6 December 2023 The Irish Film & Television Network
RTE Commissioning Deadline for Science Programming, 2018
02 Mar 2018 :
In 2015 the Science Foundation Ireland 'Science in Ireland Barometer' found that just 48% of the Irish public feel informed of research and developments in the areas of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

The Barometer also found that while almost 90% of the public value the contribution of STEM to our society and recognise the importance of STEM education and research 71% say that these areas are too complex for them to discuss or engage with. (Science in Ireland Barometer)

Technology, science and engineering touch many aspects of daily life in Ireland, from the increased use of smart phones to choices we make about transport to information about our health. Many of the challenges facing the country in the future - including food production, health while living longer, sustainable energy, climate and security issues - will all rely on the contribution of STEM for solutions. For Ireland to make the right decisions it is essential to engage the public more in the conversation.

Science Foundation Ireland are working with RTÉ in a bid to make challenges, developments and discoveries in science, engineering and technology more accessible to the public through television and digital media content. With the potential of broadcast output on all platforms to reach wide audiences, this effort aims to breakdown the complexity of science identified by the Irish public and help explore how STEM is so much at the heart of our everyday lives and the potential for our future. This joint initiative will therefore support projects that take pioneering research and developments in Ireland and place them in real stories that are relevant and appeal to a broad audience.

These programmes should engage audiences by using creative, novel approaches and embedding the science, technology or engineering in real stories. The proposals should clearly show how the programme/s have developed though collaboration between STEM researchers and the production team.

RTÉ and Science Foundation Ireland are now seeking proposals for a large scale, event based proposal ideally consisting of three hours of output that has strong, popular science-based themes at heart. Proposals can be for 6 x 30 minute projects or 3 x 1 hour projects. Consideration will be given to individual one-hour projects. All successful proposals will be broadcast during Science Week 2018 (11th - 18th November)

Special consideration will be given to proposals that deal with the big, cross cutting themes of science, technology and engineering in our everyday lives. For example: research is conducted into different building materials. From building smaller, longer lasting batteries to medical devices that suit out bodies to more sustainable housing materials, endeavours are underway to create better ways for us to clothe, house and protect our growing populations in sustainable ways. Throughout all stages of our lives we are learning about how we survive and succeed, from gene therapy and editing to understanding sleep and the rhythms our bodies adapt to, to our quality of life as we live longer. The journey of our amazing human body is fascinating. Human beings have always been makers, making homes, inventing machines, creating cities. With society facing challenges on how to reduce waste and reclaim our communities, bio-economists and maker groups are reforming and figuring out how to reuse and reinvent in useful ways.

All proposals should be suitable for transmission in the prime-time schedule on RTÉ One in Autumn, 2018 and should have strong, popular appeal, as well as being relevant to Irish audiences. Proposals can be authored or presenter led but we are not seeking profiles. Proposals should, in all instances, reflect the contribution of science, technology, engineering and maths in contemporary Irish society.

To this end this call will include a briefing session to be announced through RTÉ and Science Foundation Ireland shortly. This session will provide more insight to the RTÉ SFI joint initiative and this particular call.

All proposals should be far-reaching in their ambition, using fresh approaches to engage a non-science seeking audience in science conversations. Proposals must be scientifically sound and will require the input of a science professional[s] either in an advisory role or a direct collaboration role from the outset of the programme development. Proposals should clearly indicate the name[s] of the scientific, technological or engineering expert/ collaborators on the projects, the role they will play in the project and confirmations of their involvement.

Proposals are encouraged to demonstrate the scope of the programme to broaden its reach and educational impact through supporting digital accompaniments such as websites, apps, social media for example.

Budgets for all proposals will be to a maximum of €120,000 per hour.

Please note that budget ranges are indicative only and proposals that can achieve lower costs per hour will be particularly attractive.

Please also note that proposals should be submitted to RTÉ for consideration not later than 12.00 noon (Strict Deadline) on March 21st, 2018.


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