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With support from Lyda Hill Philanthropies and the IF/THEN Initiative, ASTC is awarding grants to ASTC-member museums in the United States to support projects that address gender equity in museum content, including efforts to increase visual representation through the use of photos and videos featuring women and gender minorities.

ASTC will award grants in three rounds. The first two rounds focus on supporting grant projects that can be replicated in a third, mini-grant round.

  1. Round One of the IF/THEN Gender Equity Grants were awarded in May 2020. Twenty-six museums received grants totaling over $200,000 and projects took place May–October 2020. To read about Round One projects, visit the ASTC blog.
  2. Round Two closed in November 2020 and ASTC anticipates awarding a total of approximately $300,000 to up to 30 institutions.
  3. Mini-grants will be available on a rolling basis beginning in Summer 2021. We expect to award up to 30 mini-grants of $2,000 each.

ASTC-member museums in the U.S. are eligible to receive one IF/THEN Gender Equity Grant. Museums not successful in Round One may reapply in Round Two, or may apply for a mini-grant.

Round Two Grants

The grant application deadline was Monday, November 16, 2020.
Applications for this opportunity are no longer being accepted.

In Round Two, ASTC plans to award approximately:

  • Up to 12 grants ranging from $1,000–5,000
  • Up to 17 grants ranging from $5,001–10,000
  • Up to 4 Moonshot grants over $10,000
Application PeriodOctober 19–November 16, 2020
Awardees Notifiedmid-December 2020
Mandatory virtual meeting for awardeesJanuary 11, 2021
Projects implementedJanuary 1–June 30, 2021
Final reports dueJuly 14, 2021

Application Requirements

Proposals must include:

  • A narrative detailing how your proposed project will address gender equity in the content at your science center or museum (800-word maximum)
  • A general description of the photos and videos that you plan to use in your project, including media from the IF/THEN® Collection
  • A detailed project budget (Indirect costs are not allowable, see the Budget section for more details.)
  • A project timeline indicating significant milestones (Projects must take place January–June 2021.)

Grantees will be required to:

  • Use ASTC’s IF/THEN® Gender Representation Toolkit to collect data on the visual representation of gender (i.e., photos and videos of people) in the area of the museum in which the grant project is focused before beginning the funded project and after completion
  • Participate in ASTC project evaluation, including completing pre- and post-surveys; participating in an interview with ASTC’s evaluator; facilitating the collection of a small sample of visitor feedback; and/or collecting consent forms from visitors for follow-up phone interviews with ASTC’s evaluator
  • Track and document grant expenditures and submit a final report on grant activities and program outputs and outcomes by July 14, 2021 (ASTC will provide a template and guidelines for this final report.)
  • Participate in outreach to inform the field about your project, such as participation in an ASTC conference session, presenting at an ASTC-hosted webinar, creating a short video, and/or writing a blog post about your museum’s project
  • Attend a mandatory online meeting for grant awardees on January 11, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. EST

Competitive project proposals will include:

  • A plan that incorporates a visual representation component, such as the use of photos and/or videos, especially media from the IF/THEN® Collection
  • A clear description and explanation for how the proposed project will have a maximum impact on museum spaces and content including reaching a significant portion of the museum’s audience and having a lasting impact beyond the duration of the project timeline
  • A plan to include a physical component in your museum’s content, such as an exhibit panel, pop-up banners, posters, in-gallery videos, etc.
  • A plan for how the project will include a diverse group of role models and reach diverse audiences

Through this grant program, ASTC is especially interested in supporting projects that have the potential to be replicated across the science center and museum field. Our goal is to develop a repository of project deliverables (e.g., curriculum documents, signage, posters, etc.) that other museums can adapt for use in their content.

Review Process

Applications will be reviewed by a committee of peer reviewers, ASTC staff, and National Girls Collaborative Project staff. Awards will be selected based on the merit of the projects proposed, with criteria including:

  • Overall project design
  • Strength of impact (reach and duration)
  • Creativity
  • Visual representation component
  • Replicability
  • Diversity factors that include geographic distribution, institutional diversity, and project variety
Payment Schedule

Grantees will receive 70% of the project payment upon completion of a grant agreement at the start of the funded project. The remaining 30% will be paid upon successful completion of the project and submission of the final report.


