What’s all this about £500 prize money?

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.

Some examples of winners reports are Martin Coath, Katy Milne and Andrew Maynard.

Most of all we hope that the scientists enjoy using the money for science communication!

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