The British Society for Immunology is proud to launch a revamped and updated* grant scheme to support our members’ public engagement activities. The BSI Communication & Engagement grant provides financial support to help BSI members develop and deliver activities to engage with the public in all formats.
*The BSI Communication & Engagement grant scheme was previously known as the BSI Communicating Immunology grant scheme.
Aims of this grant scheme
The aims of the Communication & Engagement grants are to:
- Spark interest in and conversation about immunology amongst a wide audience
- Strengthen the understanding of immunology topics, helping the public make informed decisions about their health
- Provide opportunities for BSI members to share their passion and knowledge, and build their confidence and skills in engagement
- Improve trust in science and increase the impact of immunology research, demonstrating the contribution, benefit and influence on society beyond academia
We are committed to the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion, and thereby encourage applications that target an inclusive and diverse audience including schools, families, adults and patients. Through this scheme we hope to inspire future immunologists and educate the public about careers in science. We welcome applications that provide opportunities to establish new bi-directional partnerships to inform research. We also encourage applications that develop and deliver innovative and original engagement methods.
Each grant is worth up to a maximum of £1,000. We aim to fund 20 projects throughout the year.
The deadlines for applications are as follows:
- 1 October
- 1 February
- 1 June
Applications can be submitted at any time and will be reviewed in the following round. Projects must begin after the deadline and be completed within one year of funding, although this can be flexible if affected by COVID-19 restrictions. Applicants can expect to hear back within 4 weeks of the deadline.
Who can apply?
- At least one named applicant on the grant must be a member of the BSI for at least one year and must be in good standing with their BSI membership subscription when applying and receiving the grant.
- Undergraduate members are not eligible to apply for the grant but can be involved in the project.
- Members can apply for one BSI Communication & Engagement grant per year and there must be one year since their last application.
- We welcome applications from individual BSI members and BSI Regional & Affinity Groups.
How to apply
Before completing the application form, please read the guidelines and terms & conditions of the grant scheme to ensure that your project meets our criteria. We encourage applicants to get in touch with any questions or for advice and support in completing their application.
You can find out about some of the projects we have funded in previous rounds here.
Guidelines and judging criteria
Applications to the BSI Communication & Engagement grant scheme will be judged on the criteria below by a panel of three judges, made up of the BSI Public Engagement Secretary and external science communication/public engagement professionals. Please consider the judging criteria when completing your application form.
We may have questions or suggestions for applicants after submission that require a response before a final decision on funding is taken.
Applications are given a score out of 100, with each criterion receiving the marks shown below. Due to the competitive nature of the grant, only the top scoring applications will be funded.
Value of the proposal to immunology and the British Society for Immunology (mark out of 20)
- The relevance of the project to immunology and the ability to enhance engagement between the public and scientists to advance understanding of the topic
- The effectiveness of the project to stimulate interest and/or conversation about immunology
- The benefit to the BSI of supporting the project
- The potential of the project to increase the impact of immunology research through demonstrating the contribution, benefit and influence on society
Value of the proposal to the immunologists involved (mark out of 20)
- The significance of the project on the applicant’s professional skills development, including building confidence in engaging with diverse audiences and communicating science
- The benefit of the project to other immunologists/volunteers/colleagues involved, including training provided
Value of the proposal to the audience (mark out of 20)
- The relevance, suitability and likely level of interest of the project for the proposed target audience
- The feasibility of reaching the proposed target audience
- The outcomes of the project in terms of the number of people expected to be reached and the quality of the interaction with those reached
- The impact of the project in terms of widening knowledge about immunology topics and/or empowering society to make informed decisions about their health
Project planning (mark out of 40)
- The achievability of the project meeting its aims, given the timeline, budget and overall logistics
- Ability of proposed team delivering it (including training offered)
- The success criteria are clearly defined and possible to evaluate
- The quality of the evaluation plans of the entire project
- The consideration given to diversity and inclusion of the project
- The impact of the project and evidence of potential long-term benefits and legacy
Terms & conditions
Once a grant is awarded the following conditions must be met:
- The support of the activity by the BSI should be acknowledged in all related branding. The BSI will supply logos and promotional items. The logo may not be distorted in size, changed in colour or altered in any way, and a clearance area should be left around it.
- The BSI must be kept up to date with the progress of the project, especially if timelines change.
- The BSI reserves the right to have a staff representative attend the activity if deemed appropriate.
- The BSI will be grateful if grant recipients want to provide resources developed/produced with this funding to further the society’s public engagement activities. The BSI will always give appropriate acknowledgement to the recipients.
- After the project has finished, a report (detailing outcomes, evaluation and impact and photos if appropriate) must be submitted to the BSI within 6 weeks of the end of the project timeline. Reports will be used by the BSI to demonstrate successfully funded projects as examples for inspiration and to help others to run similar activities. Reports may also be used by the BSI to promote the grant scheme, individual projects and public engagement/science communication ideas.
- Risk assessments for all activities need to be provided to the BSI prior to the activities taking place. The BSI will provide a risk assessment template.
- All those participating in the event/activity must be aware of and follow the BSI’s Code of Conduct and Safeguarding Policy.
- All activities/projects funded must adhere to the relevant current UK and/or devolved nations and/or country-specific coronavirus guidance as appropriate.
- It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all relevant approvals (e.g. ethics) etc are in place as required. The grant recipient will comply with the law and generally accepted and appropriate health and safety standards. The grant recipient shall not knowingly do anything which will or is intended to adversely affect the name or reputation of the BSI.
- Grant recipients must aim to ensure the event/activity is as inclusive as possible. This may include, but is not limited to, considering the accessibility of the venue or online materials, the communities engaged, and the immunologists involved.
- Unspent money should be returned to the BSI.
- Projects must begin after the application deadline and be completed within one year although this can be flexible if affected by COVID-19 restrictions. Grants cannot be awarded retrospectively.
- The BSI’s decision is final. Incomplete applications will be rejected.
Communication & Engagement grants are NOT for:
- Academic audiences or those already studying immunology, for example biomedical science undergraduates.
- Use at events where the promotion of an institution or organisation is central, or when promoting recruitment to a particular institution or organisation.
- Supporting commercial activities.
- Any use other than the funded activity.
- Food/drink receptions as part of an activity, unless it can be shown this is integral to the success of the activity and a minor component of the total budget.
If you have any questions about the grant scheme or your application, please contact Erika Aquino, BSI Public Engagement Manager at email@example.com