Public engagement support for researchers
Sharing your ideas with the public and getting new perspectives can enhance your research. We offer public engagement funding, advice and training opportunities for all Wellcome-funded researchers.
Who we support
Support is available for all our grantholders, from PhD students to principal investigators. We can help you whether you're just starting out or developing an institute-wide approach.
Research Enrichment funding
We want to encourage our researchers to engage with the public.
One way we do this is by offering Research Enrichment – Public Engagement funding. These dedicated funds are available to new applicants and current Wellcome-funded researchers.
We’re also running three pilot projects with academic organisations in the UK and Africa. Our funding will support Wellcome grantholders in those organisations to work with the public.
Public engagement training
Good public engagement isn't easy. Training, development and networking opportunities can all help improve your skills, whatever your level of experience.
What we offer
We run an annual Public Engagement Masterclass in partnership with the Wellcome Genome Campus.
This is for new principal investigators and other mid-career researchers from all disciplines. It helps researchers to be proactive and develop their own public engagement plans.
Masterclasses take place in July each year. Wellcome-funded researchers can request a bursary to attend for free.
For more information and to apply, please visit Wellcome Genome Campus Advanced Courses and Scientific Conferences.
Other development opportunities
There are lots of other public engagement courses for researchers at different career stages. These courses often help researchers make the most of pre-existing engagement opportunities (eg university festivals).
We recommend the directory of opportunities from the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement.
Supporting a culture of public engagement
We want to foster a culture that values, recognises and better supports public engagement. To do so, we work with the research community and other funders.
We support the Concordat for Engaging the Public with Research. It's designed to make sure public engagement is supported in universities and research institutes.
We co-fund the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement. It helps universities to improve the quality and impact of their public engagement activities. The centre's website offers advice on engaging different groups, training opportunities and tools.
Factors affecting public engagement by UK researchers
In 2015 UK researchers were surveyed about the factors that affect their public engagement. The results show there's been a positive shift in their attitudes over the past ten years.
Researchers now are more motivated to do public engagement, although they still experience challenges. The results also suggest that we still need to do more to make public engagement an essential part of a research career.