What is the programme for?
Ingenious is an awards scheme for projects that engage the public with engineers and engineering while providing engineers with skills and opportunities in public engagement.
Who can apply?
We welcome proposals from engineers, universities, science and engineering communicators and engagement professionals, colleges and schools.
Applicants must be employed and based in the UK. In addition, the engineers participating in an Ingenious project must be based in and studying or employed in the UK.
Please note that only the Lead applicant will be able to access and edit the application.
For more information, please see the Eligibility section on the How to Apply page of our website.
I am an individual or sole trader, can I apply?
Due to the way the award finances are managed, individuals cannot submit an application for Ingenious as the lead applicant. We would encourage individuals to partner with an organisation that can act as the lead applicant and are able to sign up to the award conditions.
Sole traders are welcome to apply for Ingenious, but should ensure they are able to sign up to the Ingenious award conditions before submitting an application.
What funding is available?
Awards of between £3,000 and £30,000 are available.
Funds are paid in three installments, at the beginning, middle and end of the project.
For more information about eligible costs please see section 5 of our guidance notes, which can be found on How to Apply page of our website.
What does the programme fund?
Ingenious funds a variety of projects, ranging from after-school workshops to collaborations between artists and engineers to engage adults. All projects should engage the public with engineering, with any activities available free of charge, while giving engineers skills and opportunities in public engagement.
Participating engineers are at the heart of all Ingenious projects. A key aim of the scheme is to build a community of engineers who have the skills and enthusiasm to continue to take part in such activities beyond the lifetime of any individual project.
We welcome tried and tested formats as well as brand new, innovative public engagement ideas.
What are the key dates for the programme?
What are your standard contract terms?
All applicants are required to ensure that they are able to sign up to the Ingenious award conditions before application. We are unable to amend the grant conditions for individual projects.
What is the assessment process for applications?
Each eligible application is reviewed by two external public engagement professionals. Applicants are then invited to give a short response to any queries raised. An assessment panel consisting of Fellows of the Academy with public engagement experience and representatives from the public engagement community will meet in late January/early February to make the final funding decisions. Each application is assessed and scored by at least two members of the Panel.
Applications will be reviewed against the criteria listed in the Application guidance notes, with the reviewer marking scheme available for applicants to see.
Please see the How to Apply page of our website for a timeline of the application process
If I am successful, what are your reporting requirements?
You will need to complete an initiation report at the beginning of your project, an interim report midway through your project and a final report at the end of your project using set Academy report templates. Grant payments will be made on receipt of acceptable reports. For more information please contact the Programme Manager.
What type of audiences should I engage?
Ingenious supports engagement with the public in the widest sense. Projects may target audiences that include students, adults, families or policy makers. This could be in formal educational settings such as schools or informal settings such as museums, libraries, community centres and groups and with organisations such as Girl Guides and STEM clubs.
Projects proposing to work with schools should provide evidence as to why additional support for schools is needed and that there is not already adequate provision for STEM engagement in the area.
We are interested in projects that reach diverse and underrepresented audiences including communities in the top 20% most deprived neighbourhoods in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and that engage with engineers and publics of different genders, ages and ethnic backgrounds.
What do you mean by underrepresented audiences?
Underrepresented or underserved audiences are those which are currently underrepresented in engineering. This includes, women and girls, Black Asian and Minority Ethnic groups and people experiencing economic and social disadvantage e.g. living in areas with high indices of multiple deprivation, people with a disability or long-term illness and pupils receiving the Pupil Premium or equivalent.
What type of engineering does Ingenious cover?
Ingenious aims to engage the public with a wide range of engineering disciplines and is keen to celebrate the diversity of engineering. However, if you are unsure whether your project can be classified as engineering please contact please contact the Programme Manager.
Ingenious is a grant scheme for projects about engineering, not science. Engineering content should be explicit in your application and well as in intended project activities.
How many engineers should I involve in my project?
