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Public Engagement

National Funding Opportunities for Public Engagement

Funding for public engagement activities is available from a range of sources, either as part of research grants or from dedicated funding awards.

We have compiled a selection of currently available opportunities below, however you can also visit the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) website for a range of regular providers. 


If you need advice or support with applying for public engagement funding you can contact the Centre for Public Engagement.

Funding / Funding Archive

Royal Society of Chemistry Outreach Large Awards

Funding available: Between £2,000 and £10,000

The Outreach Fund provides financial support to members, individuals and organisations in order to enable them to run chemistry-based public and schools engagement activities. 

It aims to support projects that maximise outreach and engagement contribution; offer teachers a range of effective curriculum-enriching activities and opportunities to further engage their students with outreach; provide hard-to-reach student audiences with inspiring chemistry engagement opportunities, delivered or coordinated by skilled people; increase chemistry and chemists' influence in public discourse and decision-making in line with the findings of the Public Attitude to Chemistry research.

NERC Engaging Environments

Funding available: Between £50,000 and £100,000

This round is aimed at projects with the capacity to lead and deliver effective, national-scale public engagement with contemporary issues of environmental science through collaborations and partnerships that drive forward the debate and deliver innovative public engagement. 

This consortium and capacity building stage aims to build a long-term, effective and innovative public engagement community, and support the formation of collaborative teams who will go on, in a second stage, to make bids to lead one, ambitious, large-scale project to achieve national impact and recognition for engaging the UK public with contemporary issues of environmental science.

If you are interested in applying for the round we recommend contacting the Centre for Public Engagement in the first instance to discuss how we can help to develop a potential application.

Royal Society Partnership Grants

Funding available: Up to £10,000

Partnership Grants are available to schools to enable students, aged 5 – 18, to carry out science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) projects, allowing UK schools or colleges to buy equipment to run a STEM investigation project.

Applications need to be made jointly between two project partners, a school partner and STEM researcher, already working in a pre-existing partnership established before starting the application.

British Ecological Society - Outreach Grants

Funding available: up to £2,000

Funding is available for projects that promote ecological science to a wide audience. They must aim to increase public understanding of, and engagement with ecology; stimulate discussion about ecology and its implications for society; inspire and enthuse people of all ages about the science of ecology, especially those not previously interested; develop skills in communicating the science of ecology.

Follow-on Funding for Impact and Engagement

Amount: Up to £100,000

Follow-on Funding for Impact and Engagement aims to encourage and facilitate a range of interactions and creative engagements between arts and humanities research and user communities including business and commercial, third sector and heritage sector, public policy, voluntary and community groups and the general public. Funds will be awarded for knowledge exchange, public engagement, active dissemination and commercialisation activities that arise unforeseeably during the lifespan of or following an AHRC-funded project.

Only AHRC funded projects are eligible.

Medical Research Council, Alexander Fleming Dissemination Awards

Amount: Up to £30,000

Applications are sought for Alexander Fleming Dissemination Awards that provide support for the dissemination of MRC and Medical Research Foundation-funded research results beyond the scientific peer reviewed press, to patients, participants, practitioners and policy makers. The scheme is open to MRC and MRF grant and fellowship holders and researchers in MRC research institutes, units and centres, whose MRC or MRF funding is within one year of termination.

Esmée Fairbairn Foundation

Amount: Flexible (approx £5,000 - £500,00)

The foundation funds across four main sectors – Arts, Children and Young People, Environment and Social Change – as well as a Food funding strand. The funding is designed for projects that aim to unlock and enable potential, back the unorthodox and unfashionable, build collective networks and catalyse system change.

The grants support core or project costs, including staff salaries and overheads and excluding building and equipment costs, or individuals. 2014 grants ranged from £6k to £1.25m (median average £90,000), with support lasting 1 - 5 years.

Foyle Foundation

Amount: Flexible

The fund will support arts, museum, archive or special collection projects, usually for capital, which meet a clear public benefit.  All University projects should enable general and not just specialist use, the majority of time, and not be limited to out of term use, or be relatively inaccessible by being sited in remote parts of University buildings or campuses where public access will be restricted. 

Funding is conditional on University contribution to the project in financial and not just in-kind terms. Some grants may be offered on a matched funding basis.

National Lottery Fund - Awards For All

Amount: £300 to £10,000

Set up to help small groups, the main aim of the programme is to fund projects which involve people in their community; bringing them together to enjoy arts, sports, heritage and other community activities, and projects that promote education, the environment and health in the local community.

Heritage Lottery - Our Heritage

Amount: £10,000 to £100,000

The Our Heritage open programme is for any type of project related to national, regional or local heritage in the UK. Heritage includes many different things from the past that we value and want to pass on to future generations and so projects can involve the history of people, places, objects, culture, amongst other areas. Applications can be submitted at any time.

EPSRC, Holmes Hines Memorial Fund

Amount: Up to £1,5000

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, including public engagement activities.

Institute of Mathematics Education Grant Scheme

Funding available: Up to £600

The Institute of Mathematics are looking for grant applications of up to £600 to help with the costs of running or attending an educational activity relating to mathematics. The aim of these grants is to support activities which will help increase the popularity of mathematics with learners and encourage the take up of mathematics post-16. Applications can be submitted at any time.

Microbiology in Schools Grants

Funding available: Up to £1,000

Members of the Society for General Microbiology can apply for grants to support microbiology teaching initiatives and events including: Organising a visit to or from a working microbiologist (no more than £200 in expenses may be claimed per visiting microbiologist) and/or a class visit to a microbiology laboratory to carry out activities. Applications can be submitted at any time until the budget has been exhausted.

The Physiological Society, Outreach Grant Scheme

Funding available: Up to £1,000

This round offers members of The Physiological Society up to £1000 per calendar year for activities supporting primary, secondary and tertiary education, and events promoting the discussion of physiology with public audiences, particularly hard to reach audiences.

Society for Endocrinology, Public Engagement Grants

Funding available: Up to £1,000

These grants have been developed to help Society members and public engagement professionals (non-members) organise and deliver outreach activities, aimed at school children and/or the general public, to communicate the science of endocrinology.