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Public Engagement Legacy Awards

The submission date for applications to the 2021 Legacy Awards scheme has been extended to 4 March 2021 16:00

We want to

  • Allow the very best STFC grant-funded public engagement programmes to continue to grow and evolve over time
  • Encourage and support high-quality public engagement activities that highlight STFC’s science and technology
  • Create a network of highly-skilled practitioners of public engagement with STFC science who inspire and involve colleagues, students, and the public, in their activities
  • Highlight the achievements of STFC science and technology, demonstrating the excitement of research and the value of STEM to the UK

Our Expectations of Our Legacy Award Holders

  • Delivering high-quality public engagement activities during the lifetime of the award
  • Raising the profile and standards of public engagement within their host organisation or professional community, including sharing best practice and developing new talent
  • Championing STFC science and technology, including the impact of science and technology on society
  • Regularly interacting with STFC’s public engagement and communication teams, including participation in STFC networks, events, and advisory structures when requested
  • Working with partners to secure the future of their engagement programme

1.0 STFC Public Engagement Legacy Award – Overview

Legacy Awards allow the holders of previous STFC public engagement awards to apply for funding to continue their programmes, and evolve those programmes based on learning and evaluation. To be awarded a Legacy Award, an applicant will have to demonstrate both the success of their original engagement programme, and evidence that success via good-quality evaluation.

Legacy Awards may be used for the continuation of STFC Small Awards, Large Awards, Spark Awards, and Nucleus Awards. To be eligible, the original grant upon which the Legacy Award is building must have ended less than 36 months before the current Legacy Award call closing date.

The Legacy Award programme of work proposed should be clearly linked to the original grant. Any evolution or changes to the activities in the original project must be justified using the learning and evaluation from the original grant. Although not compulsory, the applicant(s) may wish to propose new activities that are considered necessary to strengthen the engagement practice, community networks, or training opportunities initiated in the original grant.

Applications that include new or expanded activities must include evidence that these are well considered, planned and justified in the context of the proposal. Applications that do not include new activities, e.g. those with a specific focus on an area of work from the original award, are equally valid.

As Legacy Award applications are based upon previously successful proposals, they are required to be high-quality and will be reviewed using strict quality criteria. This is regardless of the grant scheme that the original award was funded by.

We will support up to two Legacy Awards from a single original grant which can be held sequentially, but not concurrently.

Unlike other STFC public engagement grants, it is a requirement a Legacy Award application that project partners will support the delivery of the project. STFC will only provide a proportion of the total cost of the Legacy Award – the remaining support must be secured via cash and/or in-kind contributions from project partners. Further details are provided in section 1.4.

1.1.1 Engagement Programme

Proposed engagement programmes must clearly focus around the remit of the STFC science programme (astronomy, solar and planetary science, particle physics, particle astrophysics, cosmology, nuclear physics and accelerator science) or clearly and demonstrably align to the science and technology work of STFC’s national and international laboratories and facilities.

Legacy Awards will not be awarded unless there is a strong and demonstrable link between the proposed activities and STFC science and technology.

1.1.2 Network and Capacity Building Programmes

Legacy Awards may also be used for a continuation of activities that are dedicated to developing community networks or capacity building in public engagement. This may be the sole purpose of a Legacy Award, or an application may combine engagement activities and networking into a coherent package.

1.1.3 Continuing Programmes vs. New Programmes

Legacy Awards allow our most demonstrably successful engagement programmes to continue and to evolve: but when is an engagement programme considered ‘a continuation’ of previous work, and when is it considered ‘new’ by STFC?

For general guidance, we consider a programme to be a continuation of a previous award if:

  • The aims and objectives of the new programme closely match those of the previous award
  • The programme of work and the methodology is a clearly linked to the previous award
  • The characteristics of the target audience are similar to those of the previous award

If in doubt, an applicant is strongly advised to contact the Public Engagement Team to discuss their Legacy Award application.

1.1.4 General Points

Applicants should use their proposal to clearly explain how their Legacy Award will further the aims of the STFC Public Engagement Strategy.

