Extended Deadline - 13.00 hours (Irish time) on Friday 17th April 2020

In light of on-going disruption due to COVID-19, Science Foundation Ireland has revised the deadline for submission of applications to the SFI Discover Programme Science Week Call 2020. Deadline for submission of completed applications is 13.00 hours (Irish time) on Friday 17th April 2020

Science Foundation Ireland is pleased to launch the SFI Discover Programme Science Week Call 2020.  

Science Foundation Ireland supports Science Week nationally by providing a focused annual platform that stimulates, supports and creates awareness of activity created to engage with citizens.  

The purpose of the Science Week Call 2020 is to provide support to Festivals and Events nationwide that encourage people, in particular those underrepresented in STEM, to be informed, inspired and engaged in STEM during Science Week 2020 and beyond.  

The Science Week Call 2020 encourages applicants: 

  • who are continuing to develop and deepen their engagement with broader communities through existing Festivals, or 
  • who are creating a new offering for a community or region not yet served by Science Week. Science Week welcomes contributions from across the sciences, arts, media, education, youth and/or community work sectors.  

Science Week welcomes contributions from across the sciences, arts, media, education, youth and/or community work sectors. Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals for Science Week that create opportunities for broader participation and engagement of the public with science. SFI is keen to push the boundaries of participation and welcomes new types of events that attract those who would not typically attend a science festival. The communities we wish to engage vary in how they wish to engage. Some will participate in an event, some will join conversations, others will listen, and some will just observe and be aware of the week. The Science Week Call 2020 will support proposals that broaden the reach and participation of people in Science Week in ways that are most suited to them. 

The SFI Discover Programme Science Week 2020 Call documents can be found below.

Key Dates

  • Date of Publication: Wednesday 4th March 2020.
  • Deadline for Submission: completed applications must be submitted by 13.00 hours (Irish time) on Friday 17th April 2020


  • A webinar to support the SFI Discover Programme Science Week Call took place on Wednesday the 11th of March 2020. Please view the recording here.

This Science Week Call 2020 is open to a wide range of people and organisations. Organisations are defined in the SFI Discover Grant Terms and Conditions

Science Foundation Ireland has a list of Eligible Research Bodies (which includes universities, institutes of technology etc.) – check list of Eligible Research Bodies here

If your organisation is included on this list, then your application must be signed off by the appropriate officer (typically the Research Office) within your organisation using the Eligible Research Body Cover Sheet available on SESAME. 

Applications are also welcome from other bodies (i.e. any organisation not included on the above list). 

There are two categories of other bodies that can become eligible for the Science Week Call 2020

(a) State Body (e.g. city or county council)

In order to become eligible for the Science Week Call 2020, applicants in this category are required to complete, sign, stamp and upload the ‘Other Bodies - State Body Cover Sheet’ available on SESAME. A senior executive within the organisation is required to sign the cover sheet indicating the organisation’s support for the application. 

(b) Other Body (i.e. not an Eligible Research Body or a State Body) 

In order to become eligible for the Science Week Call 2020, applicants in this category are required to:  

✔complete the ‘Other Organisation Cover Sheet’ available on SESAME, providing details of the organisation’s status, registration number, auditors, solicitors and bankers  

✔provide details of the organisation structure detailing positions and names of post holders

✔provide a copy of the most recent annual report (if appropriate, i.e. if your organisation is required to publish an annual report)

✔provide a signed copy of the most recent Audited Financial Statements (if applicable)*

If you have any doubt about your organisation’s status, please email discover.programme@sfi.ie for clarification. This must be done in good time before the closing date (minimum three days) to ensure that your application is completed and submitted before the deadline as no exceptions can be made in relation to the submission date for this, or any other, reason. 

Proposals must be explicitly aimed at engaging audiences and participant groups in the Republic of Ireland; however, the subject matter can be international. Applications are welcome from organisations not based in the Republic of Ireland; however, they must demonstrate in their application how the project will explicitly engage with their target audience in the Republic of Ireland. 

