Blaker Education Fund:

Guidance and Procedures



The Blaker Education Fund was established in 2006 to support small-scale projects in the field of education, particularly for young people aged approximately 15-30, such projects to be determined and funded by the Scientific and Medical Network.

The Network is grateful to the Estate of the late George Blaker, founder of the SMN, and especially to the inspiration of his daughter Jenny Blaker, for their generous endowment of funds for this purpose. It is hoped that this fund will be further enhanced in time from other sources.

Projects considered for funding must be designed to conform to the overall mission and charitable objects of the SMN as outlined here

Money allocated will normally be ‘seed money’, designed to establish a new project which would be self-funding; however, further applications may be made for the purpose of enhancement. In general, though, the SMN would not wish to commit funds from this source for the long-term

Eligibility to apply for such funds is open to all SMN members. Note that non-SMN members are not entitled to apply on behalf of an SMN member.

The amount of money available annually, which will be in the range of £3,000 – £5.000 per year in total, will be determined by the SMN Board of Directors in consultation with the Trustees. Amounts in excess of this range may be awarded at the discretion of the Trustees of the Scientific and Medical Network Charitable Trust.

Distribution of money for projects will be made annually by theEducation Domain Holder and ratified by the Board of Directors, who will also carefully monitor the progress of projects.

Detailed Protocols 


Available Funds: The SMN Board of Directors will annually decide on the amount available for educational projects in the coming round, balancing the need to initiate good new projects against the preference not to deplete capital reserves.

Invitation to Bid: The Board will annually notify the membership through Paradigm Explorer, Journal of the Scientific and Medical Network, of the invitation to bid to the educational fund for that year. A deadline will be set for submissions. The information will also be placed in the Member’s area of the website.

Criteria for Projects: educational projects must be consistent with the SMN guidelines (as stated on the Web), and also with the SMN charitable objects (which are “for the benefit of the public, to advance education in the study and application of science and medicine, in particular, but not exclusively, by adopting an interdisciplinary approach”). Projects must also promote the SMN name and brand, and encourage participants to join the SMN. Proposals should be costed in detail, and timescales given for start, completion, and any other milestones. They should be written in English, and include references.

Experiential events: The experiential nature of a project necessarily involves several young people in one physical location. Therefore, appropriate insurance cover must be provided to cover the applicant’s liability in the event of any claim for tort made against him; and to indemnify the Scientific and Medical Network and its officers against any claim for tort that might be made against them. When the project plan and schedule is submitted, a copy of the applicant’s policy and cover note must be included. A copy of the applicant’s health and safety statement, and safeguarding policies must also be included.

Evaluation of Proposals: this will be done in the first instance by the  Education Domain Holder, a standing sub-committee of the Board of Directors, and then ratified by the Board. Successful and unsuccessful applicants will be notified individually; successful projects will be listed in the next issue of Paradigm Explorer.

Drawing on Funds: Once allocated applicants may draw on the funds in one of two ways: project costs, and personal costs. Project costs include all materials (e.g. brochures, course handouts, consumables), rental (of venue, equipment), salaries (other than to the applicant) etc. These will be paid directly by the SMN office, by request from the applicant. Personal costs include a salary or fee to the applicant for time spent on the project (including teaching), if any, and for personal expenditure such as fax, telephone, travel and other expenses.

Bookings, and Income to project: Bookings are normally via the SMN office. All course fees, or other income to the project, are to be paid directly to the SMN.

Board Members: If the project applicant is a member of the Board of Directors, or in any association with the Education Domain Holder, such a person should absent themselves from any discussion and voting on the project at relevant meetings.

Report: Funding is allocated subject to the receipt of a final report on the project. If the report is not clear or detailed enough the Board of Directors may request further details. The report should include copies of all promotional material used in the project.

Copyright: any course materials or other documentation developed through a funded project will be copyright to both parties: the applicant and the SMN. (A copy of the course materials must be deposited with the SMN.) This joint copyright should be understood as enabling both parties to use the material for future separate projects on the condition that such use is not detrimental to the other party, e.g. does not prevent either party from running the course independently of each other, and does not reduce the income to either party from the use of that material. Authorship must always be acknowledged.

