A grants programme for public engagement
Guidance Notes: Closing date 1pm, 17 July 2012
Please read these guidance notes before you complete the Application Form to apply for
grant funding for a public science engagement project taking place in Scotland. All
funded projects must be completed by 31 December 2013. As this project deadline
allows for projects to run for more than 12 months, no further extensions will be granted.
This grant scheme is administered by the Office of the Chief Scientific Adviser (OCSA)
within the Scottish Government. Awards are made under the auspices of the National
Heritage (Scotland) Act 1985 (amended 1999), which provides for grants to be made by
Scottish Ministers to “any body whose activities appear…likely to promote the
development or understanding of cultural or scientific matters.”
Aims of ‘Talking Science’
‘Talking Science’ is about reaching people who are not currently engaged by existing
activities based around science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM). This
may be because they live in a rural area, or in a disadvantaged urban area. They may
have additional support needs that existing activities don’t take into account. Or they
may be in an age group that may be more difficult to engage in STEM (for example
young adults, older people, adults not attending as a family group).
Grants will be awarded to projects that meet our criteria and make science accessible
and engaging for a public audience, outside the science centres and festivals that are
already supported by the Scottish Government. We therefore expect to receive
applications for activities taking place in rural or remote areas and/or in areas facing
particular economic disadvantages.
We also wish to support activities aimed at audiences currently under-served or ‘hard to
reach’. In exceptional circumstances we may consider funding projects aimed at these
audiences but taking place elsewhere, for example a city-centre museum offering
activities specifically for young adults from deprived areas elsewhere in that city.
‘Talking Science’ is about direct engagement with the public, so we are keen to support
face-to-face and hands-on activities (debates, discussions, workshops etc) rather than
We would welcome applications to support projects that take a partnership approach to
delivering events and activities, whether through close working with the intended
audience, or by sharing resources and expertise with a number of other science
To apply for a grant you will need to complete the application form and also provide
details of your project’s budget, on one side of A4 paper, as requested in Section 2 of
the application form.
We are keen to support Scotland-wide initiatives that involve strong partnerships with
other science engagement organisations to help ensure that as many people as possible
across Scotland have the opportunity to take part in a range of science engagement
events and activities.
Successful projects will be expected to demonstrate several of the criteria below, as well
as demonstrating value for money, ‘market need’, the required element of match funding,
and reaching the required minimum audience size:
Showing the relevance of science in everyday life
Demonstrating partnership in delivering across Scotland
Targeting ‘hard to reach’ audiences, including particular age groups, or people
living in areas that are rural, remote and/or deprived
Demonstrating innovative approaches to science communication and public
Highlighting new developments in science, including ethical and moral
debates and considerations
Complementing A Curriculum for Excellence and encouraging science as a
This year we are particularly keen to see applications;
from areas of Scotland currently under-served by science engagement activities,
including the HIE catchment area, and other areas outside the central belt and cities
that target under-represented or under-served audiences (in rural or urban areas)
with regard to science engagement activities
that take a ‘bottom-up’ approach to science engagement, for example by finding out
what issues particular communities want to discuss or tackle, and delivering activities
that support the 2012 Year of Creative Scotland
that support the 2013 Year of Natural Scotland
that reflect the science themes of the 2012 Olympic Games and look ahead to the
2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow
on the theme of ‘Women in STEM’
on contemporary science developments, for example nanotechnology, synthetic
biology and stem cells, which can highlight current Scottish research strengths while
engaging the public on wider ethical issues
You should also highlight how your project supports the Strategic Objectives and
National Outcomes of the Scottish Government, particularly ‘Smarter Scotland’. Further
information can be found at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/About/Strategic-Objectives and
Please note that the Scottish Government already supports science engagement
activities taking place at our science centres and science festivals. ‘Talking Science’
grants therefore cannot be used to support activities and events taking place at
the science centres or science festivals.
Who can apply?
We will only consider one application per applicant organisation.
Applications may come from community groups, businesses (including sole traders),
charities, colleges, universities, research institutes, visitor attractions, museums, civic
groups, local authorities, and any other organisation wanting to engage with a public
audience on science, technology, engineering and maths topics.
For the purposes of this grant scheme each university or similar institution is classed as
one organisation. Applications received from a university and one of its constituent
schools, departments or institutes will both be classed as coming from the university,
because they use the same Finance Office and therefore appear to be the same
organisation for the purposes of receiving grants.
