STFC Wonder Match

Supporting community organisations and STFC-funded scientists and engineers to collaborate.

Image credit: NNPA Cain Scrimgeour

Funded by the Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC), Wonder Match supports community organisations and researchers working on STFC-funded projects to create collaborations to engage diverse audiences with research.

STFC science and engineering helps us understand the Universe around us – from the largest astronomical scales to the tiniest constituents of matter – and creates new technologies that have impacts on our everyday lives. STFC are keen to inspire and inform people about this work; encouraging them to engage with their research in mutually beneficial ways. To help this process they offer funding to support organisations and researchers to develop effective public engagement programmes.

STFC are currently looking to encourage projects that engage with diverse audiences, who are currently under-served by STFC engagement programmes. The specific focus of their approach is to encourage engagement with audiences from the 40% most socioeconomically-deprived areas of the UK, especially 8-13 year olds and their families.

Bringing people together through match events

The Wonder Match events are designed to bring people together - STFC scientists and engineers who are keen to engage the public with their work, and organisations with expertise in working with underserved audiences. The events support community organisations and researchers to find each other, and to gain a small amount of funding to explore a partnership approach to developing public engagement activities.  It is anticipated that some these partnerships will lead to applications for STFC funding through STFC Spark Awards. (Please note – the Spark Awards are open to everyone, and participation in the Match process is not necessary in order to apply through this funding stream.)

The Wonder Match process is based on the NCCPE’s successful Museum-University Partnerships programme which developed really effective ways of linking museum staff and researchers through regional ‘match’ events

Four events are planned, with regional events in Leicester, Glasgow and Manchester, and a national event in Birmingham. Following evaluation of the pilot programme, we will seek funding to enable us to develop more comprehensive coverage across the UK. 

Apply to take part

Do you have expertise working with underserved audiences or young people? Are you keen to support them to engage with science? Or are you a scientist or engineer who has a hunger to share the wonder of your research with others, and keen to learn from others about how to engage? Then the Wonder Match programme could be perfect for you.

Register your interest for the opportunity to create a new partnership, access funding and explore getting an engagement project off the ground.

Upcoming events will be held in:

Please note: applications are welcome from anyone who works on an STFC funded project or uses an STFC funded facility, as well as anyone who is part of a community organisation such as a charity, social enterprise, educational or cultural organisation. If you are in any doubt whether you are eligible or have any other questions please contact stephanie.todd@uwe.ac.uk.