Annual Cycle


The annual cycle for the distribution of funds will be as follows:

  1. Notification to the SMN membership of funds available, and dates set for submission of proposal.
  2. Evaluation of proposals by the Education Domain Holder.
  3. Summary of reports submitted to the Board of Directors.
  4. Decision by the Education Domain Holder, in consultation with the Board of Directors, concerning funds available for the forthcoming year.
  5. Notifications of successful and non-successful applications
  6. Implementation of projects.
  7. Annual reports submitted by project director(s), and evaluated by the Education Domain Holder.



Any applicant must be a member of the SMN.

Applications for grants should be made to the SMN Office, addressed to:

Education Domain Holder, Edi Bilimoria, email: [email protected]  

An electronic copy should also be sent to:

SMN Manager, email: [email protected]

The deadline for applications is: ‘Pending Announcement for 2022’

Decisions on grants will be made and communicated to applicants by “Pending Announcement for 2022”.

Applicants are reminded that the grants will normally be made for seed-money for one year only, though further applications can be made in subsequent years, and that the total amount of money available in the coming year will be in the region of £5,000.

Successful applicants will receive their grants paid directly online into the applicant’s bank account.

Applications of around 1000 words, plus supporting attachments, if relevant, stating aims, processes, expected outcomes, and relevance to the overall mission and philosophy of the SMN should be made:

  • in accordance with the above protocols; and
  • according to the suggested format below.



Principal Requirements

Please state how the intended funds will be used for:

  • Educational programmes aimed specifically for the benefit of –
  • Young people in the age group 15 to 30 years; and
  • In line with the SMN mission and charitable objects.

Supporting Material

Please provide the following additional information in support of your application.

  • Personal qualifications for the project.
  • Organisational/management structure (if a team effort is envisaged).
  • Monitoring procedures, checks and remedial measures instituted in the case of an experiential project that involves several young people at one physical location.
  • Key milestones shown in the form of a listing of principal tasks with dates, or a simple bar chart.

Past Projects


Blaker funds have supported projects such as:

  •  Experiential Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation Course for all first year medical students at the University of Southampton. The course includes guided practice and self-reflection sessions that make up classic mindfulness courses, as well as additional sessions addressing relevant theory, empirical support and a range of clinical application.
  •    SMN & the One Spirit Alliance in North Wales to engage students on as many levels as possible and to integrate such activities with academic and/or community projects in a way that would establish North Wales as a focus for spiritual, holistic and sustainable activities. Bangor University Transcending Thought is a student centred research forum acted as the local group for the SMN, the Wrekin Trust and the Alister Hardy Society for the Study of Spiritual Experiences and this project was beneficial in enabling the on-going liaison between the Bangor and related university initiatives. A key focus was the active engagement of students and youth from the local community.
  • Medicine Beyond Materialism to prepare a training pack and comprehensive text book for universities and medical schools, in order to mainstream seminars into the core curriculum for undergraduates.
  • Getting Values Across – Leadership in a Multi-Cultural World in order to aid Regent’s University London in bringing together senior figures in personal development, psychology and psychotherapy and trans-national education to consider values with a new generation of globally-oriented students in the context of an intensive seminar about values, how to identify them for individuals and groups and consider how they might become an embedded part of student life and beyond.
  • The Self-Managed Learning College, an organization that facilitates innovative, personalized educational programmes for young people who are not in school to incorporate a learning platform for the investigation of philosophical and scientific ideas across a wide age range of young people from 14 – 30. The College has strong links with a number of organizations providing learning for young people, including Brighton and Sussex Universities.
  • A Spirituality Support Network requiring ‘seed money’ for financial support to develop an online community of practice, utilising existing social media such as Twitter and Facebook, as part of a ‘Spirituality Support Network’ for young researchers (primarily aged 21-30) which is being established by the British Association for the Study of Spirituality. This is intended to become a core feature of a cross-disciplinary and inter-professional Spirituality Support Network for doctoral students and early career researchers

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