If more than one application is received from an organisation only the first one received
by this office (in hard copy format) will be considered, subject to any requests otherwise
made to this office by the grants co-ordinator from any particular organisation. It is your
responsibility to find out if your organisation has a grants co-ordinator for this scheme.
We cannot accept applications from individual schools or for projects aimed
primarily at school groups, either in or out of the classroom.
We cannot accept applications from organisations already due to receive
operational funding from OCSA in 2012-13 for science engagement activities. This
includes the Scottish science centres and science festivals. However, these
organisations are still able to act as partners in project applications led by and submitted
by other organisations. Please contact ScienceEngagement@scotland.gsi.gov.uk if you
want more information about whether your organisation is eligible to apply for funding.
Audience size and criteria
Each level of grant has a different minimum audience criteria, set out on page 4.
You can include reasonable, evidence-based estimates for internet audiences for your
project. However, the number of people attending your events in person must represent
90% or more of the required minimum audience (according to your grant category, rather
than the estimated audience for your project). If your project is awarded a grant, but fails
to reach the minimum required audience, we may ask you to return some or all of your
grant. You should be realistic about the likely, achievable audience size for your project.
The majority of your audience should be members of the public (i.e. adults, young adults,
families). Elements of your project may include events for school groups, but the number
of people attending your events in school groups must represent less than 10% of the
required minimum audience for your grant category (rather than the estimated audience
for your project).
We will prioritise applications where most or all of our grant is intended to support events
for the public rather than school groups.
If you feel your project would be unable to meet the minimum audience requirements of
the scheme, you can consider creating a partnership with one or more other
organisations to reach a bigger audience by combining activities.
Levels of Grant and minimum audience requirements
In 2012-13 up to £300,000 will be available for this grant scheme.
There are four tiers of grant available:
£40,000 for projects reaching at least 12,000 people. We plan to make up to four
awards at this level.
£25,000 for projects reaching at least 6,500 people. We plan to make up to five
awards at this level.
£10,000 for projects reaching at least 2,500 people. We plan to make up to five
awards at this level.
£20,000 will be shared by smaller or pilot projects, with an audience of at least
1,000 people. The minimum grant available is £3,000, the maximum is £8,000.
Actual numbers of grants at each level will depend on the number of applications that
meet our criteria. Grants will be paid in several instalments, which may take place
over more than one financial year.
Grants of £10,000, £25,000 and £40,000 will be awarded for the whole amount, not ‘up
to’ these amounts. If you are applying in these categories your financial information must
reflect this, otherwise your application will not be eligible.
Funding your project
You must indicate on your application form the level of grant for which you are
All applications must demonstrate that the requested grant represents 50% or less
of the project’s costs; 50% or more of the project’s costs must therefore be
obtained from sources other than the Scottish Government.
If less than 50% of your project’s costs comes from other sources, your
application will be rejected.
If your requested grant is the only source of cash income for your project, your
application will be rejected.
Whilst we recognise that some project costs are likely to be met by ‘in kind’ donations
from partners and other organisations (and these can be highlighted in your financial
information as part of your overall project costs), we will prioritise our grants towards
projects demonstrating substantial cash contributions from other sources.
‘Other sources’ can include:
Admission fees for the project
Voluntary contributions from participants or audience members
Donations and grants from other organisations (charities, local authorities, funding
Contributions from your own funds
Our grant funding can be used to support a range of costs incurred by you in delivering
your project. These can include (but are not limited to) venue hire, transport costs,
relevant staff costs (not ‘annual salary’ costs except where these can be directly and
reasonably allocated to project delivery), marketing and publicity, and consumables
required for activities.
What CAN’T be funded by our grants?
Our grants cannot be used to support:
capital or building projects
feasibility studies or research projects
continuing professional development for teachers
the purchase/hire of exhibits and other large props
the purchase/hire of touring or static exhibitions
the design, build and other associated costs of new websites
production and distribution costs of print-based resources (handbooks, textbooks
vehicles, trailers or similar items
the purchase of other non-consumable equipment e.g. microscopes, computers,
cameras, screens, televisions, media players
general running costs and overheads (except where you can demonstrate they will
be incurred directly as a result of running your project)
travel outside Scotland
costs related to attending conferences and similar events
science engagement activities outside Scotland
If these elements form part of your project you must make clear that any grant you
receive will not be used to support these items.