Applications that highlight the social, ethical, and economic benefits of research are welcomed.

STFC focuses heavily on evaluation and applicants must provide a clear evaluation plan showing details of how the outputs, outcomes and impacts of the Legacy Award will be captured and evaluated. As outlined in section 1.6.2, we require applicants to report on the outcomes of their Legacy Award in line with the STFC Public Engagement Evaluation Framework, which describes our approach towards effective engagement. We suggest that applicants should familiarise themselves with the STFC Public Engagement Evaluation Framework and consider how the Framework could be used to evaluate their engagement programme.

We encourage applications that propose engagement with audiences considered to have low ‘science capital’. Applicants may choose which audiences to engage with, and the methods of engagement. These must be outlined in the proposal.

1.1.5 What the Scheme Will Not Fund:

The following are ineligible for support via Legacy Awards:

  • The continuation of a programme that ended over 36 months before the current Legacy Award call closure date
  • Applicants that have not secured the required minimum level of project partner support
  • Applicants applying for their third Legacy Award
  • Projects where the target audiences are not primarily UK residents
  • Fees or honoraria to people already in paid employment to visit or give talks at schools, societies etc. where such activities would reasonably be undertaken as part of their normal duties
  • Costs for hardware or equipment over the individual value of £10,000
  • Infrastructure funding or costs for building construction and maintenance
  • Projects where it is clear that the whole project would go ahead irrespective of STFC support
  • Retrospective funding, including those projects with a start date after the closing date but before the funding decisions are announced
  • Awards will not be funded for the sole purpose of authorship and publication of books and novels
  • Contingency funds

For applicants from or for schools, note the following ineligible costs:

  • Programmes of formal education
  • School trips to CERN and trips to other laboratories, observatories & science venues unless they are intrinsic to a wider public engagement project

1.1.6 Legacy Awards for New Digital Content

We will only consider funding digital content (e.g. websites, videos etc.) as an intrinsic part of a wider engagement programme. Any application for digital content needs to include:

  • A demonstration of the ‘evidence of need’ for any proposed content, and/or gaps in current provision of such material
  • Evidence that the target audience for any content will be involved in the design and production of such content
  • A plan (and budget) for keeping the content sustainable in the future
  • Information on licensing in order to promote sharing and re-use of the digital content
  • Acknowledgement of web accessibility rules and regulations

Organisations that apply must be based in the UK.

STFC can only fund organisations that have audited accounts. If this does not describe your organisation, you must work in partnership with an organisation that can receive the funding on your behalf.

The Principal Applicant must be eligible to apply on behalf of the organisation that would hold the award.

We would usually expect a Legacy Award application to be submitted by the same Principal Applicant as the original grant, and for that applicant to be based at the same host organisation. However, we recognise that applicants may change host institution, or that the leadership of a programme may change, therefore we do not require identical principal applicants or host institutions between the original grant and the Legacy Award.

Using their opening statement in the Case for Support, applicants must make clear any changes in host institution and/or Principal Applicant. If there is any uncertainty, STFC reserves the right to contact the Principal Applicant of the original award to confirm the proposed leadership arrangements of the Legacy Award.

Every application must include a researcher in an STFC-funded area of science or technology. While these researchers often play an active role in delivering the engagement activities, this is not mandatory – they may act as an advisor on the scientific content.

If applicants have any questions about applicant eligibility, please contact the Public Engagement Team and we will advise on how you may proceed.

1.3.1 Previous Applications

To apply for a Legacy Award the applicant or their organisation must have held a previous STFC Public Engagement Spark, Nucleus, Small or Large Award. The previous award must have ended fewer than 36 months before the current Legacy Award call closure date.

An applicant may apply for a Legacy Award related to a Small, Large, Spark or Nucleus Award that is still active at the time of the Legacy Award application. In such instances, the proposed Legacy Award:

  1. cannot have a start date any earlier than the current end date of original award;
  2. must still be based on clear evidence of the efficacy of the original award, using robust evaluation data.

All Legacy Awards must start between 1 June and 1 December after the call opening.

