Bright Ideas Fund
Bright ideas will shape the future of our world. That’s why Venator is supporting projects that inspire learning in the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths across the North East.
What is Venator's Bright Ideas Fund?
Venator’s Bright Ideas Fund launched in January 2019 to award 40 grants to North East-based groups and organisations that inspire innovation and stimulate learning in science, technology, engineering and maths. The fund is open to applications from Ofsted registered education providers, universities, not-for-profit and community groups, and social enterprises.
We’ve now launched our Bright Ideas Fund for the second year running. As well as 39 x £250 grants, this year the most voted for project will receive a larger grant, of £1,000!
You’re invited to propose, in no more than 250 words, how the money would be used to promote STEM-based activities. You will also need to submit a maximum of two images to support your application. Proposed projects could range from an eye-opening trip to the Centre for Life, to mobile laboratories and sensory gardens. See the FAQ’s at the bottom of this page for more guidance and check out how some of last year’s winners put their grants to use in the video below:
Could your STEM project benefit from a monetary boost? If so, review our eligibility guidelines and submit your application before 10am on Thursday 9 April 2020.How it works
How it works
Step 1: Apply Online
Applications for the Bright Ideas Fund must be submitted online by 10am on Thursday 9 April 2020.
To apply online, click the ‘Apply now’ button, register as a new user and follow the application process. You’ll need to:
- submit no more than 250 words on how your group or organisation would use the grant to inspire innovation and stimulate learning in science, technology, engineering and maths subjects
- upload a maximum of two images to support your application
- submit information about your group or organisation – including your treasurer’s name and contact details, and proof that your group/organisation is affiliated with a professional body (e.g. Ofsted registration number, registered charity number)
Please make sure to check out our eligibility guidelines before applying.
Step 2: Review
Once you’ve completed and submitted your application, we’ll review it against our eligibility guidelines. Once the deadline for applications has passed (10am on Thursday 9 April 2020), we’ll let you know if your application has been successful. If you’re successful, we’ll publish your project on this website and open voting for the general public, alongside other successful applicants.
Step 3: Public Voting
All successful applications will be featured on this website including your application text, image and website link. The general public will be able to vote for the projects (three votes max per person) they want to receive the grants. Venator will promote the voting process via this website, social media channels, press and other communication channels. You’re also encouraged to promote your own successful application once voting is open. We’ll provide successful applicants with a toolkit to help you share your application with family, friends and supporters and help you increase your votes!
The voting period will last for four weeks – from 10am on Monday 20 April to 12pm on Friday 15 May 2020. The 40 applicants with the most votes will be awarded a grant. The most voted for project will receive a larger grant, of £1,000. All winners and runners up will continue to feature on this website.
Need some help with your application?
What makes a good application?
To create a good application, make sure to take the following steps:
– Brainstorm project ideas and talk your application through with other members of your group or organisation
– Let us know how this grant would directly benefit the people in your group or organisation
– Outline all the key details of your project, including specifics about how you would use the grant
– Explain what your group or organisation does
– Show credibility: Present your group or organisation as a credible and trustworthy recipient of the grant
– Input the correct data: Any mistakes or incorrect information surrounding your group or organisation data could impact the success of your application. Remember, if your application is successful it will be displayed online as you have submitted it. It is your responsibility to make sure that all information is correct at the time of submission
– Appear professional: Your 250 word entry should be clear and correctly spelt. Do not include any form of inappropriate language. Doing so will result in your application being voided
– Stick to the guidelines: Provide the right size and format of supporting imagery and keep to the 250 word count
– Be time-conscious: Allow plenty of time so you don’t rush your application; give your group or organisation the best chance possible
What type of images should I upload?
You should supply a maximum of two high quality images that represent your group or organisation and support your application.
If your application is successful, these images will be published on the Community Fund website when voting opens as shown below.
