The British Science Association has launched underrepresented audiences grants, which give eligible schools the means to run CREST Awards with students who are underserved in science.


No monetary cost should stand between a student and the education that they deserve. To support its mission to widen equal access to science learning, the British Science Association (BSA) is thrilled to be offering grants of up to £600 to help eligible schools to cover costs associated with running CREST Awards. These underrepresented audiences grants, now open for applications, specifically enable schools to bring project-based science to disadvantaged students who would not usually engage with STEM subjects.


What are the grants?

Supported by UK Research and Innovation, the BSA’s underrepresented audiences grants help to remove the financial barriers that may otherwise prevent students from participating in CREST Awards, opening their minds to the wonderful world of science.

The following grants are now open for applications:

  • up to £300 to cover CREST Award registration fees
  • up to £300 to support costs involved in running the Awards (such as CPD for school staff, consumables or equipment).

Now well-established, these grants continue to help students across the UK to build their confidence and skills in science and beyond, no matter what their background. The grants can be used to fund CREST Awards of all levels – from Star to Gold – covering students aged 5-19.

Which schools are eligible? 

Schools that meet at least one of the specified criteria are welcome to apply for a grant. These are:

  • schools with over 30% of pupils who are eligible for pupil premium, or equivalent 
  • schools with a high proportion of pupils (over 30%) who are from minority ethnic backgrounds * 
  • small schools based in remote and rural locations. ** 

* Minority ethnic backgrounds include all pupils who do not self-describe as White British. It includes Irish, except in Northern Ireland. 

** Remote and rural schools are in postcodes listed as ‘rural’ under the government’s rural urban classification system where schools can look up their classification. 

More information about grant eligibility, as well as further details on how to apply and what to include in a grant application, is available on the CREST Awards website

How can schools apply?

Schools can visit the CREST Awards website and submit an online form to apply for a grant before the deadline. Late submissions cannot be accepted, so early applications are strongly encouraged.

If schools are unable to apply for a grant this term, then all is not lost – a second round of underrepresented audiences grants will open for applications later this school year.  


What is CREST?

CREST is the BSA's nationally-recognised programme for student-led project work in STEM subjects, where young people of all ages are given the space and inspiration to think and act like scientists and engineers. Through CREST, students can immerse themselves in science investigations that match their interests and abilities, and achieve recognition for their brilliant work with CREST Awards.

CREST projects are also aligned with the national curriculum, meaning that science teachers of all levels across the UK can run them with confidence in the classroom. The BSA's primary and secondary curriculum guidance books have been specially designed to help teachers to embed CREST projects into timetabled lessons, and are completely free to download and use.

Teachers can visit the CREST resource library for a bank of free, ready-made CREST project packs to run with students from the off, at school or indeed from afar. Alternatively, older students may wish to think beyond the library and self-design their own, unique CREST projects – the scope of CREST is as large as they make it.

Here at the BSA, we cannot wait to see what students can discover and achieve through science this school year. If you have any questions about CREST or our underrepresented audiences grants, please get in touch by email on [email protected] or via Twitter or Facebook.