Applicants may apply for up to two Legacy Awards related to an original grant. Applicants applying for their third Legacy award will not be considered.

1.3.2 Eligibility Diagram

Legacy Awards come under the Full Economic Costs (fEC) framework. The maximum value that may be sought for a Legacy Award varies according to whether an applicant is applying for their first or second Legacy Award related to an original grant.

The Legacy Award scheme mandates significant support from project partners. The maximum level of funding that will be provided by STFC differs according to whether this is your first or second Legacy Award application – first award: up to 50% funding of the total project cost (up to a maximum of 50K payable by STFC), second award: up to 25% funding of the total project cost (up to a maximum of 25K payable by STFC).

Applicants are required to have secured the remaining project funding from project partners in advance of submitting the application to STFC. Project partner support can be cash and/or in-kind. This support must be detailed in the corresponding Letters of support, as detailed in section 2.4.

The following tables detail the differing Legacy Award funding requirements for fEC and non-fEC organisations. In this example the maximum funding value is assumed, but applicants can request lower overall award values.

fEC organisations

  First Legacy Award Second Legacy Award
Total value of award £112.5K £106.25K
Maximum STFC funding available £62.5K £31.25K
of which the maximum payable by STFC £50K £25K
Minimum required project partner support £50K £75K

Non-fEC organisations

  First Legacy Award Second Legacy Award
Total value of award £100K £100K
Maximum STFC funding available £50K £25K
of which the maximum payable by STFC £50K £25K
Minimum required project partner support £50K £75K

1.4.1 Fund Headings

The Public Engagement Legacy Award scheme falls under the Full Economic Costs (fEC) framework. Therefore, all costs that contribute to the FEC of the proposal should be included under the cost headings as shown in the ‘Applying for a grant’ section of the STFC Research Grants Handbook. As the Legacy Award scheme has no capital budget, applicants cannot request funds under the Equipment heading (as outlined in section 1.1.5).

1.4.2 Use of Funds

Other than restrictions around equipment, there are no set restrictions on the type of costs that may be applied for. For example, contributions to salaries (where a named individual will undertake work that would not be considered part of their normal duties), cost of materials, and travel & subsistence are eligible.

Applications can vary in duration but would normally be expected to be for up to 36 months in duration. The earliest start date for an application submitted to the scheme would be 1 June 2019.

1.5.1 Legacy Award Process Timetable

Call Activity Indicative Timetable
Stage One call announced 6 January 2019
Stage One call closes 20 February 2019 at 16.00
Stage One scheme remit check February 2019
Stage One independent reviewer comments requested March 2019
Stage One PI responses to reviewer comments March 2019
Stage One panel short-lists applicants for interview March/April 2019
Stage Two Interview panel May 2019
Stage Three Awards Announcements May 2019
PE Legacy Awards start From 1 June 2019 onwards

STFC Public Engagement Legacy Awards are governed by the grant conditions as set out in the Research Grants Handbook, unless otherwise stated. Applications are accepted and awards are made on the understanding that research organisations and Legacy Award holders agree to observe the terms and conditions and the scheme requirements set out in this document and any amendments issued.

1.6.1 Movement between Institutions

Applicants must take up the award at the host institution identified in the application. STFC will not allow a Public Engagement Legacy Award holder to change their host institution prior to taking up an award. Consideration will be given to requests during the course of an award to relocate the grant to a different institution for scientific or domestic reasons. The agreement of the institutions concerned will be required before seeking approval from STFC.

1.6.2 Reporting & Liaison with STFC

Public Engagement Legacy Award holders will be required to provide reports of activities to the STFC Public Engagement Team when requested. STFC reserves the right to request periodic information or to visit the Public Engagement Legacy Award holder. Legacy Award holders will be expected to meet with the STFC Public Engagement grants mentor a minimum of twice a year.

The Legacy Award holder may also be asked to attend meetings to exchange information and ideas with others undertaking STFC Public Engagement activities. The Public Engagement Legacy Award holder must make all reasonable efforts, if so invited, to respond to requests for information or to attend events or activities organised by the Research Council concerning the research undertaken. Such events may be held after a grant has finished.

