporting community outreach by establishing a Community Engagement Network.

With the Community Engagement Network, we will further support organisations who work with groups who are under-served and under-represented in science. The network aims to: 

  • Reach and meet the needs of unengaged audiences 
  • Inspire and build confidence of community organisations interested in providing science content to their audiences/users but which otherwise might not do so 
  • Connect community organisations with one another, fostering dialogue and shared learning 
  • Connect community organisations with local science organisations, facilitating new partnerships and projects 
  • Build a body of evidence of impact of community engagement with unengaged audiences 
  • Celebrate and share best practice 
  • Enable long-term community engagement by providing on-going support to members.

Network membership

We are always building the Community Engagement Network and are looking for organisations to get in touch if they would like to join. To be a full member, your organisation's primary audience/users must be those who are under-served and under-represented in science. These include the following groups:

  • people from ethnic minorities 
  • people with low socio-economic status, including people disadvantaged in terms of education and income 
  • people with a physical or mental condition or impairment 
  • people living in a remote and rural location, defined as settlements of less than 10,000 people; and
  • girls and women.

We are also inviting organisations that run some activities with the above groups to join the Network as associate members.

As a member of this network you will be notified of opportunities offered by the BSA and other organisations and receive our quarterly community newsletter. We would also like to help you better connect with other community organisations across the UK that may be doing similar work or may otherwise be able to support you. If you agree to join the network, we would like to be able to share information about your organisation and your contact details with other network members.

Your contact details will not be shared with third parties outside of the network and will only be shared within the network when we think there is an opportunity to facilitate learning. For more information please see the BSA Privacy Information 

If you would like to join the new Community Engagement Network, please email [email protected] with the following information:

  • your name
  • your email address
  • the name of your organisation
  • the city/town and region where your organisation is based
  • which under-served audiences you work with (please see the above list)
  • whether you're joining as a full member or an associate member

We will then be in touch soon with new developments and opportunities. If you have any questions, please get in touch!

COVID-19 Community Innovation Grants (closed)

COVID-19 placed science firmly in the public conscious. It has also profoundly affected how we interact with each other. Community organisations across the country have been resourceful in responding to their user’s immediate needs, and we recognise the huge value that they have in their local areas. To aid further innovation and recovery for communities, we partnered with UK Research and Innovation to provide grants up to £2,000 for 11 community groups/organisations to run activities and projects between 1 September – 30 November 2020.

The mission of the grant scheme was to support community groups to explore and trial new, alternative ways of running science-related activities for their audiences in the wake of COVID-19. Five of these community groups have written blog posts about their experiences:

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.