What’s all this about €500 prize money?

What is the money for?

The €500 is to be spent on an engineering communication project. You should use it to engage school students or the general public with engineering.

There is a vast range of projects you could use the money to fund: visiting schools, creating a website, taking an exhibit to a festival, making videos or podcasts, putting on a show… The possibilities are endless; use it for any form of communication you can imagine.

Some previous examples from I’m a Scientist 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

Check out how past winners (I’m an Engineer and I’m a Scientist) have spent the money at: about.imascientist.org.uk/category/prize-winner.

There is also a distinction to be made between engagement and education. For example, the money should not be donated to a school to purchase equipment. If you’d like to give the money to a local school, you could go into the school to run a workshop showing the students how to use the new equipment, and how what they’re doing relates to engineering and the world around them. The aim of your project should be to engage with students or the public, not simply educate them.

How do I tell I’m an Engineer how I’ve spent the money?

We give out thousands of pounds in these small engagement grants; we need to be able to account for the money, and tell our funders where it’s going.

Keep in touch, let us know how your plans for the money are coming!

Once you’ve spent it, write us a brief report for us to post on our blog (about.imascientist.org.uk/category/prize-winner) to update the students on how you’ve spent your winnings. A good report might include an idea of how and why you chose your project, how the money helped or made it possible, and what the outcome was. Did you learn anything? Who was your audience? Do you think the project was a success? Has it inspired ideas for future engagement?

Some examples of I’m an Engineer winners reports are James Vokes & Robin Stafford-Allen.

Please also include a basic breakdown of how you spent the money, such as:

  • €200 Buying video equipment
  • €50 Travel expenses
  • €250 Editing the video

Please email your updates and reports to Josh (josh@gallomanor.com).

When do I have to spend the money?

You should aim to spend the money within a year of winning. After 6 months we’d like to have a firm plan of how you’ll be spending it.