SAPS Awards

Science and Plants for Schools supports UK teachers, HLTAs and technicians with new ideas for teaching about science through plants.

We offer grants between £50 and £500 to cover your time & costs in developing a teaching resource, and will offer support and scientific contacts if necessary.

Proposed resources should aim to enhance students’ understanding of plants at secondary and post-16, whether in a broad sense of fundamental principles, lab techniques (e.g. time-lapse photography), or a specific focus on an area of plant biology.

If you’re interested in applying for an award, just send an email to


What will we support?

SAPS Associate Awards are available to teachers and technicians to develop an idea, resource or activity that will enhance the teaching of plant science in their school or college, including

  •  producing a plant-based teaching resource that can be used in other schools or colleges
  •  undertaking an opportunity that will advance the applicant’s knowledge/ practice in relation to plant science teaching and learning (beyond conventional CPD courses)
  •  others at the discretion of the SAPS office


Developing an idea, resource or activity

SAPS particularly encourages the development of resources and activities which do one or more of the following:

  • target 16-19 year olds
  • focus on areas of interest for new SAPS resources and/or current themes for development (see below)
  • will offer a novel representation of plant science in the classroom
  • lead to resources that are Relevant, Affordable, Reliable and Engaging (RARE)


Current areas of particular interest for resource development include

  • Imaging in the classroom (using plant material)
  • Activities on selective breeding technologies (marker assisted breeding etc), conventional breeding and GM breeding techniques
  • Obtaining and observing nitrogen fixing nodules on plant roots
  • Activities on computational biology and how this is used to advance our understanding of plant biology
  • Teaching a broad range of biological topics using plants
  • Teaching physics or chemistry topics using plants


Award criteria

1. These Awards are only available to teachers, HLTAs and technicians registered with the free SAPS Associates scheme and engaged in secondary and post-16 science education in the UK.

2. Awards of up to £500 per application will be paid to the applicant’s school / college on satisfactory completion of the funded activity.

3. SAPS will not fund an application where:

  • the proposed activity, and associated benefits to the applicant, are possible without a SAPS Associate Award (for example where bursaries already exist)
  • the award is to be used solely or predominantly for participation in a formal CPD course, a single piece of equipment or on transport costs
  • the outcomes of the proposed activity have limited transferability to other settings (e.g. rely on specialist expertise or expensive equipment not available in most schools)


Applying for an award

To apply for a SAPS Associate Award, please send a brief email outlining your initial ideas to This should include a summary of your project ideas and your contact details (including daytime telephone number).

On receipt of the email we will contact you, ideally by phone, to discuss your ideas with you further and let you know the next steps for application.

Your email could consider the following details, but we’re happy to explore simple ‘ideas’ with you further.

  • what you propose to do (e.g. to develop a new classroom practical activity and trial it with three groups of students)
  • what you expect to be the outcome of the activity (e.g. teachers’ guide and student worksheets for a new classroom practical activity)
  • how you hope to share the outcome with other schools (e.g. by presenting at a local event, through the SAPS website)
  • how you plan to spend the grant (e.g. to cover the costs of your time and that of your science technician)
  • contact details for you and your school


If you have any queries about whether we are likely to fund an application please send us an email to or call us on 01223 748455.


View some of the resources developed by current award holders.

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