Diversity in Science Grants contribute to scientific outreach activities

flyer (small)By Gabriele Butkute, science policy assistant the Biochemical Society

The Biochemical Society is committed to fostering diversity and equal opportunity for entry and progression in the molecular biosciences.

To support individuals, groups, charities and businesses and address issues relating to diversity in science we offer Diversity in Science Grants.

Last year one of the grants was awarded to ‘I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here’ to support their work on widening participation. The team tells us:

“I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here is an activity where school students meet and interact with scientists online at imascientist.org.uk.

Scientists answer students’ questions, then or and they engage with students in live text-based chats. Students vote for their favourite scientist to win £500 to spend on further public engagement. The main aim is to create a dialogue between scientists and students.

In June 2015, we ran a Health Zone in which 456 students engaged with 5 scientists. This goes well beyond our target number of 330 students per zone. 89% of the students actively engaged with the scientists in 14 live chats; asked over 1,000 questions about health, human biology, the research of the scientists, and science as a career; and cast 324 votes.

The Biochemical Society Diversity in Science Grant allowed us to work closely with less privileged schools. As a result, 123 students from 3 Widening Participation schools took part in this Zone.

Andy Scott, Senior Physicist in MRI at the Royal Brompton Hospital was crowned winner of the Health Zone and plans to spend his £500 prize money in a stall at the Imperial College Festival designed and run by a school team.”

A full report on the project is available online.

Apply now for one of this year’s Diversity in Science grants. The deadline is 30 September 2015.

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