The winning scientist in each zone (as voted for by the students) wins £500 to be spent on a science communication project, to publicise or communicate the scientists research or research area.
This could mean lots of things – visiting schools, arranging class visits to a laboratory, creating a website, taking an exhibit to a festival, printing leaflets, making a video or podcasts, commissioning a poem, painting a mural – any form of science communication.
Some previous examples include:
- Buying equipment to allow a research oceanography vessel to communicate with school students
- Funding a community open day for mothers and children involved in a medical research project to find out about the research and get health advice
- Giving the money to a school in Uganda to pay for science kits and a projector to watch science films on
- Funding scientist visits to schools, or school visits to labs
- Buying a touchscreen for a local zoo, to help show visitors more about the primate research done there
Usually when scientists win a grant they have to write a long evaluation report detailing how they spent they money. But we don’t ask them to do that. We ask the scientists to write a short report that we’ll put up on the I’m a Scientist site, to tell the students who voted for them how they spent the money.
Most of all we hope that the scientists enjoy using the money for science communication!