Public Engagement Projects Grants

Publish Date: Aug 09, 2016

Society Awards support public engagement projects that encourage the public to consider and debate issues raised by health and wellbeing research. Grants range from £40,000 to around £250,000.

Scheme at a glance

Project stage: Research and development, Production and project delivery
Where your audience is: UK, Republic of Ireland
Level of funding: From £40,000 to around £250,000
Duration of funding: Up to 3 years

Who can apply

Your project team must include the right expertise to develop and deliver the project, including a scientific expert (ie a research scientist, clinician, ethicist or medical historian). The scientific expert can lead the project, be a collaborator or take an advisory role.

In most cases, your team should be based in the UK or the Republic of Ireland. The primary public audience must also be in the UK or Republic of Ireland.

The person leading the project team can apply as an individual, but the project must be administered through an organisation. We can fund:

  • medium to large one-off projects
  • piloted projects aimed at reaching larger audiences (some may have been funded through our People Awards)
  • parts of larger projects.

You can use the award to fund activities such as:

  • workshops, events, debates and discussions
  • exhibitions and museum outreach
  • educational films, games, websites, and projects that work across these media
  • performance or theatre projects involving existing work, or work that may be more illustrative than artistic
  • discussion, debate and opinion-gathering projects that feed into policy making
  • creation of teaching materials
  • working with the collections of the Wellcome Library and Wellcome Collection at the Science Museum.

If you have a TV, radio, game or film project aimed at a large mainstream audience, see our Co-production Funds that provide support from £40,000 to £300,000.

Who can't apply

You can't apply if your proposal is:

  • a health promotion or campaign
  • art for therapeutic purposes
  • academic research (apart from when it’s integral to the project’s development, eg action research).

What We're Looking For

The scheme aims to support projects that:

  • provide evidence of audience need
  • stimulate interest, excitement and debate about science and the history of medicine
  • reach audiences with a wide geographical spread across the UK and/or Republic of Ireland
  • support formal and informal learning
  • inform, inspire and involve audiences of all ages and from all walks of life
  • bring together the right team members and disciplines
  • investigate and test new methods of engagement, participation and education.

Other schemes

  • People Awards
    Supporting public engagement projects that encourage the public to consider and debate issues raised by health and wellbeing research. Grants are up to £40,000.
  • Small Arts Awards
    Funding new artistic projects that enable artists and audiences to explore health research.
  • Large Arts Awards

What We Offer

Funding artistic projects that enable artists and audiences to explore health research. These awards offer support from £40,000 to £150,000.

Society Awards are for up to three years. The level of support ranges from £40,000 to around £250,000. The average award is around £180,000. This support can include any costs directly associated with delivering the project, such as:

  • staff
  • researcher/teacher buy-out to cover the cost of a temporary replacement lecturer or teacher
  • materials, consumable and equipment if they're appropriate to the project and you can justify them
  • production costs, including marketing of the work
  • travel and subsistence relevant to the project
  • evaluation costs
  • other costs

We don't fund on a proportion of full economic costs in UK universities.

How to Apply

This scheme has no further application deadlines for 2016. We will announce our new funding framework for public engagement schemes in November 2016.

Stages of application

We advise you to email about your project before you apply. Please contact us well ahead of the application deadline.

Before you complete your application, please read our grant conditions and the following guidelines:

  • Society Awards: Application guidelines [PDF 268KB]
  • Engaging Science: Evaluation guidelines [DOC 105KB]
  1. Submit your preliminary application
    The Society Awards Funding Committee will assess the competitiveness of your application. If successful, you'll be invited to submit a full application (usually about one to two months after the preliminary deadline).
  2. Submit your full application
    View a sample full application form for Society Awards [PDF 1.2MB].
  3. Peer review
    Your full application will be peer reviewed by at least two independent reviewers, and we'll invite you to respond to their comments in writing.
  4. Interview
    Interviews take place at the Wellcome Trust offices in London. You’ll be asked to make a short presentation, followed by questions from the Society Awards Funding Committee. We'll tell you our decision within a week.

For more details please click on the "Further official information" link below.

Further Official Information

Link to Original

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Public Health

Social Sciences

Study Levels


Opportunity Types



Eligible Countries


Host Countries


United Kingdom