Some tips for providing a good quality image include:
- Keep it clean and clear
- Make it colourful and lively
- Include people in it if you can
Example images include:
- A team photo
- An action shot
- Your team or group logo
How do I know if I can apply for a grant?
Check out our eligibility guidelines to see if your project would be successful. We advise that all applicants review this before beginning their online application.
Can my group or organisation apply for the same grant multiple times?
No – you can only apply for one grant (e.g. Together Fund) once. Even if you have multiple projects that you’re looking to fund, we can only accept one application per group or organisation.
You can however apply for the Together Fund and the Bright Ideas Fund within the same year.
What can we get funding for?
Your project must be for new costs associated with inspiring innovation and STEM-based learning in your group or organisation. Eligible projects can include:
– Start-up costs for new projects
– Extension and development of existing projects
– Purchase of equipment and resources
– Leverage: where the Community Fund would release funding from other sources
– Conservation projects: where funding would help develop or maintain venues
– Group excursions
Please check our eligibility guidelines for more information, including projects that cannot be funded.
Where does our group or organisation need to be based?
All proposed projects must benefit communities in the North East of England within the local authority boroughs of Darlington, Durham, Gateshead, Hambleton, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland, Redcar & Cleveland, South Tyneside, Stockton and Sunderland.
How much can we apply for?
The grants are £250, however this year the most voted for project will receive a larger grant of £1,000. There can only be one grant awarded per group or organisation.
What size and sort of group can apply?
Our Bright Ideas Fund is aimed at providing education-based funding for Ofsted registered education providers, universities, not-for-profit and community groups, and social enterprises.
What information do you need to know?
For your online submission, in addition to a submission of 250 words (max) about your project, we also ask for:
– Your group or organisation’s name, address, postcode and website URL (if available)
– The name and email address of your group or organisation’s treasurer or financial administrator
– Your group or organisation’s affiliation number and any additional evidence (e.g. certificate of registration or affiliation; screenshot confirming your registration to a professional body if online; Ofsted report etc)
– A name for the cheque to be made payable to
– Supporting photos/ imagery (please ensure that you have the public rights to use any images submitted)
What are the timescales?
You’re invited to apply for the Bright Ideas Fund by 10am on Thursday 9 April 2020.
All applicants will be notified as to whether they have been successful w/c April 20. Successful applications will appear on this website and the one month public voting period will take place between 10am on Monday 20 April and 12pm on Friday 15 May 2020. The top 40 applicants will then be awarded a grant, with the most voted for project receiving a larger grant of £1,000. A cheque will be sent out to a group or organisation’s treasurer in June.
How are the grants paid?
Once Venator has announced and informed grantees of their success, grants will be paid via cheque. Cheques will be made payable by Gardiner Richardson on behalf of Venator. Cheques will be made and posted to the treasurer as per the payee and address information you will have provided on your application form.
How does the voting work?
If your application is successful, your project will feature on this website. The general public, your friends, family and supporters will be invited to vote (three times max per person) on this website within a one month period. You will need to register to vote. Once the voting period has ended, the 40 applicants with the most public votes will be awarded a grant. Applicants will not be eligible to vote for their own application.
How can I increase votes for my application?
If your application is successful, you can access our handy, downloadable toolkit that you can use to further promote your project. It contains a range of different materials including downloadable posters, social media posts and imagery to help you ignite interest in your particular project.
I haven't received my verification email
Once you have registered, if you haven’t received your verification email here are some tips to help.
Step 1: Search for the email
We’ll send the email from Venator Community so you can quickly search for it. If it isn’t in your inbox, check your other folders as it might have redirected to your Spam, Junk, Trash, Deleted Items, or Archive folder.
Step 2: Make sure you’re checking the correct email account
If you’re looking for a verification email make sure that you’re checking the email account that you submitted during the registration process. If the email address is incorrect, you can register again with a different email.
Step 3: Still can’t find our email?
If you still can’t find the verification, contact us on [email protected]