IOP launches rejuvenated grant scheme to back public engagement projects

28 September 2018

Individuals or organisations hoping to run physics-based events and activities can now apply for an IOP grant of up to £3,000 – a higher figure than previously – and the latest round of the scheme opens on 1 October

IOP launches rejuvenated grant scheme to back public engagement projects

The Public Engagement Grants – worth between £500 and £3,000 – are given to enable individuals or organisations to run physics-based events and activities in the UK and Ireland. We’re looking to fund projects that raise awareness of and engagement with physics, reach adults and families beyond the classroom and inspire and enthuse public audiences, especially those not previously interested in physics. We’re also looking for projects that develop the science communication skills of individuals, particularly physicists.

The application process is now wholly online and the eligibility criteria have been adjusted to match the changing landscape of public engagement and to allow more fantastic projects to be funded. Each application is assessed by panellists who are expert in the field of public engagement. There are two application rounds each year, one in the spring and one in the autumn, and the closing date for the current round is 5pm on 29 October.

Some of the projects that we funded in the previous round have included fun-days for vulnerable families based on rockets; an interactive exhibition on time at the Oriental Museum in Durham; a puppetry and visual theatre show about a woman working in nuclear physics, with accompanying workshops; a multimedia dance theatre piece and short lectures on nanomaterials and nanoelectronics; and a pop-up interactive exhibition on the theme of time based in Penzance, with interactive sessions for schoolchildren and families.

Johanna Kieniewicz, our Head of National Outreach and Engagement, said: “Engaging people across the UK and Ireland with physics is an important part of the IOP’s vision. Our public engagement grant scheme enables us to support the development and delivery of exciting and innovative projects that bring physics to new audiences. We strive to ensure that the grant scheme remains relevant to individuals and organisations involved with public engagement, and we have rejuvenated the grant scheme to reflect this.

“We hope to award grants of up to £3,000 – the largest amount of public engagement funding we have ever offered through our funding schemes. We want to encourage applications for smaller grants of £500 upwards as well as recognising larger projects. We’re looking forward to seeing a strong group of ambitious and creative proposals in this funding round.”

If you are interested in applying to the grant scheme you can do so on our website. If you have any questions about the grant scheme or specific projects we would encourage you to check our frequently asked questions page or contact our Outreach Officer, Emma Watson, at

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