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Public Engagement

Public Engagement Small Grants

The Public Engagement Small Grants scheme is designed to provide up to £1,000 of funding to support activities which engage well-defined public audiences with research, teaching, or core business of Queen Mary and clearly demonstrates two-way engagement that provides mutual benefit.

The funding to support this activity has come from the Queen Mary’s Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) allocation, which has been awarded by UKRI to specifically support and develop knowledge exchange activities between the University and the wider world. For more information on how HEIF is allocated and the activities it supports, please refer to the UKRI website.

The Small Grants are now open! The first deadline is Sunday 15th October. 

Criteria and Eligibility 

Full information on the criteria of the scheme can be found in our Small Grants Guidance 2023-24 [PDF 211KB] document.

Due to the nature of the funding and purpose of the scheme, all applications to the CPE Public Engagement Small Grants must meet the following criteria:

  • A well-defined public audience is the main focus of the activity: this means students, academic colleagues, practitioners or industry collaborators should not be the primary beneficiary of the activity
  • There is a clear link to research, teaching or the core business of Queen Mary University of London
  • The activity clearly demonstrates two-way public engagement that provides mutual benefit. In practice this means:
    • The activity has opportunities for conversation between the organisers and participants
    • Both the organisers and participants are impacted by the activity in some way and take these benefits away with them. Benefits might include knowledge, skills, insights/ideas, and perspectives.

Further to the above criteria, the scheme prioritises activity which:

  • Is an example of a new or innovative approach to engaging a particular public group with Queen Mary. This may be new approaches within higher education or a new approach to engagement within your current discipline.
  • Focuses on engaging with a new audience
  • Evaluates public engagement activity and/or demonstrates a novel approach to evaluation of the project
  • Can make a clear difference either by enabling the applicants to try out new ideas and approaches, or by kick-starting a longer term engagement project.
  • Does not feature 'about us, without us' type content – where a topic is explored without representation from communities and individuals affected by it. 

Applicants must be current staff or students at Queen Mary, with an end date no sooner than August 2024. We welcome applications from staff and students at all career stages—and this is not used as a criterion in the selection process.

Lead applicants must be the individuals who will be responsible for delivering the project and subsequent reporting. External applicants are able to apply to the scheme as named co-applicants if collaborating with Queen Mary staff or students on a project.

To ensure that applications engage external publics with Queen May research, teaching, or services, all submissions must have at least one applicant based at the University who will be held responsible for assisting in the delivery of projects and reporting on outcomes.

Projects must be intending to complete their activities and associated spend by the end of the financial year on 31st July.

Advice and Support

The Centre for Public Engagement strongly encourage that all individuals considering applying for a Small Grant familiarise themselves with the Application Guidance document and seek support from the team on the development of their applications. Projects that seek support from the CPE are more successful at panel review.

Guidance Document

The Guidance Document contains key information on the scheme which will help strengthen your submission and will support your project if successful.

Small Grants Guidance 2023-24 [PDF 211KB]

Advice Surgeries

The CPE hold regular fortnightly Advice Surgeries to support people with public engagement. The team would be happy to discuss your project and application to the Small Grants during one of these sessions. 

Application Review

As they are not involved with the panel review, the CPE are able to read and give advice on applications to the scheme ahead of their submission.

If you would like the team to read your draft application, you can download a copy of the Draft Small Grants Application Form 2023-24 [DOC 37KB] to fill out and email to the team for feedback. You must submit this to the team at least one week ahead of the funding deadline you intend to submit for. 


How to apply

The Small Grant Scheme is open now for applications using the Microsoft Form (below or open in a new window). Forms must be filled out and submitted by the 15th of the month to be included in that month's funding round. Any that miss this deadline (i.e. submitted on the 16th) will be considered in the following month.

Please note: we will not accept any applications submitted to us via the Word document; they must be submitted through this form (below) when the round opens. If for any reason the form does not work on your browser, please let us know by emailing and we arrange alternatives if appropriate.


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