What our new strategy means for the Public Engagement Fund

We've developed an ambitious new strategy for our public engagement work and, as a result, we are making some changes to the Public Engagement Fund.

Performance of Fishy Clouds in Bangkok, puppet theatre for children focusing on antimicrobial resistance and research ethics
Funding will still be open to anyone with a great project for engaging the public, but proposals will need to meet at least one of our three key aims.
Credit: David Maurice Smith/Wellcome

When we launched the Public Engagement Fund in January 2017 we said that the fund would evolve – as we learned from its implementation, and to reflect Wellcome’s changing vision.

After the changes, funding will still be open to anyone with a great project for engaging the public in Wellcome’s mission of improving health.

Changes happening now

We will accept funding applications under the current criteria and on the current application forms up to 17.00 (GMT) on 28 February 2018.

We'll let you know the decisions about these applications by Thursday 3 May 2018.

Changes happening from March 2018

We're introducing quarterly deadlines

At the moment, the fund has no deadlines. We’re moving to a quarterly process, with four published deadlines every year.

From 5 March 2018, you will be able to apply under the new criteria and using the new application form.

The first deadline for applications will be in early May 2018, and the first decisions under the new fund will be announced in July 2018.

We’re increasing the minimum amount we award to £25,000

Right now, the minimum amount we award is £5,000. In future, you will need to apply for at least £25,000 through this particular fund.

We know that many engagement activities benefit from smaller amounts of funding. We’ll be developing mechanisms to support these kinds of projects in specific contexts later in 2018, but they won’t be within the scope of the Public Engagement Fund.

Our criteria will change to reflect our new outcomes-led approach

In our new strategy we will be much more focused on outcomes. We want to understand how the public engagement activity you propose will contribute to Wellcome’s mission.

From March 2018 we’ll be expecting proposals to address at least one of our three key aims to:

  • empower people, so that more people can access, use, respond to and participate in health research and innovation
  • improve health research by making it more people-centred, understanding people’s experience and drawing on that knowledge
  • help people value and think critically about science, health research, innovation and the role these play in society.

What this means if you want to apply for funding

Whether you apply before 28 February or after 5 March 2018, we can't answer questions about the scope and content of your proposal, or meet you before you apply.

From 5 March, we'll be providing more details about all the changes to the fund, including the new application form.

More information

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