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Research Enrichment – Public Engagement

This funding, previously known as the Provision for Public Engagement, helps Wellcome grantholders engage the public with their research.

Scheme at a glance

Career stage:

  • ,
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Level of funding:

Between £10,000 and £250,000 (depending on your main Wellcome grant)

Duration of funding:

Funding will end at the same time as your main Wellcome grant

Who can apply

You can apply for this funding if you want to engage the public with research you're doing on your main Wellcome grant.

You must be:

  • a current Wellcome-funded grantholder


  • a successful applicant to one of our schemes – you've received an award confirmation letter.

In both cases, you must be the lead applicant.

If your main Wellcome grant is one of the following, you should contact us before you apply as there is a different application process:

Your proposal

Your proposed public engagement programme should include opportunities for you to:

  • engage the public with your research in a compelling way
  • develop your public engagement skills and expertise
  • build new and existing partnerships 
  • explore the different ways that engagement can enhance your research
  • become an ambassador for engagement within your field and/or organisation.

We will review:

  • the main outcomes you want to achieve during your engagement programme 
  • the people you want to engage with, and why you want to do this 
  • the feasibility of your programme 
  • the partners you’ll work with and how you’ll work with them
  • how you’ll evaluate your programme and share learning 
  • how the programme will help you and others to improve your public engagement skills and expertise.

See the most common areas in which applications to this scheme could be improved in Research Enrichment – Public Engagement: ten common pitfalls [PDF 273KB].

Who can't apply

You can’t apply if your main Wellcome grant is one of the following:

You can’t apply if your main Wellcome grant is based at the University of Oxford or a Scottish university. We’re running a funding pilot with these universities – in place of this scheme – and you should contact them directly for more information:

You can't apply to carry out activities that involve the transfer of grant funds into mainland China.

Other schemes

Research Enrichment – Diversity and Inclusion

Enabling Wellcome grantholders to identify and tackle barriers to diversity and inclusion in their work.
Full details of Research Enrichment – Diversity and Inclusion
Scheme finder

You can ask for Research Enrichment – Public Engagement funding of between £10,000 and £250,000. 

You must be able to justify the amount you ask for, based on:

  • the funding level and time remaining on your main Wellcome grant 
  • the scale and scope of your proposed public engagement programme.

Funds can be used for a range of costs such as:

  • We will provide costs for staff who will coordinate and support the development of your public engagement programme. You can ask for these costs if:

    • you have a public engagement programme with substantial reach and impact
    • your main Wellcome grant is a large research grant with more than one research group, eg a Collaborative Award.

    We don't cover the salaries of staff already funded by their organisation.

  • other personnel costs directly related to the programme, including salary replacement or cover, eg teaching staff
  • consultancy costs and project management fees
  • direct activity and production costs, including venue costs, equipment and materials
  • relevant public engagement training and development for you and any staff employed on your grant
  • We will provide travel costs for you to:

    • attend relevant training or public engagement conferences
    • visit audiences and collaborators
    • develop and deliver your public engagement activities
    • support the involvement of collaborators and audiences.

    You can also ask for costs to cover caring responsibilities if you or any staff employed on your grant attend a conference. This includes childcare and any other caring responsibility you have, provided:

    • Wellcome is paying your salary
    • the conference is directly related to your public engagement programme
    • the caring costs are over and above what you'd normally pay for care
    • the conference organiser and your employing organisation are unable to cover the costs.

    You can ask for up to £1,000 per person for each conference.

    Carbon offset costs

    This is a new policy. It applies to all types of travel costs Wellcome provides.

    You can ask for:

    • the cost of low carbon travel where practical, even if it's more expensive (for example travelling by train instead of flying)
    • project-related resources or activities that provide an alternative to travel, such as video conferencing, communication and file-sharing software
    • costs to offset the carbon emissions of the journeys you make.

    We won't pay for the core infrastructure that your host organisation should provide, unless you're eligible to ask for these costs under our overheads policy. Examples of these costs include:

    • organisation-wide video conferencing packages
    • high-speed broadband
    • HD screens.

    See our carbon offset policy for travel for information on what you and your organisation need to do.

  • evaluation, including formative/development costs
  • administration costs that are not already covered by other funding
  • marketing and publicity costs for events and activities
  • We will provide costs for enhanced DBS checks (formerly Criminal Records Bureau checks) for applications in the UK. If you are a scientist, these are free if you register to be a Science and Engineering Ambassador.

  • contingency costs, as long as these are reasonable and you can justify them
  • VAT on fees where the VAT can't be reclaimed.

What we don’t offer

You can't use Research Enrichment – Public Engagement funding for:

  • engagement activities that are essential to carrying out your research in an ethical way, for example consulting with community advisory panels or communicating research findings to research participants
  • engagement with specialist audiences, for example policy makers, scientists, healthcare professionals and public engagement professionals, without the involvement of public voices
  • media and communication activities, such as broadcast, radio, websites and press releases.

We don't fund overheads.

You must submit your application through the Wellcome Trust Grant Tracker (WTGT).

Start your application

Stages of application

  1. Before you apply

    Please read our guidance notes: 

    You should discuss your proposal with the public engagement team at your organisation before you apply.

  2. Submit your application

    Complete your application on Grant Tracker.

    View the Sample full application form for Research Enrichment [PDF 115KB].

    You can also apply for enrichment funding for open research and diversity and inclusion. You’ll need to complete a separate application form for each type of funding. Applications will be assessed separately.

    If you’re already a Wellcome-funded grantholder

    You can apply at any time from your award date, but you need to be able complete your programme of activities by the end date of your main Wellcome grant. 

    If you’re applying for your main Wellcome grant

    You can begin your application for Research Enrichment funding at any time while you’re applying for your main Wellcome grant. 

    You should only submit your Research Enrichment application when you’ve been informed that your main Wellcome grant has been awarded.  

  3. Decision

    Wellcome staff will assess your application. 

    We aim to give you a decision and any feedback within ten weeks of the application deadline. There are no interviews. 

Disabled applicants

If you are disabled or have a chronic health condition, we can support you with the application process.


We make decisions on applications twice a year (this was previously four times a year). You must submit your application by 17:00 (GMT/BST) on the deadline day. We don’t accept late applications.

September 2020 round

  • Application deadline

    24 September 2020, 17:00 BST

  • Decision

    November 2020

Key dates

We make decisions on applications twice a year (this was previously four times a year).

September 2020 round

  • Application deadline

    24 September 2020, 17:00 BST

  • Decision

    November 2020

Grants awarded

Find out about some of the people and projects we've funded for this scheme.

Contact us

Contact our information officers if you have a question about funding.