The Wonder initiative

Our science and technology in every community


(Credit: SMASHfest UK)

Science and technology can inspire people from all backgrounds: it’s exciting, it’s accessible, and it leads to many types of rewarding work. In reality, we know that the playing field isn’t level – there are areas all across the UK where people don’t have the same opportunities to explore science and technology, and children who simply end up feeling that it’s not for them.

Wonder is about changing that. Wonder is about really connecting people from all backgrounds with our science and technology. Most of all, Wonder is about giving under-served communities an equal voice by listening, understanding, and responding to what people want to know about science and technology.

The launch of Wonder marks a long-term commitment by STFC public engagement to move our focus towards audience-driven public engagement with under-served communities in the most socioeconomically-deprived areas of the UK. We want more working with people, and less delivering to people.

How do I get involved?

Northumberland Dark Sky

Northumberland Dark Sky
(Credit: NNPA Cain Scrimgeour)

Participate in a Wonder project

There are a whole range of engagement programmes that are part of Wonder. Have a look and see if there are any working near you.

Apply for funding to run a Wonder project

Any of STFC’s public engagement grant schemes can be used to plan, deliver, and evaluate engagement that is part of Wonder: as an applicant, make sure you provide evidence that you understand your target audience and have designed a programme that responds to their needs.

Visit one of STFC’s laboratories

We run a range of public activities at our laboratory sites across the UK. Why not come to visit and see some incredible science for yourself?

Wonder Match


(Credit: SMASHfest UK)

We are pleased to announce that we are working with the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement to deliver Wonder Match, a series of partnership-building events that are designed to support community organisations and STFC-funded researchers to explore collaborations that will allow diverse audiences to engage with STFC science and technology.

Attendees at a Wonder Match event will have the opportunity to network; share ideas; and explore potential partnership ideas together. You will also have the chance to bid for up to £1,000 to help develop your ideas and plans for working together further.


For more details on the Wonder Match programme, including how to apply, please visit the NCCPE website.

Wonder programmes

Coming soon – details of the different public engagement programmes supported by STFC that are working with the target audiences of the Wonder initiative.

Good practice library

Coming soon – a repository of relevant reports, evaluations and collected learning from across the STEM sector that will help you to understand what works in effectively engaging an audience.

Evaluating Wonder

Over time, we will share information about the evaluation of the Wonder initiative, including key lessons learned from our projects.

Initially, we are seeking an external evaluator to work with the STFC team and help us further develop our evaluation approach. Full details are available in the following document, which invites interested parties to submit a bid to STFC.

The deadline for STFC to receive responses to this tender is Thursday 11 October 2018.

Wonder evaluation tender (PDF, 857 KB)

Wonder evaluation tender cover sheet (Word, 57 KB)

Last updated: 06 September 2018

Science and Technology Facilities Council
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