You must apply through the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system.
If your organisation is not already registered, you can ‘self-register’. This will allow you to make an application without going through the full registration process.
We recommend you start your application early. You can save completed details in Je-S at any time and return to continue your application later.
You will need to complete the Je-S form and attach a ‘case for support’ of no more than three pages in PDF format outlined below.
You should also attach letters of support (maximum two pages) from any partners making a contribution to your project.
You can find advice on completing your application in the Je-S handbook.
There is no deadline for this funding scheme, it is always open.
If you are successful in getting funding, we will contact you to help you with the full registration process for Je-S. Full registration can take four weeks.
Case for support
Maximum of three sides of A4. The case for support must include the following sections.
A short overview of your track record in public engagement with science and technology. This track record should focus on areas relevant to the application.
The rationale for the reaction award, briefly describing the:
- timeliness of the project
- overall aims
- anticipated outcomes
- how activities will contribute to meeting the stated aims of the STFC public engagement strategy
Engagement activity plan
A brief plan for engagement activities you intend to undertake during the reaction award.
You should provide details of your plans to deliver these activities, including:
- how you will effectively engage your target audiences
- how the activities link to STFC science, technology or facilities
- identification of potential risks and appropriate mitigation strategies
Any reference to COVID-19 residual issues should be included here.
It is recognised that different projects will have different sizes of audiences. Projects with smaller audience numbers will be considered to be fundable if they are regarded as having high impact on the targeted audience or audiences. This may be particularly true for projects proposing to work with Wonder audiences.
An outline of the evaluation approach showing details of how the outputs, outcomes, and impacts of the reaction award will be captured and evaluated. You are strongly advised to refer to the STFC public engagement evaluation framework.
Projects working with Wonder audiences will also be encouraged to use a dedicated evaluation toolkit, which will be shared with successful applicants.
Public Engagement Reaction Awards holders are expected to regularly update the record of their grant using the research council reporting tool, Researchfish, in line with the STFC public engagement evaluation framework. Details of this can be found in the Additional information section.
Sharing the learning from our public engagement grants portfolio is important to STFC. We therefore require you to write a dissemination plan, proportionate to the scale of activity, detailing how resources, learning outcomes, outputs and so on, will be made available to relevant audiences.
Justification of resources
A high-level justification of the resources requested which should:
- allow reviewers to make an informed judgement on whether the resources requested are appropriate for the proposed programme
- explain why the resources requested are appropriate for the programme proposed, taking account of the nature and complexity of the proposal
Please note that this should not be simply a list of the resources required as this is already given in the Je-S form.
All items requested in the Je-S form must be justified.
Any proposals from research organisations requesting items that would ordinarily be found in a department, for example non-specialist computers, should include justification both for:
- why they are required for the project
- why they cannot be provided from the research organisation’s own resources, including funding from indirect costs from grants
Highlighting alignment to the Wonder initiative
You can choose to propose public engagement that works with the target audience of the STFC Wonder initiative. If so, you should use your ‘case for support’ and ‘project partner letters of support’ to highlight how your proposal aligns with the Wonder initiative.
Project partner letters of support
‘Project partner letters of support’ should follow the format set out in the STFC guidance for applicants.
Letters of support can be up to two sides of A4 in length. A letter must be dated clearly, within six months of the submission date of the application.
Letters of support are submitted electronically alongside the grant application, via the Je-S system. The Je-S system will only allow you to submit three letters of support. If you have more than three letters of support, you can upload these as a combined PDF document or contact the STFC public engagement team.
What to include
This letter is read alongside the proposal’s ‘case for support’ and is considered as part of the peer review process.
A well-written letter of support will confirm the organisation’s commitment to the proposed project by articulating:
- the benefits of the collaboration
- its relevance to the partner
- the potential impacts of the programme in the eyes of the partner
The letter of support should also:
- identify the period of support
- detail the range of ‘in-kind’ and financial contributions offered by the partner
To provide assurance that the project partner has authorised the proposed contribution or commitment, the letter should be signed by a named contact, stating the capacity in which they are providing the sign-off.
Letters of support must show meaningful contribution to the proposed public engagement programme. Letters featuring supportive language but offering no contributions to the project are of little-to-no value and should not be included.
Should you state in your proposal that the involvement of a party or organisation is important to increase the chances of success of their proposed programme, these organisations must be included as either applicants or project partners.
Applications received without these collaborations in place by the point of submission will not be supported.