External PE funding for researchers

Major public engagement grant schemes and sources of funds

As well as the schemes and funders listed below, it is also worth searching through the Latest News section of this site for posts tagged ‘funding‘, as funding pots are often one-offs or open for a very limited time. You can also search on Research Professional for other funding opportunities that might be relevant.

The PER Team are happy to give advice on applications for public engagement funding. If you would find feedback and comment on an application useful, or if you would like to discuss your ideas with our members, get in touch early on and consider dropping in to our next monthly Breakfast Brainstorm session. Similarly, if you are working on a research grant and would like advice on including public engagement in your Pathways to Impact statement we are also happy to help.

Health, science & engineering

The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB) Public Engagement Grants 
Amount: up to £2,000 
The ASAB Education committee is offering Public Engagement grants for organising and delivering innovative and exciting outreach activities. These activities should be aimed at young people and/or the general public, to communicate the science of animal behaviour.  Applications for less than the full amount are encouraged. 
The Education Committee meets in early May and late October to discuss proposals, but grants can be taken up at any time.

Alexander Fleming Dissemination Scheme
Amount: up to £30,000
This scheme provides funding to support the dissemination of MRC and Medical Research Foundation-funded research results beyond the scientific peer reviewed press, to patients, participants, practitioners and policymakers. Applications are welcome from MRC and MRF grant and fellowship holders and researchers in MRC research institutes, units and centres, whose funding is within one year of termination. This one-year time limit may be extended for large MRC-funded clinical trials that have taken some time to publish in the scientific press. Application deadline is still to be announced.

Biochemical Society, Science Outreach Grants
Funding available: Up to £1,000
The Society wishes to support scientific outreach activities that communicate the excitement of molecular bioscience to young people and the community. There are two round of applications per year, in September and April.

British Ecological Society, Outreach Grants
Funding available: Up to £2,000
These grants are designed to support the promotion of ecological science to a wider audience through the organisation of public events. Individuals and organisations, including society members, researchers, schools, museums, libraries and community groups, are eligible to apply. Next round of applications; to be announced.

BBSRC, Innovator of the Year
Funding available: Up to £10,000
Launched in 2008 this competition rewards bioscience researchers for outstanding impact, recognising individuals or teams who have derived an impact from their research. Currently closed, keep an eye for re-opening.

Black Environment Network, The Ethnic Minorities Award Scheme for Environmental Projects
Funding available: Up to £500
Small grants are available to schools, community groups and individuals undertaking projects which concern the environment and involve people from ethnic communities. Grants are for innovative projects which do not fit into the grant categories of other larger environmental grant schemes.

British Society of Immunology, Community Immunology Grants
Funding available: Up to £1,000
The aims of the Grants are to stimulate interest, discussion and understanding of immunology amongst a wider audience, support formal and informal learning about immunology and target a wide range of audiences. Multiple application deadlines throughout the year.

Holmes Hines Memorial Fund
Funding available: No set amount, likely to be max. £1,500
Administered by the EPSRC, small awards are available to help individuals or organisations with any scientific or engineering based activities where public funds are not available. Currently closed to new applications.

Institute of Physics, Public Engagement Grant Scheme
Funding available: £2,000
The scheme provides financial support to individuals and organisations running physics-based events and activities in the UK and Ireland. Two rounds of applications a year. You can sign up to their newsletter to keep up to date with the scheme.

NERC, Public Engagement Grants
Funding available: Usually up to £20,000
NERC’s new funding scheme for public engagement projects aimed at engaging members of the UK public with relevant contemporary issues of environmental science through delivery of environmental science public engagement activity. No funding currently open, check back to see when 2020 funding opens.

Nuffield Research Placements
The placements provide over 1,000 post-16 students each year with the opportunity to work alongside professional scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nuffield Research Placements will not take place in 2020. Instead, we are providing an exciting alternative, online only programme – Nuffield Future Researchers.

Royal Academy of Engineering, Ingenious
Funding available: £3,000-£30,000
Ingenious is a grant scheme for projects that engage the public with engineers and engineering. The next round will open summer 2020.

Royal College of Pathologists, Public Engagement Innovation Grant Scheme
Funding available: £1000
Grants are available for individuals or organisations who wish to develop pathology-related public engagement activities or events. The deadline for the current funding call is 01 July 2020.

Royal Society of Chemistry, Event Grants
Funding available: Up to £100
The RSC awards grants of up to £100 per academic year to help Student Chemical Societies stage an event that will benefit/promote chemistry and/or promote the RSC and the Student Chemical Society and help recruit new members. Student Chemical Societies can also bid for extra grants of up to £500 to stage a larger event.

