Funding for short courses and summer schools - STFC

The call for bids is now closed. We will update this page when the call for 2023 summer schools and courses opens.

STFC is inviting bids against its budget for short courses and summer schools to be held in 2022.

STFC’s Education, Training and Careers Committee (ETCC) conducted a review of the summer schools in 2019 and recommended supporting the following fundamental schools:

  • Introductory Course in Astronomy for New Research Students
  • British Universities Summer School in Theoretical Elementary Particle Physics (BUSSTEPP)
  • Introductory Course in Solar and Solar-terrestrial Physics
  • Nuclear Physics Summer School (biennial)
  • High Energy Physics (HEP) Summer School.

The courses and schools listed above will be expected to submit a satisfactory bid should they wish to have support in 2022.

In 2021 ETCC are inviting bids from organisers of online training resources to complement the residential schools and widen participation for those unable to attend residential schools. It would be important for the resource to be made available to all STFC-funded students.

You can find out about our current short course and summer schools.

All other proposed summer schools or online training will be considered in competition for the remaining budget of approximately £188,000 and priority will be given to schools in areas not covered by the fundamental schools above.

Courses or schools must be held in a core research activity supported by the STFC studentships programme (astronomy, solar and planetary science, particle astrophysics, cosmology, particle physics, accelerator science and nuclear physics) and must be aimed primarily at STFC-funded PhD students. Every student should have the opportunity to attend a STFC-supported summer school. Courses of a specialist technical nature will not be supported.

If you wish to submit a bid for a residential or online summer school/short course or hybrid of both, please see guidance below and use the most appropriate bid template to justify costs.

Submitting a summer school and short course bid

All summer school and short course bids must be contained within three pages and provide the following information:

  • course organiser details, dates and venue of the proposed course or school.
  • justification for the course, in terms of its relevance to the STFC studentships programme.
  • the number of STFC PhD students who would benefit from the course or school.
  • a detailed breakdown of the budget requested
  • information on funding or in-kind contributions to be provided from other sources.
  • details of the proposed lectures and courses (all courses should include sessions on public engagement, broader issues of undertaking a PhD including mental health and introductory courses should include a session on careers advice covering both academic and non-academic
  • there is an expectation for Ernest Rutherford Fellows to participate as lecturers or tutors and you may also approach UKRI Future Leader Fellows in the STFC remit.

We expect holders of summer schools to seek commercial sponsorship wherever possible whilst retaining the scientific ownership of the school (for example, for a company logo to be included on the event website, branded notepads for attendees or a specific, identifiable contribution such as a conference dinner, transport).

Writing a detailed breakdown

You should use our template including justification of costs. We will be looking for an explanation of:

  • management fees
  • the maximum for any social excursion or conference dinner should be £50 per student (£60 in London).
  • contingency costs should be 5% of the total cost or £1,500 (whichever is the least).

Previous schools have employed postdocs and students to assist with the running of the school and found these a valuable source of support. You may either claim these costs at the appropriate hourly rate or claim a one off £500 management fee.

Once the bid is approved the venue should not be changed without prior approval from STFC.

STFC-funded and self-funded students can claim their attendance travel expenses from STFC.

Submitting an online training resource bid

All online training resource bids must be contained within three pages and provide the following information:

  • Course organisers details and platform used for training. This needs to be made available for all STFC students.
  • Justification for the course in terms of its relevance to the STFC programme.
  • Details on how the resource will be updated and maintained and for what period.
  • The number of STFC PhD students who would benefit from the course or school.
  • A detailed breakdown of the budget requested including justification of the costs using our template.
  • Information on funding or in-kind contributions to be provided from other sources.

We expect commercial sponsorship wherever possible whilst retaining the scientific ownership of the school for example a company logo could be included on the online material.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

STFC is committed to ensuring that its policies and practices reflect the diverse needs and experiences of its employees and other stakeholders. Accordingly, organisers of an STFC-funded summer school are required to ensure that the arrangements for the school comply with the STFC equality and diversity policy in particular that they place no barriers in the way of participation by students from any of the protected groups and involve no discrimination or bias against any of the protected groups in the selection of lecturers. Furthermore, recognising the important part played by role models in retaining under-represented groups in the STFC-funded community, organisers should seek to ensure that the diversity of lecturers reflects that of the wider community.

Reporting on your activity

If successful, organisers are required to provide a report to the STFC Education, Training and Careers Committee upon completion of the course. The report should include student feedback and gender balance between students. The report will be shared with future hosts.

Bids must be submitted as an e-mail attachment to studentships@stfc.ukri.org by 17:00 on 1 October 2021.

The bids will be assessed by the ETCC against the following criteria:

  • breadth of subject and fit with STFC objectives
  • speaker, lecturer and tutor EDI considerations
  • quality of subject matter
  • school programming
  • skills building content
  • risk management
  • value for money.

Further information

You can read our guidance for organisers.

Contact

If you have any questions you can email us.

Email: studentships@stfc.ukri.org

You can also contact us if you would like advice about public engagement.

Email: neville.hollingworth@stfc.ukri.org

Last updated: 15 November 2021

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