Public Engagement Legacy Award holders will be expected to attend an annual meeting of all STFC Public Engagement Award holders.

Public Engagement Legacy Award 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. There are additional questions for STFC public engagement grant holders. This enables STFC to easily extract data regarding the impact of the work of our Legacy Award Holders whenever required, and serves as a database of impacts (outputs, outcomes and reach) for an award holder’s own reference. To assist with their ResearchFish return, Public Engagement Legacy Award holders are also required, throughout their award, to collect data relevant to their activities in the STFC Public Engagement metrics spreadsheet, and send it to the Public Engagement Team once a year. Guidance on how to fill in the Public Engagement questions on ResearchFish, and the metric spreadsheet, are available on the STFC website.

1.6.3 Publication, Resources & Acknowledgement of Support

Publications and other forms of media communication, including media appearances, press releases and conferences, must acknowledge the support received from STFC, quoting the grant reference number if appropriate.

Resources produced as a result of any grants should acknowledge STFC as the funding source using the standard format agreed by funders and publishers and detailed in the additional information accompanying this grant.

In order to ensure appropriate coordination and opportunities to increase the impact of engagement, external media activity produced as a result of this award must be signed off by the STFC Media team before the activity takes place, or is published. This includes press releases, online videos and media briefings. Award holders are responsible for giving STFC sufficient notice in advance of activities such that STFC can advise on content, and/or build the activities of grant holders into our own communications and engagement programmes.

It is the responsibility of the research organisation, and all engaged in the research, to make every reasonable effort to ensure that the intellectual assets obtained in the course of the research, whether protected by intellectual property rights or not, are used to the benefit of society and the economy. Outcomes and resources should be disseminated and/or made available to both research and more widespread audiences - for example to inform potential users and beneficiaries of the research.

Unless stated otherwise, the ownership of all intellectual assets, including intellectual property, and responsibility for their application, rests with the organisation that generates them.

STFC may, in individual cases, reserve the right to retain ownership of intellectual assets, including intellectual property (or assign it to a third party under an exploitation agreement) and to arrange for it to be exploited for the national benefit and that of the research organisation involved. This right, if exercised, will be clearly set out in an additional grant condition.

There should be suitable recognition and reward to researchers who undertake activities that deliver benefit through the application of research outcomes. The research organisation must ensure that all those associated with the research are aware of, and accept these arrangements.

1.6.4 Liability

It is a condition of every grant that STFC accepts no liability for the manner in which the work in connection with the grant is undertaken, and the research organisation and Legacy Award holder will be responsible in all respects for the work and the consequences of it.

1.6.5 Termination of Awards

A grant may be terminated, or its conditions varied, at any time at the absolute discretion of STFC. Should the Legacy Award holder leave their institution for another research organisation or an alternative type of employment, they must notify the STFC Public Engagement Team immediately. If it is not possible to transfer the grant then STFC will terminate payments from the day immediately after the Legacy Award holder leaves the host institution. Failure to submit reports will result in termination of the award unless there are mitigating reasons.

2.0 How to Apply

Applications for Public Engagement Legacy Awards are submitted via the Research Councils’ Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system. If your organisation is not currently Je-S registered you can self-register via the Je-S system. This will allow your organisation to apply to the call without going through the full registration process. If your application is successful, RCUK will contact you in order to help you with the full registration process.

To submit an application you must currently be fully Je-S registered. The full Je-S registration process can take up to four weeks so please leave yourself plenty of time before the deadline. Please contact the Je-S helpdesk on (01793) 44 4164 or via e-mail to check your registration status or to get registered. You will need to give the name and contact details of the organisation together with details of the scheme/call you are applying for.

Applicants from HEIs are advised to contact their host organisation’s Research Administration as soon as possible; they will be able to give advice about costing your proposal and internal procedures relating to submitting an application through Je-S. Your Public Engagement Legacy Award application must be costed and submitted by the host organisation.