Applications will only be accepted from an organisation meeting the eligibility criteria outlined above. Typically, these include academic institutions, charitable bodies, not-for-profit organisations or commercial companies. 

Applications are welcome from any organisation with experience in engaging the groups targeted e.g. youth and community work organisations. 

Applications will not be accepted from individuals and/or sole traders.  

No employee or Board Member of Science Foundation Ireland may apply.  

Applicants may submit more than one grant application under the Call to Science Foundation Ireland at any one time, provided the proposals are clearly differentiated.  

Any previously unsuccessful projects are not eligible to apply for funding under this Science Week Call 2020 unless fundamental changes or developments have been made to the proposal and are clearly outlined. Please consult with Science Foundation Ireland in advance if you have any queries in relation to eligibility (discover.programme@sfi.ie). 

*If your organisation is not required to produce audited accounts, management accounts signed off by an accountant will be accepted. Please contact discover.programme@sfi.ie if you have any queries in relation to this requirement.

The Project Lead is the person who has the main intellectual input into, and ownership of, the outcomes if the application is successful. This is the individual with whom Science Foundation Ireland will correspond about the application and who takes legal and fiduciary responsibility for the project. The Project Lead is normally considered by Science Foundation Ireland to be the grant holder. 


Applications must be submitted via SESAME, Science Foundation Ireland’s Grants Award System. Log-in details are required to access SESAME. 

  • If you are already registered on SESAME you can log in using the same email address; if you have forgotten your password, you can use the Forgot Password functionality to re-set it. 
  • If you are from an Eligible Research Body but not registered on SESAME, you should contact the Research Office in your institution to be registered 
  • If you have not previously been registered with SESAME, please email the following information to discover.programme@sfi.ie: 
    • Project Lead Name 
    • Email address 
    • Registered Company Name 
    • Legal Status: (e.g. company limited by guarantee, limited company, charity etc.) 
    • Trading Name 
    • VAT Number 

A SESAME profile will be created for you and log-in details will be emailed to the email address provided. 

Science Foundation Ireland’s grants and awards management system, SESAME, is accessed using the Internet; no additional software needs to be installed.  You can access SESAME online from any location.  The configuration of some browsers and internet infrastructure (pop-up blockers, firewalls, etc.) can restrict an individual’s access to the internet and as a result to the SESAME system.  If you are having any such difficulties, please contact your organisation’s IT support team. 

A User Guide for SESAME for applications under the SFI Discover Programme Science Week Call 2020 can be found here.    

Draft applications may be amended as many times as required but once submitted no further changes can be made. Once submitted, applications cannot be withdrawn and subsequently modified for re-submission in the same Call. 

Early submission in SESAME is strongly recommended.  Applicants who wait until shortly before the close of the Call risk encountering submission issues. The submit button will cease to be active at the indicated deadline. 

A checklist of requirements is provided at the end of the Call document. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that eligible proposals are received by Science Foundation Ireland on, or before, the deadline indicated. In order to safeguard against ineligibility, applicants are reminded to adhere rigorously to the guidelines in the Call documentation and to review the proposal document prior to submission. 

Please note that SESAME will only accept applications 13.00 hours (Irish time) on Friday 17th April 2020 

Additional Information​

SFI has specific requirements for the reporting on awards that it makes. Individuals who hold the primary responsibility for reporting and who fail to comply with reporting requirements, run the risk of having their grant payments suspended and their eligibility to apply for funding in forthcoming SFI calls affected. 

The SFI Grants and Awards Management System, SESAME, is the primary conduit for reporting. Science Week 2020 awardees will be requested to submit their final report by 14th February 2021. A template for this report will be provided on SESAME. 

Successful applicants will be required to outline in the final report the outputs from the funded project (i.e. activities/deliverables/results) and where relevant outcomes (i.e. what has changed as a result of what you have done).  

Further Information

For further information on the SFI Discover Programme Science Week 2020 Call please email: discover.programme@sfi.ie