Five major projects get Science Learning+ funding

With the US National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), we're supporting five new informal science learning projects.

Children playing with slime
How do informal science learning activities affect young people’s enjoyment and understanding of science?
Credit: Jill Todd

The projects will help to increase understanding of how informal science learning activities affect children and young people’s enjoyment and understanding of science. Each project will receive total funding of up to £1.5 million. 

All five are collaborative partnerships between organisations in the UK and the USA, and between teams with expertise in research and expertise in leading informal science learning activities.

We believe that this collaborative approach will enhance both research and practice, producing insights that help researchers and practitioners to better understand the impact of informal science activities, how they work and why. 

The five projects will consider:

The projects will last from three to five years.

Background to Science Learning+

Informal learning opportunities – in designed venues like museums, online material such as TED Talks or pop-up spaces in a park or shopping centre – may be a more accessible way for many young people to engage with science, and can help to put classroom learning into context.

Wellcome’s Review of Informal Science Learning in 2012 identified the importance of creating a ‘learning culture’. Science Learning+ is bridging research into informal science learning and people who conduct informal learning activities. 

The five new projects follow 11 projects funded by Wellcome, NSF and ESRC in 2014. Their longer duration and larger budgets will enable them to answer bigger questions.

More information

Read more about Science Learning+ on our informal science learning page and on

Find out why science education is a priority area for us.