The number of engineers you choose to recruit and involve in your project will depend on the project’s size and format. Some Ingenious projects recruit a large number of engineers with a lighter level of engagement, while others offer a small number of engineers opportunities to become involved in public engagement at a much deeper level.
We encourage applicants to be realistic about the numbers of engineers they are able to recruit, as well as the amount of time they expect engineers to dedicate to their projects. Projects often find recruiting engineers to be a challenging aspect of their project and it is essential to have strategies in place for recruitment or links to engineers in industry or academia before submission.
What type of engineers should I involve in my project?
The engineers involved in the project must be based in and studying or employed in the UK. They must be graduate level or equivalent and above (including retired engineers and those at senior level) and can be from academia, industry or the public sector. Engineers may also be apprentices and engineering technicians. Applications which only engage undergraduate engineers are not eligible for Ingenious.
We are keen to encourage the participation of engineers that are new to public engagement, or who have little experience in the area. While engineers who are experienced in public engagement are welcome, we would encourage you to think about how you can offer them new experiences or build on their existing skills.
The Academy is committed to diversity and it encourages applications that engage with engineers and publics of different genders, ages and ethnic backgrounds.
How can I find/recruit engineers?
Every project will have different strategies for recruiting engineers; however, a good start would be to get in touch with universities in your area, local engineering companies, engineering institutions, STEM ambassadors and local interest groups.
As one of the aims of Ingenious is to build capacity in public engagement, we could encourage projects to engage with engineers with varying levels of experience.
Should I pay participating engineers?
Ingenious aims to foster a community of engineers who value the benefits of public engagement in itself, including improved communication skills, a new outlook on their work, and the opportunity to debate and discuss with wider society.
Many universities, businesses and those in the industry are keen to raise awareness of engineering and change the current misperceptions. Participating in an Ingenious project is a development opportunity that can contribute to their success as an engineer in the workplace. Therefore, we would encourage organisations to enable their engineers to take part in such projects as part of their working hours.
However, if this is not possible, projects may wish to use some of their awarded funds towards payment of engineers for their time and at a minimum expect projects to offer reimbursement for expenses that have been incurred.
Can I pay for salary costs?
Costs can include salary and consultancy costs for the project delivery team, public engagement activity costs, materials, travel, participating engineers’ expenses and subsistence. Salary costs for staff will only be paid if a full-time salary is not already in place. However, Ingenious funding can be used to cover the costs of staff needed to replace those who are taking part in project activities.
Please note these awards are not calculated on the basis of full economic costing.
Further details on allowable costs are given in the guidance notes.
How should I evaluate my project?
As part of the award conditions, all successful applicants are required to attend an evaluation workshop before commencing their project where we will discuss evaluation in further detail. However, we would like to know your initial plans for evaluation at the submission stage. Please read our further information about evaluation .
I would like to apply for Ingenious funding as part of a larger project, is this allowed?
We welcome applications where Ingenious funding would make up a proportion of overall funding. However, for applications of this type we ask applicants to be clear about what parts of the project will be funded by Ingenious and what added-value this would bring to the project. All aspects of the project that are to be funded by Ingenious should fulfil the aims of the Ingenious scheme as given on the eligibility pages. We also require a contingency plan should additional or partnership funding not be secured.
Can I resubmit an unsuccessful application?
We will only consider resubmissions of previously unsuccessful applications if they have been substantially modified based on the feedback previously provided by the selection panel/programme manager. If you need clarification, please email Engagement@raeng.org.uk
Can a university submit more than one application?
Yes, providing they are distinct projects from different academics or teams.
I am a previous Ingenious awardee. Can I apply again with a different project idea?
Yes as long as it is substantially different to your previously funded Ingenious project.
I am a previous Ingenious awardee. Can I apply for continuation funds for the same project?
We do not currently offer a scheme for previous or current awardees to apply for continuation funds for the same project. We can only fund new ideas and projects with the aim of building UK capacity in this area. Long term projects requiring recurring annual funding that have already been funded once by Ingenious are expected to seek alternative sources of funding to sustain them and should not reapply.