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Public Engagement

Find Funding for Public Engagement Projects this Summer: Funding Round-up


Written by Daniel Taylor, Assistant Public Engagement Officer at the QMUL Centre for Public Engagement

As teaching ends and thoughts can concentrate on research and related projects, summer is a fantastic time to be thinking about accessing public engagement funding, either for activity  starting in the coming months or as potential contributors return from holidays reinvigorated and ready to take up new projects!

Here, in my August funding round-up I give a range of funding opportunities across subjects, so take a look all the way through to see if there’s anything to suit your work.

If you’re a member of QMUL, either staff or student, then do get in touch with the CPE directly if you would like to discuss your project ideas in more detail, or to apply to the CPE awards or large awards, offering QMUL-led projects up to £20,000.

If you aren’t a member of QMUL then do feel free to get in touch and I’ll be more than happy to point you in the direction of some great external resources for funding support.

So, to start off with, the only very last minute round I have for you this round up is the Leverhulme Trust Artist in Residence Grants. It’s probably too late if you haven’t already heard of this but it’s well worth keeping in your mind for next year if so as it grants up to £15,000 for potential longer-term partnerships between a department and an artist.

This supports artist-in-residency programmes to foster creative collaboration with a university department and an artist who specialises in a discipline outside the department's usual curriculum (no additional teaching capacity drama!!). The round encompasses a broad definition of what an artist is and can provide a stipend of up to £12,500 for the artist and up to £2,500 for consumable costs, such as artist’s materials.

Otherwise there are a wide range of funding opportunities open until late September / early October, a couple of these are smaller, more specific grants, with amounts up to £2,000 available for projects either disseminating ecological science research or for existing NERC supported research projects to translate research outputs into further outcomes that achieve wider impact.

If you’re working on an AHRC grant they also have a similar funding round for public engagement that arises unforeseeably during the lifespan of, or following, an AHRC-funded project. However, lucky you, without set deadlines, read more about their Follow-on Funding for Impact and Engagement here, with up to £100,000 available.

There’s also £1,000 up for grabs until 1 October from the British Society for Immunology (BSI)  for communicating Immunology. This is a quarterly round, meaning that you also have rounds coming up next January, April and July, depending on when your project is or when you finally get around to applying!

As we get into October the new semester workload starts to drop that little bit (supposedly), which makes it good timing for the largest of the time specific grants in this month’s post, the 'Ingenious' Public Engagement Awards from the Royal Academy of Engineering (their title for it, not reckless subjectivism from me, open to engineers and professional science and engineering communicators. Applications are invited for projects that help engineers to communicate their expertise and passion to a wider audience, whether engineers interested in running their own project, or a science and engineering communicator keen to explore ways to provide public engagement training and opportunities.

For those that hate deadlines you’ll be glad to know this is the end of the time specific rounds, however there are a wide range of ongoing rounds out there too, offering that bit more flexibility with timings, which I’ve summarised some of below.

If you’re working with the right funding bodies you can apply for up to £30,000 from the Medical Research Council to disseminate research results to patients, participants, practitioners and policy makers, or £1,000 is available for smaller projects but with similar similar aims in their own fields if you’re a member of the Physiological Society or Microbiology Society.

If you’re not a member of a body with public engagement specific grant rounds, there are a few giving out grants to wider groups provided projects feature within their focus. The Society for Endocrinology Public Engagement Grants provide up to £1,000 for either their members of public engagement professionals to organise and deliver outreach activities, while the Institute of Mathematics  will grant up to £600 for projects run by anyone as long as they are aimed at improving take-up and interest in maths.

If you aren’t a member of these then don’t worry, there are a selection of grant rounds with a more broad eligibility and subject range, particularly in arts, humanities and social sciences.

The Foyle Foundation offer funding for university-based projects based in the arts, museums, archiving or special collection projects, provided they meet a clear public benefit.  To be in with a chance you must demonstrate the project enables general and not just specialist use and that the application will be matched with an element of institutional funding.

The Esmee Fairtree Foundation provides funds across four main sectors – Arts, Children and Young People, Environment and Social Change, again, with a wide range of amounts available. Universities are eligible provided that your application is not a research proposal, unless you can demonstrate the research has significant practical benefit.

In terms of community based activity, if you are working with local groups or schools you may be eligible for lottery funding in the shape of the £300 - £10,000 Awards for All, or the Heritage Lottery Fund, which provides a wide range of grants, with some more suited to universities than others, aimed at projects, that make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities.

If you're interested in keeping up with funding sources then you can favourite our regular funding opportunities page, as well as the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement and the very useful Manchester Metropolitan University Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog.

That's it for now, I hope it helps you in your search for public engagement funding but am sure it isn’t a comprehensive list (there's Wellcome Funding missing here for starters I know), so if I’ve missed anything then please do let me, and other readers, know in the comments below, I’m always looking to build better and better lists of potential funding for public engagement.

Written by Daniel Taylor
Assistant Public Engagement Officer
Centre for Public Engagement



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