How we engage the public
We believe that if the public – by which we mean individuals, communities and society – are actively involved in our work, then Wellcome will be more likely to succeed in its mission and will become even more accountable.
We focus on people, helping everyone play their own role in improving health.
On this page
Why it's important
The public engagement we support:
- Empowers people – helping them access, use, respond to, and create health research and innovation
- Creates people-centred health research – improving our understanding of people’s experiences and how we use that knowledge to improve Wellcome’s work
- Helps society value our work – bridging the gaps between Wellcome and society so that research and innovation are trustworthy and valued by people, whether or not we work with them.
What we're doing
We develop and support the best ways of bringing science and health research closer to the society in which it operates.
To make this happen, we’re investing in and partnering with people, organisations and projects around the world:
- we develop partnerships that support a wide range of people to explore, create and debate science and health research
- we develop the evidence base for public engagement, and support networks and organisations to measure outcomes and share expertise
- we develop leaders in public engagement, from a wide range of perspectives and backgrounds
- we lead change to embed public engagement in research
- we encourage a diverse range of organisations to integrate science and research in their work.
Have a look at our public engagement funding.
Who we support
The people, projects and places we support range from social enterprises and community engagement networks to Nobel Prize winners and national galleries.
- partnerships with social enterprises like Big Society Capital, Bethnal Green Ventures and Zinc on mental health research
- support for networks for community engagement in low and middle-income countries, like MESH
- collaborative projects like Night Club, a sleep installation and workshop designed by The Liminal Space with University of Oxford and Co-op
- support for public libraries around the UK to connect with research in health, culture and society, together with the Carnegie UK Trust and the Wolfson Foundation
- innovative projects in the creative industries, like Hellblade and Dark River.
We also run Wellcome Collection, the free visitor destination for the incurably curious.
We want our work to reach as many people as possible, especially people we haven’t yet talked to. We prioritise projects for audiences who have few opportunities to engage with research.
Read more about the projects we’ve funded.
Public engagement for researchers
We want the researchers and organisations we fund to talk to the public about their work.
To help, we offer support for scientists and academics who want to engage the public with their research.
See our public engagement funding schemes
Read our public engagement reports
Our international cultural project is exploring local stories of contagion in Berlin, Geneva, Hong Kong and New York.