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This fund enables individuals and organisations to use creative approaches in engaging the public with health research.

£25,000 - £3 million is available per project.

The Public Engagement Fund is open to individuals and organisations (commercial and not-for-profit). Your project must focus on health, although this doesn’t need to be your organisation’s main focus or core activity.  

You can be working in the arts, culture, entertainment media, heritage, leisure, education, research, informal learning, social enterprise, non-profit and community sectors, or other fields. 

Wellcomes' aims for the fund are:

  • to empower people by helping them to access, use, respond to, and/or participate in health research and innovation
  • to improve health research by making it more people-centred, to better understand people’s experiences and draw on that knowledge 
  • to help people to value and think critically about science, health research, innovation and the role these play in society.

To be successful, projects should:

  • innovate or try new ways of working
  • develop an existing activity where you have evidence that it has been successful, either by exploring ways to make it sustainable or by scaling it up in a cost-effective manner
  • learn from a successful engagement activity delivered by you or others, and replicate it with a new audience, eg a different demographic or location.

They're particularly interested in work that promotes diversity and inclusion, and engages people and communities who are affected by social and economic disadvantage.

You can read their guidance, Public Engagement Fund: what good proposals look like [PDF 371KB] and the Sample application form for the Public Engagement Fund [PDF 169KB].

Projects with additional funding is not a requirement, but will be considered favourably.

Who can't apply

You can’t apply if your proposed project is about: 

  • delivering health interventions with primarily therapeutic purposes
  • running or promoting health campaigns
  • providing health information
  • telling people what to do rather than enabling them to make their own decisions
  • academic research (unless it’s integral to the project’s development, eg action research, or evaluation within the project)
  • engagement activities that are essential to carrying out a health research project/programme in an ethical way, eg consulting with community advisory panels or communicating research findings to research participants.


For applications for projects £25,000 to £250,000 you must apply by 3 May via Wellcome's online tracker.

For applications for projects £250,000 to £3 million you first email an expression of interest - there is no deadline.


This scheme runs throughout the year and there will be another round with a deadline 28 June.