The British Science Association is looking to appoint a freelancer, consultant or agency team to support us on the development and delivery of an integrated communications campaign for British Science Week.

The Request for Proposals (RfP) closes at 5pm on Monday 9 November 2020.

Further background on our requirements is outlined below, but for a full copy of the RfP document, please contact

Louise Ogden, Head of Communications; T: (0)20 7019 4950 | E: [email protected]

or Amy MacLaren, Director of External Relations; T: (0)20 7019 4928 | E: [email protected]


British Science Week is annual nationwide campaign that celebrates and showcases science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) in a digestible and engaging way. Each year hundreds of organisations participate, from local voluntary organisations and schools to STEM businesses and large cultural institutions.

The campaign, which is supported by UK Research & Innovation (UKRI), has become an important calendar moment – in many cases it may be the only time these organisations celebrate STEM in the year.

The British Science Association (BSA), which runs British Science Week, enables and inspires a range of audiences – including teachers, community group organisers, STEM professionals, and families – to participate through a dedicated website featuring a range of free-to-download materials (including its popular Activity Packs, which last year received over 100,000 downloads).

The BSA’s work prioritises engaging under-represented audiences and putting equality, diversity and inclusion at the heart of all that we do. We want the British Science Week campaign to provide a fun, informal and low-risk opportunity for people and communities who might not traditionally be actively engaged in STEM to get involved.

British Science Week 2021 will take place from 5 – 14 March.

We are looking to appoint a freelancer, consultant or agency team to support us on the development and delivery of an integrated communications campaign for British Science Week.

The campaign

British Science Week will take place from 5 – 14 March 2021. The theme (which is used for the schools' Activity Packs and Poster Competition, but could also map across to the wider campaign) is ‘Innovating for the Future’.

The 2021 Activity Packs will include a focus on STEM careers and we intend to revive our ‘smashing stereotypes’ sub-campaign (new for last year’s campaign), which seeks to dismantle societal stereotypes of who scientists are, what they look like and what they do.

There will also be a special focus on virtual /online activities and digital engagement opportunities, to ensure that the campaign is ‘Covid-secure’.

Key audiences

  • Teachers – Early Years & Foundation Stage, Primary and Secondary (up to Key Stage 3), the largest group to engage each year are usually Primary teachers, very few of whom have a science background beyond GCSE or A-Level;
  • Community Group organisers;
  • STEM professionals in academia or industry;
  • Businesses and voluntary sector organisations who have a strong or tangential link to STEM (charities who get involved include conservation charities such as the Woodland Trust, the Canal & River Trust, etc);
  • Cultural institutions, such as museums and galleries, who have a strong or tangential link to STEM (some museums use the campaign as an opportunity to showcase the work of their restoration and conservation teams);
  • Parents and families (primarily of Primary-aged children).

Key activities

  • Grants – the BSA, through funding from our principal partner UKRI, offers small grants of up to £700 for schools in challenging circumstances and community groups who work with audiences under-represented in science, to help them participate in the campaign.
  • Activity Packs – three packs targeted at different age groups (Early Years, Primary and Secondary) published in January, the BSA also publishes ‘teaser packs’ in October/November to help teachers prepare.
  • Poster Competition – lots of primary schools participate in this during the Week, although the entries deadline falls later (usually in early- to mid-April).
  • Other resources – include free-to-download marketing materials, hints and tips on organising events, case studies of previous grant awardees, and resources aimed at helping community groups or families run science activities (the main Activity Packs are aimed at schools).
  • Smashing Stereotypes – we ran this sub-campaign for the first time in 2020, across our digital and social channels. The aim was to highlight stories of scientists who a) might have an unusual job, b) have certain diversity characteristics that are under-represented in STEM (e.g. Black, Asian or other ethnic minorities, women, LGBTQ+, disabled, low socio-economic status), or c) have come in to science through a non-traditional career path.
  • Unlocking skills – as outlined above, this year we are including information and activities with a careers focus in our packs.

As mentioned above, we also expect to have some 'flagship' social and/or digital content to be able to share with schools.

Campaign timeline

  • September – British Science Week Kick Start and Community Grants open (to schools and community groups)
  • October – Activity ‘teaser’ packs published
  • November – grants close
  • December – grant funding awarded to successful schools and community groups
  • January – Activity Packs published, information on Poster Competition guidelines and deadline goes live
  • February – social & digital media content begins to ramp up; advance PR/promotion
  • March – campaign launch, British Science Week takes place.

What we are looking for

We are looking to appoint a freelancer, consultant or agency team to devise and develop an integrated communications campaign for British Science Week. We will draw up a detailed list of deliverables and outputs in partnership with our chosen supplier, which will include:

  • Overall campaign strategy, including: PR and media relations and digital and social activities to reach our intended audiences – we are interested in your advice on possible timing and activation of the various facets of the campaign (e.g. launch, preview promotion);
  • Media relations outreach – we are interested in suggestions for how to maximise media coverage both in advance of and during British Science Week;
  • Social media content creation – we already have plans for some assets, especially for the Activity Packs e.g. statics and GIFs, but will need support with social media scheduling and management of any paid-for activity;
  • Evaluation – we will require our chosen supplier to provide coverage/reach stats and a review of aspects of the campaign (that the supplier was responsible for) which were a success and which were more of a challenge.

We are looking for a supplier that can bring:

  • Experience in devising and delivering integrated communications campaigns, in particular for awareness weeks or national events or activities;
  • Experience in devising and delivering communications campaigns for organisations, programmes or products that target diverse people and communities, and are inclusive for numerous groups/individuals;
  • Experience in devising and delivering communications campaigns that target teachers and parents;
  • Experience of working on multi-stakeholder campaigns that consider the needs of funders and partners;
  • Creativity and ideas – British Science Week has been around for over 30 years, and so it is important that we keep the campaign fresh and interesting.

How to respond

Further details on what to include in your response, our selection criteria, budget and timeline are available on request from Louise Ogden, Head of Communications, or Amy MacLaren, Director of External Relations, British Science Association, on the contact details above.