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New initiative announced to build partnerships between Schools and Universities

18 June 2012

Research Councils UK (RCUK) has today, 18th June, announced a new initiative worth £1.5million over three years to create and build partnerships between universities and secondary schools. Supporting researchers’ direct engagement with students, the aim of the initiative is to help inspire young people’s interest in science and research by encouraging engagement with researchers.

Working with schools can be hugely rewarding for a researcher and can help them develop transferable skills such as communication, creativity and team work. The grants are worth up to £150,000 over three years, with matched funding expected from the successful university, and build on RCUK’s commitment to public engagement as set out in the Concordat for Engaging the Public with Research.

Professor John Womersley, Research Councils UK Champion for Public Engagement commented: I am delighted that this initiative will help to give young people in our schools the opportunity to benefit from access to contemporary and inspirational research. By helping schools and universities to get together in a strategic and structured way we want to encourage the kind of quality interactions and sustainable engagement activities that will inspire the next generation to engage with and, potentially, pursue a career in research.”

David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science commented: Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts commented: “This new initiative will play an important role in engaging the next generation with research. Through bringing together schools and universities we can really showcase the exciting work our academics are engaged in, and at the same time encourage young people to pursue science and research careers.”

The deadline for submissions to the initiative is 25th September 2012 with projects expected to start in January 2013.

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Further information

Alexandra Saxon
Head of Communications
Tel: 01793 444474 or email: Alexandra Saxon

Notes to editors

  1. Further information on the call for proposals, including scope of the call and details of eligibility, are available here PDF, 500KB.

  2. Research Councils UK (RCUK) is the strategic partnership of the UK's seven Research Councils who annually invest around £3 billion in research. We support excellent research, as judged by peer review, that has an impact on the growth, prosperity and wellbeing of the UK. To maintain the UK’s global research position we offer a diverse range of funding opportunities, foster international collaborations and provide access to the best facilities and infrastructure around the world. We also support the training and career development of researchers and work with them to inspire young people and engage the wider public with research. To maximise the impact of research on economic growth and societal wellbeing we work in partnership with other research funders including the Technology Strategy Board, the UK Higher Education funding bodies, business, government, and charitable organisations.

    The seven UK Research Councils are:

    • Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC);
    • Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC);
    • Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC);
    • Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC);
    • Medical Research Council (MRC);
    • Natural Environment Research Council (NERC);
    • Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC).