Education and Outreach Grants

Grants of up to £1,000 are available to support relevant science teaching or promotion initiatives, or to support developments likely to lead to an improvement in the teaching of any aspect of microbiology.

Key details
Maximum award: £1000
Deadlines: 1 April 2024 and 1 October 2024
Eligible membership categories: Full, Full Concessionary and Postgraduate Student Members
Minimum membership: One year membership and two consecutive membership subscription payments required.

Enquiries about this scheme should be made by email to [email protected]

Please read all information on this page carefully and ensure you have read and agreed to the grants terms and conditions before submitting an application.


Full, Full Concessionary or Postgraduate Student Members residing in the UK or Republic of Ireland.

What is covered by the grant

Up to £1,000 will be awarded to contribute to the expenses of the proposed activity. Activities as part of organisation open days or UCAS days will not be eligible for funding.

For Full and Postgraduate Student Members, and Full Concessionary Members not working at schools

A variety of educational outreach activities to promote public engagement with microbiology will be considered for support. These might include:

  • Talks, workshops, demonstrations, posters, leaflets, broadcasts, activities at science festivals and audio-visual or computer-based packages.
  • Activities that take place as part of a National Science and Engineering Week event at the applicant's place of work

Applications relevant to the teaching of any aspect of microbiology in primary, secondary or tertiary (including postgraduate) education will be considered. Examples of education activities that might be funded include:

  • Provision teaching materials (e.g. videos, slides, posters); the development of reliable novel practical exercises; new approaches to teaching/learning familiar concepts (e.g. computer simulations or tutorials); or any other appropriate aspect. It is not intended that the grant should subsidise normal departmental teaching practices; the Society wishes to encourage innovation.

Funds may be used for the purchase of consumable materials, but not capital equipment (i.e. core equipment over £5,000 in value). Funds may also be used to provide payment to a student providing short-term assistance in the development of the activity (e.g. vacation employment of an undergraduate, or exceptionally a postgraduate after expiry of studentship).

For Full Concessionary Members working at schools

Specific projects may include:

  • Organising a visit to or from a working microbiologist (no more than £200 in expenses may be claimed per visiting microbiologist)
  • Running a school- or college-based science week activity (e.g. hands-on or programme of talks)
  • Supporting microbiology activities in an out-of-school science club
  • Buying materials and equipment outside of normal department resources to support a microbiology activity (no more than £500 can be used toward large equipment such as microscopes and incubators). Such requests should be accompanied by a detailed description of the proposed microbiology activity. For examples of suitable microbiology activities for schools, please see the MISAC guidelines
  • A class visit to a microbiology laboratory to carry out activities

Payments to helpers such as undergraduates who are giving up their free time to deliver the activity may be included in the costings in the application, however please note that in the event of a successful application all claims should be substantiated by appropriate evidence of expenditure.

Application process

Applications should be made online via Mi Society. All required supplementary material should be provided at the point of application. Full expected costs of attendance should be given in the appropriate part of the application.

Applicants must provide a detailed description of the proposed initiative, full costings and evidence of any collaborations or other sponsorship. Each application should also include a safety risk assessment and evidence of, or costing for, appropriate public liability insurance cover if the activity is to be held at a public venue. Payments to helpers such as undergraduates who are giving up their free time to deliver the activity may be included in the costings. Applicants should also indicate how they will evaluate the success of their event in a suitable and proportionate manner.

There will be two rounds of applications per year. Closing dates are 1 April 2024 and 1 October 2024.

Award criteria

Awards are made by competition. Applications are reviewed by at least two referees and funding decisions are made by an Award Panel comprised of members of the Sustainability Committee, and are based on the reports of the referees.

Applications are reviewed against the following criteria:

  • The project is relevant to microbiology
  • The project has clear aims that are realistically achievable in the proposed time frame
  • The activity is clearly described and technically feasible
  • The project is innovative and/or timely
  • There is clear benefit to the target audience
  • The applicant, and any support staff, has the required expertise to support the project through to successful completion
  • The evaluation methods are adequately described and appropriate
  • The project has sustainability
  • Full and reasonable costings are given

We have provided an example application form to demonstrate the standard of answers and level of detail required for applications.

Education and Outreach Grant: Example application form


Administration of awards

Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome of their application within two months of the closing date. It is therefore expected that applications for the April and October rounds will be for activities taking place after 1 June and 1 December, respectively.

You will be notified of an awarded grant via email. The grant award will also be displayed on your Mi Society account under ‘Grant History’.

To claim your grant, please log into Mi Society, and upload evidence of your claim (this can be receipts or invoices, and evidence of your attendance) when you complete the grant claim form.

Awarded funds will be paid to the applicant’s nominated account by bank transfer within one month of an award claim being made.