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Funding for PE

There are a number of funding avenues available to help support the development and delivery of different types of public engagement activities. The CIMR Public Engagement Coordinator can assist you with securing funding for projects, supporting your application to external public engagement funds and help with how to consider public engagement in research grant applications.

Below is a list of some funding opportunities available for public engagement at CIMR. They range from larger scale projects and programmes to smaller-scale opportunities and have been broadly grouped into CIMR PE strategy areas: PPI, PE, Citizen Science and underserved Community and Schools funding. If you are interested in applying for one of these opportunities please contact Jess Bartlet ( to discuss your proposal.


Funding body

Why apply:

Type of funding


Who can apply:

Amount available:

Opening date:

Closing date:

Medical Research Council  Improving health of LMICs Intervention funding. Large scale PPI/PE funding. Link Applicable for LMIC Principal Investigators No funding limits 01 February 2021 14 April 2021
Biotechnology and Biological Science Research Council and Department for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs Funding for international network for research into coronaviruses Network funding. Large scale PE researcher network project funding. Link Lecturer level and based at an eligible UK research organisation £500,000 TBA TBA
Medical Research Council  Public Health intervention fund (PHIND) Intervention funding. Large scale PPI/ PE funding. Link UK-based researcher at an eligible research organisation. Including: higher education Institutes £150,000 TBA TBA
Wellcome Trust Engagement helps to build the public's trust in research, and ensure research is valued within society. Significant professional development. Large scale research enrichment PPI/PE project or programme grant. Link A current Wellcome-funded grantholder or a successful applicant to one of our schemes  £10,000-250,000 09 April 2021 01 June 2021
Wellcome Trust and British Science Association Funding and support to communities to explore new ideas around mental wellbeing by working with researchers Large scale community funding. Specific place-based engagement.  Link TBA TBA 01 January 2021 01 October 2023
National Lottery Funding to continue to support people and communities most affected by COVID-19 building on and strengthening the connections, organisation and resilience which enables communities to thrive Small-large scale community funding. Link Communities and Charities <£10,000 or £10,000< Ongoing Ongoing
Cambridge City Council Improved health and wellbeing, arts and cultural activities or community development, where communities come together and bring about change Large scale community funding. Link Organisation Funds allocated for 2021 TBA TBA
UK Research & Innovation Funding between researchers and wider society, so that everyone in the UK can participate in research and innovation whatever their background  Substantial citizen science project grants, grants for working with the next generation, grants for place-based engagement.  Link Researchers TBA TBA
Cambridge University Public Engagement  Internal CUPE Starter fund can be put towards Citizen Science, community projects, Cambridge Festival  Small project or programme starter fund, similar to seed funding. Link Researchers, PEPs £1,000 TBA TBA 
Cambridge University Public Engagement  Reward and recognition of outstanding projects of impact and engagement for early career researcher, established researchers, and professional staff  VC Awards for Impact and Engagement, also small scale funding for future PE work available on request.  Link Researchers, PEPs, professional staff Can request money for future engagement and impact work TBA TBA 
Royal Society Build capacity for your public engagement work, learn new skills and reach new audiences by leading on a public engagement project. Public engagement project management and leadership fund, small scale PE funding. Link Royal Society Research Fellows £500 and £10,000 over two year period, or £5000 over one year. TBA TBA
Royal Society Exposing students to real research and developing their understanding of the importance of STEM to everyday life. Partnership fund with schools, working with harder to reach or underserved communities and schools. Small scale PE funding. Link School (working with STEM partner) £3,000 TBA TBA
Cambridge Admissions Office Widening Participation Fund The Fund is designed to enable successful applicants to deliver widening participation projects and activities which contribute towards achieving the key strategic objectives for outreach and widening participation activity across the collegiate University. Widening Participation (WP) project fund, working with harder to reach or underserved communities and schools. Small- large scale funding. Link Eligible University institutions (Academic Schools, Faculties, Departments, Institutes and Museums) are invited to bid against the Fund in support of widening participation projects and activity £2,000 - £20,000 TBA TBA
Alzheimers Research UK (ARUK) Funding for innovative projects that engage the public with dementia and the life-changing research going on into the condition Inspire Fund for PPI/PE/community projects and programmes. Small-large scale funding. Link Support new perspectives, talent and expertise to shed a spotlight on this important issue, and fund people with the passion and skills to make that possible up to £30,000 TBA TBA
Biochemical Society The Society wishes to support scientific outreach activities that communicate the excitement of molecular bioscience  Scientific outreach fund for young people and community, working with harder to reach or underserved communities and schools. Small scale funding. Link TBA up to £1000 to assist with the direct costs associated with an event and expenses incurred (e.g. transport and/or teacher cover) TBA TBA