Royal Society of Chemistry, Outreach Fund
Funding available: £2,000-£10,000
The Outreach Fund aims to encourage and support the development of projects that raise awareness of the place of chemistry in people’s everyday lives, especially those not already interested in chemistry, and/or develop the science communication skills of people who are already highly trained in chemistry. Applications up to £2000 close on 13 July 2020, £2000 – £10,000 applications close on 14 September 2020.

Royal Society of Chemistry, Inclusion & Diversity Fund

Funding available: £5,000
Our Inclusion and Diversity Fund provides financial support to members, professionals, network groups, volunteer groups, institutions and organisations to enable them to develop innovative products, activities and research projects, which promote inclusion and diversity. Applications close 7 September 2020.

Science & Technology Facilities Council, Public Engagement ‘Spark Awards’ Scheme
Funding available: Up to £10,000
STFC Spark Award holders undertake high quality programmes of novel public engagement that inspire and involve target audiences with stories of STFC science and technology. Proposed engagement programmes must clearly focus around the remit of the STFC science programme (astronomy, solar and planetary science, particle physics, particle astrophysics, cosmology, nuclear physics and accelerator science) or clearly and demonstrably align to the science and technology work of STFC’s national and international laboratories and facilities. Applications currently closed, check back for re-opening.

Science & Technology Facilities Council, Public Engagement Large Awards Scheme
Funding available: £10,000-£100,000
Provides funds for projects which are expected to have a significant regional or national impact. Open to all but should have strong links with the STFC scientific research community. Applications are ad-hoc on case by case basis.

Science & Technology Facilities Council, Reaction Awards
Funding available: £5,000
Reaction Awards are a mechanism to allow the funding of public engagement programmes that are a fast response to new and/or unexpected significant developments related to STFC’s science and technology remit.

Science & Technology Facilities Council, IOP & IET, Schools Grant Scheme
Funding available: £600
The scheme is for projects or events linked to the teaching or promotion of physics or engineering. Application round closing dates; 1 February, 1 June & 1 November.

Society for Endocrinology, Public Engagement Grants
Funding available: Up to £1,000
These grants have been developed to help Society members and non-members organise and deliver outreach activities, aimed at school children and/or the general public, to communicate the science of endocrinology. Next round closes 23 September 2020.

The Physiological Society, Public Engagement Grants
Funding available: £5,000
Grants open to members and non-members to run projects that engage with a public audience covering any aspect of physiology, with particular encouragement of projects that involve collaborations between science communicators, facilitators of public engagement, and physiology researchers. Scheme deadlines; 14 January & 14 June annually.

The Scottish Government, Talking Science Grants Scheme
Funding available: Various
This grants programme is aimed at supporting public activities and events that get people talking about science, technology, and engineering and how they impact on our everyday lives. Funding will be awarded to projects that take science activities to a public audience in rural or remote parts of Scotland, or disadvantaged areas.

The Royal Society, Partnership Grants
Funding available: Up to £3,000
The scheme offers funding to support teachers, scientists and engineers to bring science alive and inspire young people in primary and secondary schools across the UK. Projects must involve a teacher and a practising UK scientist/engineer. Grants are awarded to the school. The 2020 round is now closed to new applicants and the next round of funding will open in 2021.

UK Space Agency, Funding Schemes
Funding available: Various
This is a competitive process which offers small grants to groups ready to present the UK’s space programme and stimulate the use of space in inspiration and learning. See page for updated available schemes.

Wellcome Trust, Co-production Awards (Broadcast, Games and Film)
Funding available: Up to £40,000
Co-production Awards support TV, radio, games or film projects that engage (as a whole or in part) with biomedical science and its impact on our lives in an innovative, entertaining and accessible way. Scheme is closed.

Wellcome Trust, Development Awards (Broadcast, Games and Film)
Funding available: £10,000
Awards for a maximum of one year are available for individuals and organisations with brilliant early-stage ideas for television, radio, games platforms or cinema with a strong vision for a project that engages audiences with issues around biomedical science in an innovative, entertaining and accessible way. Scheme is closed.

Wellcome Trust, Engagement Fellowships
Funding available: Financial support for 2 years, plus project costs, training etc.
Engagement Fellowships aim to support and develop upcoming stars in public engagement with science. Applications are currently closed, whilst being reviewed.