Our grants cannot be used to support project costs or outputs listed as ‘annual salary’ for
new/existing staff. Applicant projects must be activity- or event-based, rather than
described simply as the employment of a staff member.
We can therefore only fund elements of staff salary where they directly contribute to
project outputs and delivery. If your project costs are only listed as ‘staff salary’ with no
explanation of how this relates to project delivery and outputs, your application will be
Submitting your application
Please complete the form electronically, print, sign and return. If it is not possible to
complete your application electronically please use black ink and write clearly in
BLOCK CAPITALS. Please do not bind or staple your application as we will need to
scan and photocopy it. If you are completing the form electronically please note that you
should be able to expand the text boxes downwards.
Text in italics can be deleted before you print your application.
Please answer each question on the application form as fully as possible, within the
stated word limits where applicable.
You also need to provide details of your project’s budget, on one side of A4 paper,
as requested in Section 2 of the application form.
In addition to your budget details, a maximum of one other side of A4 paper may be
used to provide further information in support of your application; any further material (for
example leaflets, annual reviews, posters, or additional A4 sheets) will be removed and
will not be considered as part of your application.
Signed forms should be returned by 1pm on Tuesday 17 July 2012 to the address at
the end of the form:
Joanne Ward – Science Engagement Grants Manager
Office of the Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland
St Andrew’s House
Edinburgh EH1 3DG
Late applications will not be considered, so you are encouraged to submit your
application in good time.
Emailed applications can be sent to ScienceEngagement@scotland.gsi.gov.uk, but will
only be formally accepted and considered when they are subsequently accompanied by
a signed paper copy, which should arrive by the application deadline.
Incomplete applications will not be accepted. This includes:
applications without details (on the front page) of the applicant organisation’s name
and address, the project title, the name, contact number and email address of the
paper applications without a signature
applications with insufficient financial information
emailed applications with no signed paper copy received by the deadline
If you plan to hand in your application personally please do so within normal office hours.
Applications cannot be left with St Andrew’s House Reception Staff for security reasons,
so you will need to wait for a member of the OCSA team to collect it from you.
Before you submit your application please remember:
Your project must be aimed primarily at a public audience
Your project (including evaluation) must be completed by 31 December 2013
50% or more of your project’s funding should come from sources other than the
Clearly mark which category of grant you are seeking
You should consider carefully how your requested grant relates to your expected
audience numbers. Our funding schemes are always oversubscribed and your
application will be disadvantaged if it compares poorly to other applications on a
‘grant cost per head’ basis.
If you email a signed application form to us we will not formally accept it until it is
accompanied by a signed paper copy by the application deadline
Your paper application will not be accepted if it is unsigned
Submitted applications will not be read until after the deadline. There is therefore no
opportunity for us to return the form in the event of non-signature or other errors that
make your application ineligible. You will not have the opportunity to resubmit your
application if it is incomplete or otherwise ineligible.
HOW WE CHOOSE SUCCESSFUL APPLICATIONS
We cannot give grants to all applicants. Factors we take into account when choosing
successful applications include:
How the project meets the Talking Science scheme criteria , aims and objectives
How the project matches Scottish Government objectives and National Outcomes,
particularly under the ‘Smarter Scotland’ strategic objective (see ‘Criteria’ above)
The quality of your objectives and performance measures; how you show that costs
are linked to outputs and outcomes, and how you will monitor the project
Partnership working, community and/or business involvement and support
The value for money demonstrated by your project, including funding from other
sources, the size of your audience and the quality of engagement offered by your
Innovative approaches to science engagement, including a willingness to try
something new and a commitment to see your project developing over time
A quality approach to event planning and management
Each application will be scored against the criteria outlined above.
We aim to write to successful applicants by 30 September 2012.
Work started on any project, prior to official notice of outcomes, will be at the applicant’s
Full details of the conditions that will apply will be included in the grant offer letter should
your application be successful. Grants will be paid in instalments. A payment schedule
will be included in your grant offer letter, but we anticipate paying grants in two or three
instalments, depending on the size of the award and the end-date of the project. An
initial payment will be made when we receive your signed grant offer letter, subject to
any relevant additional conditions. A final instalment will be made upon receipt of a
satisfactory end-of-project final report, to be submitted by 31 January 2014 and no later
than one month after project completion date.