Applicants will be required to upload a project budget in Word, Excel or PDF format. Project budgets must include:

  • Name for each expense category (e.g., supplies, printing);
  • Total amount of each category; and
  • Short explanation of expenses included in each category.

Allowable expenses include, but are not limited to materials, production costs, and staff time. Grant funds may not be used for:

  • Indirect charges/administrative overhead
  • Capital expenditures
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Computer hardware that is not for public use (e.g., servers, computers for staff).
  • Admission fees
  • Purchase of stock photos

If programmatic components are included in your project plan, they should be provided at no cost to participants. Programs that are free with paid admission are acceptable.

Moonshot Grants

Up to four grants may be awarded to extraordinary project proposals with budgets exceeding $10,000. A maximum of $100,000 total is reserved for Moonshot grants. ASTC is especially interested in supporting projects that have the potential to be replicated, or that produce materials that can be shared with other science centers and museums. For example, a strong proposal for consideration in the Moonshot category may feature a plan to develop a pop-up banner exhibit using photos from the IF/THEN Collection that can be re-printed and distributed to other museums.

Ready to get started?

Watch this recording from the ASTC Virtual 2020 Annual Conference to learn more about the IF/THEN project, including examples of Round One grant projects and information about how to apply for Round Two grants.

IF/THEN Collection

Applicants are strongly encouraged to incorporate assets from the IF/THEN Collection in their proposed projects. The IF/THEN Collection includes photos, videos, bios, and posters of the AAAS IF/THEN Ambassadors, 125 women role models in STEM. Assets in the IF/THEN Collection will be available for grantees to download and use at no cost. We recommend viewing this informational webinar that provides directions on how to find and use assets in the Collection, as well as examples from Round One grantees that have incorporated assets into their museum content.

Project Evaluation

ASTC will use data from the IF/THEN Gender Representation Toolkit as one component of the evaluation of IF/THEN Grant projects. Awardees must agree to use the toolkit to collect data on the visual representation of gender (i.e., photos and videos of people) in the area of the museum in which their grant project is focused both before and after completing their proposed project. It is preferred that organizations share the data collected from the toolkit with ASTC before the grant application deadline, November 16, 2020. However, proposals will be considered from organizations still in the process of collecting data. All applicants must collect data using the toolkit at the end of the grant period to measure changes in gender representation. Museums that use the toolkit may be eligible to receive an additional $500 for sharing their collected data with ASTC. This $500 award does not affect eligibility for an IF/THEN Gender Equity Grant.

Additionally, organizations will be required to work with an external evaluator to complete ASTC project evaluation which may include:

  • completing pre- and post-surveys
  • participating in an interview with ASTC’s evaluator
  • collecting a small sample of visitor feedback
  • collecting consent forms from visitors for follow-up phone interviews with ASTC’s evaluator

All surveys, interview questions, and consent forms will be provided by ASTC’s external evaluator.

Project Outreach

All Round Two grantees will be required to participate in outreach activities to share their project with the ASTC community. Outreach activities may take place after the grant award period has ended. Examples of outreach activities you may be asked to participate in include:

  • Writing a blog post about your project
  • Presenting at the ASTC 2021 Annual Conference (travel support may be available if invited to present at an in-person event)
  • Presenting on an IF/THEN webinar
  • Participating in conversations on the IF/THE Community of Practice discussion board

The grant application deadline was Monday, November 16, 2020.

Please email Amanda Fisher, ASTC’s manager of gender equity initiatives, with any questions.

The IF/THEN® Coalition includes partners across industries undertaking projects to increase the representation of women in STEM. In its role as an IF/THEN® Coalition Member, ASTC is creating a gender representation toolkit, awarding grants, and developing a digital library with photos and videos of women in STEM.

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