More information

IF 2024 submission process

We cannot guarantee that your event will be included in the Festival programme and submitting an expression of interest does not commit you to taking part in the Festival.

During the expression of interest process, we ask you to book a telephone or Zoom call with a member of the Festival team to discuss your ideas in more detail. We prioritise events and activities that offer high-quality content and demonstrate good practice in public engagement and communication. The Festival team can help you refine your ideas, and put you in touch with other organisations that may be able to help you.

To help us with our resilience planning, we may ask you whether your event:

  • Must take place in-person in an indoor space
  • Could take place in an outdoor space
  • Could be delivered on an online platform

Once we have discussed and refined your ideas, we will ask you to complete an Event Confirmation Form and, if applicable, invoices for participation fees will be issued. We ask that all invoices are paid in full before the date of your event.

What you commit to

We ask successful event organisers to:

  • Provide all information to the Festival Team by the deadlines given to allow us to publicise and host your event.
  • Co-market your event. You know your existing audiences best, please promote your event(s) through your own or institutional networks / social media.
  • Cover the costs of creating your event / activity, including travel and accommodation of event participants / presenters.
  • Take full responsibility for the Health and Safety of your event / activity and provide a risk assessment for any activity.
  • To hold Public Liability Insurance to cover any activity you undertake as part of your event (see Health and Safety section).
  • Accept the Festival’s Terms and Conditions

We are committed to equality, diversity and inclusion, and strive to demonstrate this in our programming. We encourage participating organisations to select event presenters that reflect the diverse identities of the scientific community and of our audiences.

What it costs

IF Oxford is organised by the small charity Oxfordshire Science Festival, which spends £200,000 each year on planning, marketing, delivering and evaluating the Festival. The Festival does not receive Government or institutional support. Our sponsors support the Festival’s year‑round activity and participant fees contribute to operational costs.

The participation fee to include your event in the Festival programme is £1,000 per event / activity per day.

If you are unable to pay a participation fee, please contact the Festival team. We can help you with grant applications to fund your participation, or you could request to have your fee reduced or waived.

For your participation fee, you will receive:

  • Specific promotion of your activity within the events listing in the Festival brochure and website;
  • Broader promotion of the Festival with roadside banners, posters, press and social media engagement to support your event-specific marketing.
  • Provision of a venue or online platform for your event.
  • Coordination and logistical support;
  • Training and activity development advice for your event team;
  • Festival T-shirts for your staff / volunteers (if required); and
  • Audience booking, evaluation and independent reporting services.


Additional fees

For an additional fee, we can promote your event more widely through bespoke features and articles in the Festival magazine and city / county-wide publications.

Your participation fee includes a venue. Family-oriented demonstrations will be included in one of our shared Festival Zones in Wesley Memorial Church, a shopping centre, community centre, business park or college. For stand-alone events the venue might be a church, pub function room, library, café or lecture theatre. If you require a premium venue, or several spaces within a venue, there may be an additional cost. Please speak to the Festival team to discuss your requirements.

Event organisers are responsible for organising and covering the cost of any travel, accommodation and subsistence expenses for their event participants. The Festival can provide details of local accommodation providers.

Do you require something different? Sponsorship comes with a bespoke package for your organisation, which could include supporting a specific event or series, a Festival film or something more substantial. The Festival team will explore your ideas with you by request.

Venues and equipment

The Festival uses a variety of venues across Oxford city centre and southeast Oxford, including Oxford Town Hall, shopping centres, community centres, libraries, pubs, cafes, lecture theatres and some outdoor spaces.

We will do our best to match events with suitable locations. If you already have access to a venue for your event, please make this clear in your proposal.

If you have very specific venue requirements such as a very large space, high ceilings, a stage or multiple rooms, please make this clear in your proposal. Such requirements may incur an additional cost.

If you have submitted an idea for a family-oriented hands-on activity or table-top demonstration, we will place you in one of our shared Festival Zones. These will take place in Oxford city centre and southeast Oxford. If you have a strong preference to be in a particular geographical location, please make this clear in your proposal.

If COVID restrictions mean that Festival Zones and face-to-face events are not possible, we will work with you to adapt your demonstration or event into a digital alternative, so please bear this in mind as you develop your event or activity.

The Festival will provide information about standard AV equipment available at its venues. If event organisers require specialist equipment, there may be an additional cost.

Within Festival Zones, the Festival may be able to supply basic equipment such as tables and chairs, and we have a limited number of display panels. We will ask you to confirm your requirements well in advance. If you require more specialist equipment, it is your responsibility to source and pay for it.


Health and Safety

The Festival holds Public Liability Insurance with an indemnity level of £5,000,000 and produces a risk assessment and emergency plan for the whole Festival.

If, as part of your event, you are offering any form of demonstration or participatory activity, you will be required to complete a risk assessment and hold Public Liability insurance.

If you do not hold Public Liability Insurance, please speak to a member of the Festival Team.

For Health and Safety reasons, we will ask you to inform us of ALL equipment you will be using. We recommend that all electrical equipment should be PAT tested annually with a valid certification sticker.

The deadline for providing insurance details and your risk assessment is Friday 13 September.




We don’t set themes in advance of the Festival because we want the programme to include the widest possible range of topics, but as event proposals arrive and the programme takes shape, general themes and event groupings often emerge and may include:

  • Environment and climate
  • Health, the body and mind
  • Cultural identity and ethnicity

2024 marks some significant events and milestones that you might like to incorporate into your activity:

  • November: NASA’s Artemis II lunar mission will be launched
  • 11-22 November: COP29 takes place in Azerbaijan

October also includes:

  • Black History Month (all month)
  • Breast Cancer Awareness Month (all month)
  • World Space Week (4 – 10 October),
  • World AI Week (7 – 11 October)
  • Earth Science Week (13 – 19 October)
  • Nuclear Science Week (17 – 21 October)