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Wellcome are offering a fund for projects costing over £250k up to £3 million to enable individuals and organisations to use creative approaches in engaging the public with health research. There's no deadline as they consider expressions of interest throughout the year.

Projects need to support Wellcome's Public Engagement goals, so it should do at least one of the following:

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

To be successful, your project must also do one of the following:

  • 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.

Projects can take place in the UK, Republic of Ireland, Low- and middle-income countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and East Asia and Pacific.

Wellcome are especially interested in work which promotes diversity and inclusion, and engages people and communities who are affected by social and economic disadvantage. This work can sit within a wider project or be its main focus. 

How to apply

For large grants the first step is to ensure you've read all of the information on Wellcome's website and Public Engagement Fund: what good proposals look like [PDF 371KB].

Then to express an interest in applying for a large grant you email the Wellcome Public Engagement team.

  • Your email must use the following structure:

    • your name (and job title if relevant) as primary contact
    • the name of your organisation
    • the amount you want, over what period of time
    • why your team is the right one to deliver the project, including the expert(s) you plan to work with (in a maximum of 200 words)
    • what you want to achieve, where, and how it fits with what we’re looking for (in a maximum of 400 words). 

For full details visit Wellcome's website

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.