It is part of SFI’s role to grow the communities contributing to STEM and to empower people to shape Ireland’s future through innovation. It is important for SFI to create dialogue with and support growth in the confidence of the Irish public to be informed and reflective on policy and decisions around the societal challenges we face together. Of equal importance for the Irish economy and our young population is to inspire young people’s confidence and aspirations to pursue skills development and career choices in the STEM fields.
SFI welcomes contributions from across the sciences, arts, media, education, youth and/or community work sectors. Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals that create opportunities for broader participation and engagement of the public with STEM. Science Foundation Ireland is keen to push the boundaries of participation and welcomes novel approaches to engaging the public, in ways that are most suited to them.
The aim of the SFI Discover Programme is to support projects that address one or more of the following objectives:
- Stimulate and create debate and dialogue amongst the public, and opportunities for dialogue with STEM experts, on topics of societal importance where STEM has a key role.
- Inspire and create greater public awareness of the impact of STEM on society and its connection and contribution to everyday life.
- Support and build engagement with, and participation of, a broader range of civil society and community groups through specific and appropriate targeted interaction, ideally involving co-creation and/or co-design.
- Use new ways, including through the arts and creative approaches, to understand and engage with those who would not typically engage with STEM, with particular emphasis on equal access, inclusion and diversity.
- Build an awareness, curiosity and confidence in the scientific method through relevant experiences.
- Provide insights into STEM-related careers and discoveries while breaking down any barriers to entry including negative stereotypes.
- Support projects which develop capacity and skills for the delivery of STEM Education and Public Engagement (EPE) in Ireland.