Emailed or hard copy applications will not be accepted and the page limits outlined below will be strictly enforced by STFC. If any of the supporting documents exceed the specified limits, only the pages within the limits will be considered. The documents must be submitted as .pdf attachments and should conform to the font and margin guidelines in the Je-S Helptext.

Public Engagement Legacy Award applications are submitted via Je-S.

Legacy Awards are assessed by a three-stage peer review process:

  • Stage One: Proposal submission.
    Applicants submit proposal documentation that is assessed via written peer review commentary.
  • Stage Two: Panel interview.
    All invited applicants attend a panel interview that will explore their proposal in more detail.
  • Stage Three: Funding Decisions.
    Final funding decisions are taken on by STFC on the basis of peer review evidence from stages one and two of the process.

2.3.1 Termination of Awards

Together with the relevant Je-S application form you will need to provide the following attachments:

  • Case for Support – maximum of nine sides of A4. The Case for Support should conform to the font and margin guidelines in the Je-S Helptext and must include the following:
    • A summary of award history paragraph that clearly states the title and grant reference number of the original grant upon which the Legacy Award is based. This summary should also explain any changes of Principal Applicant and/or host institution between the original grant and the Legacy Award
    • A short overview of the applicant’s recent track record in public engagement with science and technology. This track record should focus on areas relevant to the application
    • A rationale for the Legacy Award, showing the overall aims, anticipated outcomes and how activities will contribute to meeting the stated aims of the STFC Public Engagement Strategy
    • A summary of the outcomes & learning from the previous project, making clear how this learning has influenced the design of the proposed Legacy Award
    • A brief description of the added value of STFC continuing to support this project
    • A clear plan for engagement activities the applicant intends to undertake during the Legacy Award. Applicants should provide details of their plans to deliver these activities, including how they will effectively engage their target audiences, identification of potential risks and appropriate mitigation strategies
    • A plan for the delivery of appropriate network & capacity building activities the applicant intends to undertake during the Legacy Award. Where reasonably possible, applicants should provide details of their plans to deliver these activities, including potential risks and mitigation strategies
    • An evaluation plan showing details of how the outputs, outcomes, and impacts of the activities will be captured and evaluated
    • Justification of Resources – a maximum of two sides of A4 (of the nine). This information justifies the requested funds applied for in an application. This section:
      • Should allow reviewers to make an informed judgement on whether the resources requested are appropriate for the proposed programme;
      • Should explain why the resources requested are appropriate for the programme proposed taking into account the nature and complexity of the proposal. It should not be simply a list of the resources required as this is already given in the Je-S form;
      • Should justify all items requested in the Je-S form;
      • Should include justification for why items that would ordinarily be found in a department, for example non-specialist computers, are required for the project and why they cannot be provided from the research organisation’s own resources (including funding from indirect costs from grants);
      • Further details of how costs should be justified can be found in the ‘Supporting Information’ section of the STFC Research Grants Handbook.
    • A dissemination plan detailing how resources, learning outcomes, outputs, etc. will be made available to wider audiences.
    • All items requested in the Je-S form must be justified.
  • Project Budget Summary – a maximum of one side of A4 (of the nine). This document should be presented as a table that clearly lists the total project cost, provides a break-down of those costs, and clearly indicates which costs are being met by STFC funding and project partner support.
  • Letters of support from any Project Partners (see section 2.4).
  • Names of two reviewers, independent of the applicant’s organisation – one or both of whom will be asked for reviewer comments if the applicant is called for interview.

Partnerships between applicants and project partners are an essential requirement of the Legacy awards.

Legacy Awards require minimum levels of support from project partners (as outlined in section 1.4) that applicants must have secured guarantees of that support before they apply. The Letters of Support that accompany a Legacy Award application must give details of the financial and/or in-kind support to be provided by the project partners and give a clear commitment from the partner organisation to provide that support.