Wellcome Trust, Public Engagement Fund
Funding available: Awards can range from £5,000 to £3 million for proposals of up to five years.
This funding is for anyone with a great idea for engaging the public in conversations about health-related science and research. It replaces our Society, People, Large Arts, Small Arts, Development, Co-production, Capital and International Engagement Awards. Read more about what’s changed and why.

Wellcome Trust, Science Learning+
Funding available: Phase 1:£70,000 (2014/15); Phase 2: £1.5m (2015/6)
Science Learning+ is an international initiative that aims to understand the power of informal learning experiences inside and outside of school. Scheme is closed, check back for re-opening.

Arts & humanities


Heritage Lottery Fund Grant programmes
Funding available: Various
Grants for projects related to the national, regional, or local heritage in the UK, including Sharing Heritage, Our Heritage and Heritage Grants.

Arts Council funding schemes
Funding available: Various
Grants for the arts are for individuals, arts organisations and other people who use the arts in their work. They are for activities carried out over a set period and which engage people in England in arts activities, and help artists and arts organisations in England carry out their work.

Creative Scotland, Open Projects Funding
Funding available: £1000 – 150,000
This fund supports the arts, screen and creative industries, with projects that help them explore, realise and develop their creative potential, widen access to their work, and enrich Scotland’s reputation as a distinctive creative nation connected to the world. Scotland only.

The Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology, Community Engagement Award
Funding available: Up to £500
This award is designed to support individuals, groups and societies in developing new public-facing initiatives, whether one-off events, programmes of activities, digital archaeology or other creative outputs. Proposals which seek to develop innovative forms of engagement and proposals which demonstrate the potential to engage non-traditional audiences are welcome. Next application deadline is 15 September.

Social sciences & economics


The British Psychological Society, Public Engagement Grants
Funding available: Various
Open annually to Society members for a range of activities which promote evidence-based psychology to the public and helps the Society achieve it’s objective to ‘take psychology to Society’.

Economic and Social Research Council, Knowledge Exchange Opportunities Scheme
Funding available: Unspecified
The scheme provides the opportunity to apply for funding for knowledge exchange activities (this includes public engagement) at any stage of the research lifecycle, and is aimed at maximising the impact of social science research outside academia.

Multi-disciplinary & miscellaneous


The National Lottery Community Fund, funding under £10,000
Funding available: £300 – £10,000
Awards for All is a National Lottery grants scheme funding small, local community-based projects in the UK. Each country is running its own programme, so check out the relevant section of the website. Applications are continuous.

Granada Foundation
Funding available: Variable
The Foundation is open to funding applications in the North West of England to encourage and promote the study, practice and appreciation of the fine arts, including drawing, architecture and landscape architecture, sculpture, literature, music, opera, drama, cinema, and the methods and means of their dissemination.

Research Networking scheme
Funding available: up to £30,000
The scheme is intended to support forums for the discussion and exchange of ideas on a specified thematic area, issue or problem. The intention is to facilitate interactions between researchers and stakeholders through, for example, a short-term series of workshops, seminars, networking activities or other events. Applications are continuous.

Wakeham trust
Funding available: £75-1000
Small grants are provided for small community action projects with priority given to neighbourhood projects, community arts projects, projects involving community service by young people, or projects set up by those who are socially excluded. The Trust also supports innovative projects to promote excellence in teaching (at any level, from primary schools to universities). Applications are continuous.

Wellcome Trust, Public Engagement Fund
Funding available: Awards can range from £5,000 to £3 million for proposals of up to five years.
This funding is for anyone with a great idea for engaging the public in conversations about health-related science and research. It replaces our Society, People, Large Arts, Small Arts, Development, Co-production, Capital and International Engagement Awards. Read more about what’s changed and why.

Wellcome Trust, Hub Award
Funding available: Space and up to £1m over 2 years
As part of the transformation of Wellcome Collection, a specially designed, flexible space is available for a research team to be resident for up to two academic years. The Hub Award is the way teams can apply to use this space and request funding for the project.

Wellcome Trust, Sustaining Excellence Awards
Funding available: Typically in the range of £90,000 – £1,000,000, spread across three to five years. Longer-term support to extend and enhance excellent public engagement work and ways of working. 

Winston Churchill Memorial Trust
Funding available: Individually calculated
The Churchill Travelling Fellowships provide a unique opportunity for UK citizens to acquire innovative ideas abroad. In the process they gain fresh perspectives on their own field of interest and return with enhanced expertise, able to be more effective at work and in their contribution to the community.

If you are aware of other public engagement grants we may be missing, please let us know so we can add these to this page.