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Funding for physics outreach

Application are now open for the Ogden collaborative funding for university physics outreach.

Published: 2 February 2023

Applications are now open for our collaborative funding programme, which aims to support and facilitate strategic outreach collaboration between British university physics departments and to influence positive change in the physics education landscape.

One collaborative project funding award is made each year and will provide three years of funding. Applications are now open for 2023.

Following a hugely competitive application process, the collaborative funding for 2022 was awarded to ORBYTS – a UCL-led partnership which connects university researchers with schools to empower pupils to undertake original research. It builds longer term relationships between schools and universities, researchers and pupils. Projects last a minimum of three months and involve regular meetings between pupils and researchers. This interaction with real scientists, positively shifts students’ perceptions of who can be a scientist, dispelling harmful stereotypes; participation in authentic science research increases student confidence and science capital, both of which are widely reported as barriers to science entry. You can read more about this project in our news story.

students talking by a research poster

Successful projects will receive £22,000 spread across the three years of funding. Additional funding of £7,000 will be available across the three years for development and training costs. The Ogden Trust will also commission and fund an external evaluator to work with you to explore the effectiveness of the project over the 3 years and produce a report to support its next stages.

The funding is intended to be for a collaboration between university physics departments and should be used to ensure a project will be impactful and sustainable. Projects must be based on one of the Trust’s three strategic themes for outreach and engagement: they should support undergraduate and postgraduate students to engage with schools; support teachers; or offer repeat interventions with disadvantaged students.

“We launched this collaborative funding programme last year and were overwhelmed by the applications we received,” says Programme Manager Adam Boal. “We feel privileged to be able to support some of the incredible university outreach initiatives that are taking place, and it has been a pleasure to see the Orbyts project develop.”

“We have worked closely with university physics departments for many years now,” continues Adam. “Experience, and research, has shown us that collaborative working and a more strategic, long-term approach to outreach can produce meaningful change. We hope this funding approach will continue to support and develop significant initiatives over the coming years, that will make a real difference to the physics education landscape.”

“We want to ensure physics opportunities for all; we want to take physics beyond the classroom; and we want to give an insight into the real-world application of science. We believe that the university physics outreach community can help us deliver this through inspirational, well-funded, outreach initiatives. We are excited to open this collaborative funding programme for its second year and look forward to seeing the applications,” concludes Adam.

Applications for funding are now closed.

people gathered around a table (standing) looking at materials on a table and talking to two seated people

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