Before an application is made, STFC requires that applicants create proposals that commit the involvement of all parties required to make the proposed programme a success. If an organisation wishes to receive funds from STFC, it must be a listed applicant on the grant. If an organisation will not receive funds from STFC but will have an integral role in the proposed programme, that organisation is a project partner. We require applicants to create these partnerships in advance of submitting an application for funding, and to include details of the partnership in the application. Well-constructed partnerships strengthen proposals by providing complementary skills and knowledge, additional staff time, and additional cash or ‘in-kind’ support.

As part of the application process, project partners are invited to provide a ‘letter of support’ alongside the main body of the application. This statement 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 and the potential impacts of the programme in the eyes of the partner. The letter of support should also identify the period of support, and detail the range of ‘in-kind’ and financial contributions offered by the partner.

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. 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 are submitted electronically alongside the grant application, via the Je-S system.

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 an applicant state in their 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.

2.4.1 STFC National Laboratories and Employees as Project Partners

STFC employs hundreds of scientific and technical staff, alongside our own team of public engagement professionals based at our laboratories across the UK. Applicants for public engagement funding are welcome to seek to include STFC as project partners on public engagement applications where relevant, subject to the guidance above. Applicants must contact STFC staff at least four weeks in advance of the submission deadline if they consider STFC involvement to be important in making their proposal a success.

Should applicants wish to discuss the ability of STFC to participate in their proposal; the following individuals are appropriate first points of contact for the major national laboratory sites:

Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Daresbury Laboratory UK Astronomy Technology Centre
Sophy Palmer
Public Engagement Manager
01235 445 950
Phill Day
Public Engagement Manager
01925 603 231
Olivia Johnson
Public Engagement Manager
0131 668 8263

STFC reserves the right to choose not to participate in proposals at our own discretion. Please note that applications involving STFC as a project partner are treated no differently to other applications in the peer review and funding decision process.

2.5.1 Stage One – Proposal: Written Peer Review

Written peer review comments will be sought on applications. These peer reviewers are selected from those that the applicant has nominated, and those identified by the Public Engagement Team.

Applicants will be given the opportunity to respond to the comments made by reviewers, through the PI Response process.

Peer reviewers are required to comment on the written assessment criteria:

  • Experience:
    The experience of the applicant and their track record in outreach and or communications work
  • Expertise:
    Whether the application has the necessary expertise and/or access to any necessary expertise to carry out the proposed programme of work effectively
  • Relevance:
    How well the proposal matches the aims of the STFC Public Engagement programme and the added value of STFC continuing to support this project
  • Impact:
    Whether the proposed activities would make a significant impact in terms of the numbers reached and the effect on the audience
  • Planning & Delivery:
    If the planned delivery of the project is likely to achieve the declared objectives
  • Evaluation:
    Whether there are appropriate stated criteria for the success of the Legacy Award and quantitative and qualitative means of evaluating them
  • Overall Assessment:
    Comments relating to the proposal that have not been made elsewhere

2.5.2 Stage Two – Panel Interview

Applicants are required to attend a panel interview, during which they will have an opportunity to give a brief overview of their proposal, followed by detailed questioning from the panel members. Applicants are welcome to bring along up to two other members of the project team who may wish to contribute to the presentation and the question and answer session.

The interviews will be held on a single day, usually in early May. Interviews typically comprise of a ten minute presentation during which the applicant may give a brief overview of the project, but should focus their presentation on addressing matters raised by the written peer review comments thus far received. This presentation is followed by a question and answer session of around thirty minutes. Aspects of the application that have been raised in the earlier peer review stages, or feedback provided, can be addressed in either part of the interview.

The panel will assess the applicants on the day of the interviews, based on the stage two assessment criteria:

