The ten participating organisations will be selected through a competitive tender process.
The selection panel
The ten participating organisations will be selected by a selection panel, made up of the following people:
Project Director, Dr Penny Fidler
Management Board Chair, Dr Nick Winterbotham
STFC Representative, Dr Neville Hollingworth
Current Explore Your Universe centre, TBC
The following organisations are eligible to apply:
Other types of organisation, including commercial organisations, are welcome to apply and must meet the following criteria:
Your organisation has an existing programme engaging schools and families with science (or STEM)
Your organisation has a team dedicated to inspiring and involving people with science.
You have the Infrastructure within your organisation, or through a partnership, sufficient to deliver science engagement activities now, and in to the future.
Priority will be given to organisations that:
Demonstrate a strong track record in delivering high quality science engagement activities to public and school audiences
Have access to publically accessible venues for the majority of the year
Ensure the quality of both the science and the engagement of all your activities
Demonstrate experience of, or strong willingness to learn, about the latest in the physical sciences, across all areas of STFC science
Have the ability to reach very large audiences, either in terms of school visitor numbers, or family groups and public audiences
Have the ability to reach a wide range of audiences, especially girls and under-represented groups
Demonstrate the ability and desire to embed the new workshops and activities into your existing schools and public programme, and to continue to run these workshops into the future
Employ innovative engagement approaches
Demonstrate strong links to local schools and teachers
Can show links with members of your local university, or can demonstrate a willingness to develop links with scientists and engineers (if applicable)
That collect data on the number of participants involved in its activities and routinely collect both formative and summative evaluation data to assure quality
Demonstrate a willingness to share evaluation and learning from activities with the network
Have a marketing professional (or equivalent) in place to promote the schools and public workshops as appropriate
Have the desire to use social media to connect with schools, partners and scientists on the project
Have experience of running 'meet the expert' sessions and facilitating discussion between the public and research scientists (or desire to do this)
Are keen to participate in learning and collaboration via the web, for example conference calls/webinars, live link-ups, submitting videos, and contributing to the discussion forum
The goal of this project is to give students and families across the UK the opportunity to explore the physical sciences through high-quality, engaging hands-on experiences.
When making the selection of the ten centres quality and reach will be the biggest factor, however, in the case of all other aspects being equal, the geographical spread of the ten partners across the UK will be taken into consideration. To make these workshops sustainable we aim to avoid organisations competing for the same audiences. These considerations will include the 10 existing Explore Your Universe centres.
University departments, learned societies and others
Explore Your Universe Phase 2 is open to a variety of organisations that meet the criteria covered in this document. For universities and learned societies in particular we believe this would mean, for example, having a person dedicated to public engagement and/or informal science learning. For organisations that don't employ scientists and engineers this would mean demonstrating the ability to collaborate with researchers, engineers, etc.
Information for researchers and freelancers
If you are an academic and would like to get involved, please discuss a partnership with your public engagement / outreach department or phone ASDC. If you are a freelancer with a background in physics, ask your science centre or university, or other, to see if you might submit an application as a partnership.
We welcome applications from a range of organisations who can work in partnership to meet the eligibility and selection criteria. If you plan on applying as a partnership, or are a commercial organisation, please contact ASDC to discuss.