General grant conditions include the following:
We expect you to return grant not used for the approved purpose
We pay grant only on what you actually spend. We will ask you to return any
The grant is not to be used for party political advocacy or activity.
You must acknowledge the Scottish Government in any publicity about work assisted
by our grant.
A copy of all financial records relating to how your grant was spent must be supplied
to us once the project is completed.
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (SCOTLAND) ACT 2002
In accordance with the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, the Scottish
Government may be required to make any application for grant available for public
scrutiny. In submitting a grant application, please let us know if there are any elements of
it which would prejudice substantially your commercial or other interests if they were
made public. Please note there may nevertheless be a public interest in publishing the
Please also note that a brief summary of successful applicants’ projects and grants
awarded will be posted on the Scottish Government’s website once all grant awards
have been agreed.
We aim to improve our procedures continuously. If you have any comments on this form
or on our process generally, we should be glad to hear them. You may enclose a
separate letter with your application form if you wish.
Where can I get further information?
If you have any questions about the application process, please email
ScienceEngagement@scotland.gsi.gov.uk or call 0131 244 3716.
Please also contact us if you need these guidance notes or the application form in an
EVENT PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT – GOOD PRACTICE
The checklist below represents expected good practice in delivery of
projects/events funded through the Talking Science grants scheme. Applicants
should use this as a source of reference to organise, deliver and evaluate
BEFORE THE EVENT
Ensure the communication of and commitment to event objectives among
those delivering the event and through all event information.
Ensure helpful and open communication with any other event or organisation
which has links to your own.
Where necessary ensure event plans are relevant to and consistent with a
Curriculum for Excellence.
Ensure content/format of event does not discriminate on grounds of gender,
race (including faith), age, disability or sexual orientation.
Include a sufficient development timescale in event planning.
Ensure proposed event date does not negatively coincide with any
corresponding local or national events.
Ensure those delivering the event are familiar with the venue and identify
potential logistical problems, health and safety issues and accessibility
restrictions. Wherever possible, venues should be accessible to people
needing additional support.
Carry out appropriate background checks on all those delivering the event
where activities involve contact with vulnerable members of society.
Provide the delivery team with adequate training for their role within the event.
Produce target audience and organisation contacts list, and decide on
effective methods of communicating event information to these groups.
Produce appropriate timeline for communication of key event information, and
ensure communication deadlines are met.
Where appropriate, provide and deliver pre-event materials, such as teachers’
notes, to audiences by agreed deadlines.
Ensure event websites are kept up to date, and actively encourage their use.
DURING THE EVENT
Refer to and maintain event objectives as central to the event.
Ensure event information and/or discussion is relevant, accurate and
Actively promote planned links to other events/activities/organisations.
Where appropriate highlight and emphasise links to a Curriculum for
Monitor the venue for suitability, safety and accessibility, making changes if
Ensure the event starts and finishes as planned and advertised.
Ensure events and activities are being run by individuals with sufficient
qualifications and experience, and with sufficient numbers to guarantee
quality and safety.
Monitor delivery team performance to provide on the spot support as well as
to enable detailed post-event feedback.
Actively encourage audience participation/interaction.
Monitor audience numbers and demographic to enable an assessment of the
Ensure clear and accessible communication of all event information to all of
Encourage system of open and continuous critical self evaluation, and be
open to constructive feedback from others.
AFTER THE EVENT
Maintain an open dialogue with any events/activities/organisations/individuals
that had links with your event
For events aimed at a school audience, review each part of the event in terms
of purposes, principles and content of science with respect to a Curriculum for
Review the logistical success of the event in terms of venue location, size,
facilities, health and safety, accessibility, etc.
Ensure delivery team receive appropriate post-event feedback.
Deliver any post-event materials to event users.
Analyse all data of event use.
Perform post-event evaluation including review of objectives, content, delivery
team performance and views of a sample of audience reached.
Provide feedback to all concerned parties based on evaluation.
Ensure accurate, useful and safe event record keeping.
Identify and promote best practice in event delivery through the sharing of
results/analysis with relevant parties.
Ensure all information is managed responsibly with respect to confidentiality
and data protection.