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Students at Liverpool Life Sciences UTC get hands on with a colony of mealworms!

Why do you support schools? The Partnership Grants scheme links a school with a practising STEM professional to deliver a better understanding of the latest developments in STEM; improve perceptions of those working in STEM professions; and to give students pride and ownership of projects by participating in the investigative process. By partnering practising STEM professionals with schools, students get to experience the full research process, from hypotheses to getting results.

What types of project do you welcome? The best applications are the ones that make the judges go, ‘Wow, the students will be really excited by this!’ – where the enthusiasm of the teacher and partner leap

off the page. Projects that actively engage students and get them involved in real investigative processes are the ones that stand out. The best projects give students a feel for what it’s like to work in the partner’s eld and how the partner uses STEM principles in their work.

Can you share an example project you have recently funded? Original projects that are relevant to the students’ lives or environment and leave a lasting impact at the school always stand out.It’s brilliant when the initial project is repeated with other students, equipment is shared with other students, and the school continues its relationship with the STEM partner. See case study.

The Royal Society Partnership Grants Programme

CASE STUDY: RESEARCHING INSECTS Liverpool Life Sciences UTC, Merseyside (434 students) received £1,000: Professor David Hornby from the Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at the University of Sheffield worked with students in Years 10-13 to investigate insects. Students bred a colony of mealworms, observed them, then extracted proteins from the larvae, separating them using chromatography. This gave them the chance to carry out experiments and use equipment not typically found in schools, with one pupil saying that ‘getting hands-on experience with different machines and equipment was the best part of the project’. The students and scientist are now preparing a paper for the Open Biology journal – a fitting conclusion to their experience as research scientists. Students appreciated the benefits of taking part in research-style laboratory work, saying, ‘It gave me an insight into laboratory work, which is a career I may wish to pursue in the future’ and, ‘It has helped me understand the day-to- day work of a scientist’.

The Foyle Foundation Nicola Phillips, Grants Manager

The Foyle Foundation is an independent grant-making trust that has given more than

£63.2m in grants since 2001.

Most school funding is provided through our Schools Library Programme, with grants ranging from £3,000 to £10,000.

When was the Foundation set up? The Foundation was formed in 2001 to implement the will of the late Christina Foyle, daughter of bookshop founder William Foyle.

Why do you support schools? The majority of funding for schools is awarded via the Foyle School Library Programme, with priority given to primary schools.This programme recognises that there is no statutory requirement for schools to have a library and that many school libraries are in a desperate situation.The funding from the Foundation enables schools to create or improve a library, helping raise literacy levels and encourage reading.

What types of project do you particularly welcome? The Foundation takes a number of factors into account, including local deprivation levels and current literacy

levels. The library enhancements should support the work of the school to promote a culture of reading.Schools should also demonstrate an ongoing commitment to maintain the library. We fund very few school projects outside the Schools Library Programme. Speak to the grants team before applying.

Can you share an example project you have recently funded? Between 2009 and 2015, the Foundation awarded 619 grants under the Foyle Schools Library Programme, totalling £3.64m. See case study.

The Foyle Schools Library Programme

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