  • Does the applicant have a suitable track record in public engagement or outreach?
  • Does the application make clear how the proposed programme matches the aims of the STFC Public Engagement Strategy?
  • Has the applicant clearly described the different engagement activities planned as part of the Legacy Award?
  • Has the applicant clearly described how they plan to play a prominent role in building networks and/or the capacity for public engagement within their community?
  • Does the applicant have the necessary expertise to carry out the proposed programme of work effectively?
  • Has the applicant clearly identified their rationale for the proposed programme, and provided suitable evidence of the need for such work?
  • Has the applicant given a summary of the outcomes and learning of the previous project, making clear how this learning has influenced the design of the proposed Legacy Award?
  • Has the applicant included details of the added value of STFC continuing to support this project?
  • Has the applicant demonstrated the clear planning required to achieve the declared objectives of the Legacy Award?
  • Has the applicant proposed an effective and suitable plan for evaluating the outputs, outcomes, and impacts of all proposed activities?
  • Has the applicant proposed a suitable plan for publicising the outcomes of the Legacy Award, and disseminating any resources/activities produced to wider audiences?
  • Is the proposal accompanied by strong letters of support from project partners that indicate strong buy-in to this application and provide at least the minimum required levels of additional support for a Legacy Award?

2.5.3 Stage Three – STFC Funding Decision

The panel will make final recommendations for funding on the day of the interviews, based on their assessment of the applicant’s interview performance against the panel assessment criteria, and the written peer review.

Based on the recommendations from the interview panel, STFC will then take decisions regarding which applications are funded. The STFC Public Engagement Team will then prepare feedback for all applicants. Once this is approved by the panel Chair, it will be added to the Je-S system and applicants notified officially of the outcome of their application. It is the intention that this process is completed within two weeks of the stage three panel meeting.

The decision of STFC is final.

3.0 Contacts and Enquiries

Before submitting your application you are encouraged to contact the Public Engagement Team to discuss your ideas and eligibility for the scheme.


4.0 Membership and Terms of Reference

Aims of the Public Engagement Legacy Awards panel
  1. To assess and make recommendations to the STFC Executive for the awards in Public Engagement.
  2. To take account, as appropriate, of any strategic advice provided by STFC.
  3. To take account, as appropriate, of the recommendations of external reviewers and the conclusion of specialist peer review Panels.*
  4. To provide clear concise feedback to applicants.
  5. To advise the Science Board and Executive as required on all issues relating to research grants including monitoring the level of funding allocated to grants per round.
  6. To liaise with other bodies as necessary.
  7. To carry out other tasks associated with peer review that the Executive might require.

*These may be convened by the Executive to include consolidated grants, contiguous groups of research requests, or research requests which are judged (on the basis of cost or propriety) with regard to the Terms of Reference for the panel.

Guidelines for managing conflicts of interest in the peer review process

The STFC, as a publicly funded organisation, is accountable to Government and the public for its actions and for the way it conducts its business which must be undertaken in a way that is transparent and guards against conflicts of interest influencing the outcome of decisions. Further information for managing conflicts as an STFC Panel member can be found here.

Equality of opportunity

The STFC is fully committed to ensuring that all applicants receive equal treatment throughout the peer review process and will provide the necessary training and support to panel members and peer reviewers. STFC policies on inclusion and diversity are available on the STFC website. STFC will keep these policies under review to ensure that its policies and practices reflect best practice and enable full compliance under the Equality Act 2010.


The STFC will distribute peer review papers via a secure extranet and all information must be considered as confidential i.e. the contents should not be disclosed. The confidential nature is intended to ensure that the contents of the proposals, reviews etc. are not made known more widely than is necessary for proper consideration by the peer review panels. Names of reviewers are not disclosed to applicants and neither are those of the lead introducer for the proposals.

Security/Data Protection

Applications, independent reviews and PI Responses are available to panel members via the Peer Review Extranet (STFC’s preferred method for sharing data). Strict controls on data security and data handling are currently in place for Government departments and Government-funded organisations, including the Research Councils. Panel members must not save data (on to laptops, discs or hard drives) and if printed copies of any of the documents are made, these must be shredded after use.

  • Stacey Habergham-Mawson – Liverpool John Moores University (Chair)
  • Dominic Galliano - Queen Mary University of London
  • Helen Featherstone – University of Bath
  • Elizabeth Avery – Royal Observatory Greenwich
  • Pete Edwards – Durham University

5.0 Equality and inclusion impact assessment (EIA)

View the Equality and inclusion impact assessment (EIA)

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Last updated: 01 March 2021


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