More information

IF 2021 submission process

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

During the selection process, a member of the Festival Team may contact you to discuss your suggestion in more detail. We prioritise events and activities that offer high-quality content and demonstrate good practice in public engagement and communication.

To help us with our resilience planning, we will ask you when you submit your proposal 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

After we have completed the selection process, we will notify you by email of the outcome of your submission. At this point, successful applicants will be asked 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 apply to our hardship fund 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 Oxford Town Hall, a shopping centre, community centre 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. 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 17 September.




2021 is the 30th anniversary of a science festival in Oxford. We are keen to showcase the progress of science and innovation in our city and globally over the past 30 years.

2021 marks some significant events and milestones that you might like to incorporate into your activity:

  • The launch of the James Webb Space Telescope (31 October 2021)
  • The planned launch of NASA space probe Lucy; visiting seven of Jupiter’s asteroids (16 October – 5 November 2021)
  • The 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow (1 – 12 November 2021)
  • 150th anniversary of the death of Charles Babbage

October also includes:

  • Black History Month (all month)
  • Breast Cancer Awareness Month (all month)
  • World Space Week (4 – 10 October),
  • World AI Week (second week of October)
  • Earth Science Week (10 – 16 October) Theme: Water, today and for the future
  • Nuclear Science Week (third week of October)