British Immunological Society Stimulate interest, discussion and understanding of immunology amongst a wide range of audiences
support formal and informal learning about immunology
promote potential careers options within immunology and inspire future researchers
Communication grant for PPI/PE or community work. Small scale funding. Link At least one named applicant on the grant must have been a  member of the BSI for at least one year.  Up to £1000. Members can apply for one Communicating Immunology grant per year. Ongoing 01 April 2021
Microbiology Society Support relevant science teaching or promotion initiatives, or to support developments likely to lead to an improvement in the teaching of any aspect of microbiology Outreach and education grant, working with harder to reach or underserved communities and schools. Small scale funding. Link Full, Full Concessionary and Postgraduate Student Members Up to £1000 Ongoing 1 April 2021 and 3 October 2021
Physiological Society  To increase understanding and awareness of physiology amongst the non-expert public, to increase awareness of the opportunities available to those who pursue physiology in their education, to increase engagement with physiology research Outreach and education grant, Citizen Science, Evalution, Training, working with harder to reach or underserved communities and schools. Small scale funding. Link Members, affiliates, associate, and non-members of The Society to run an outreach or public engagement activity Up to £500 members only. Up to £20,000 members and non-members. TBA TBA
Society for Endocrinology Support organisation, production and delivery of outreach activities, aimed at school children and/or the general public Public engagement grant, working with harder to reach or underserved communities and schools. Small scale funding. Link Full and Early Career Members. There is a minimum term requirement. up to £1000 Ongoing 24th March 2021
Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council Launched in 2008, this competition rewards bioscience researchers for outstanding impact, recognising individuals or teams who have derived an impact from their research. Four categories: Commercial Impact
Social Impact
International Impact
Early Career Impact.
Innovator of the year award for commercial, social, international or early career impact of research.  Link The competition is open to all researchers funded by BBSRC within the past six years £10,000 award paused for a year to review paused for a year to review
Science and Technology Facilities Council Awards of different amounts to support the STFC community and strategy. Nucleas awards, spark awards, legacy awards, reaction awards, and school programme. Small-large scale funding. Link Almost anyone can apply for an award, including grant funded researchers, STFC scientists and engineers, facility users, schools, museums, science communicators, universities, colleges.  Spark award is £15,000 limit, Nucleus award is £100,000 limit, Legacy award up to 50% of total project costs, Reaction award is £5000 limit TBA TBA
Science and Technology Facilities Council Public Engagement Research Fellowships, which supports the STFC community and strategy through leadership. Leadership fellows for public engagement. Large core funding for fellowship. Link STFC Leadership Fellows in Public Engagement are open to any applicant who can demonstrate a
strong track record of leadership in their field and public engagement, appropriate to career stage,
in an STFC-funded area of science and technology, or can demonstrate a strong track record of
leadership in their field and public engagement that has been clearly underpinned by use of STFC’s
national or international laboratories and facilities
Maximum payable by STFC is £160,000 TBA TBA
Medical Research Foundation Disseminating research evidence to influence policy and behaviour Changing Policy and Practice Award. Large scale funding. Link MRC and Foundation-funded researchers up to £30,000 over flexible time period - usually one year Twice a year. Next date TBA Twice a year. Next date TBA
Wellcome Trust Innovator Awards are open to researchers who are developing healthcare innovations that could have a major and measurable impact on human health Innovator Award with commercial, social, international  impact of research working collaboratively with other disciplines. Large project funding. Link Individuals and teams from not-for-profit and commercial organisations can apply. Organisations can be of any size, but they must be established and/or have working capital. They can be based anywhere in the world. Up to £500,000, or up to £750,000 for multidisciplinary collaborations - over 24-36 months TBA TBA
Wellcome Trust You can apply to the Open Research Fund if you want to develop and test incentives for making health research more open, accessible and reusable

Open Research funding. Building a research culture leaning towards opening research to others, accessibility and sustainability with public groups. Large project funding.

Link You can apply if you're based at an academic research organisation, a not for profit body, or a private sector organisation.  Funding of up to £100,000 for up to two years TBA TBA
Wellcome Trust This funding enables Wellcome grantholders to identify and tackle barriers to diversity and inclusion in their work Diversity grant, encouraging EDI. Small-large project funding. Link A current Wellcome-funded grant holder, or a successful applicant to one of our schemes up to £20,000 01 March 2021 9th April 2021
Biochemical Society Help create and support a representative scientific community with our Diversity in Science Grants Diversity in Science grant, encouraging EDI. Small scale funding. Link  Open to anyone. Do not have to be a member. The grants are open to applicants from any country. up to £500 TBA TBA