25 Trailblazers: let us celebrate your public engagement project

Engaging people with research can change the world. Are you proud of a piece of work where you’ve engaged the public, patients or community groups with research? Could your project be an inspiration to others?

We’re searching for examples of great public engagement, large and small, from across the globe. Tell us where to find them.

The best examples will focus on outcomes, clearly demonstrating how engaging the public has made a difference. If your example gets selected, we will work with you next year to publish it as part of a series of case studies which we'll showcase within the research community.

This will support and inspire researchers to do public engagement that makes a difference to both the way research is carried out and its impact on society.

What we’re looking for

Your public engagement example can be:

  • from any discipline, not just health and science research
  • from anywhere in the world
  • from any sector – there are lots of great examples of engaging the public outside of academia, such as in charities and social enterprises (like this one) or industry (like this one)
  • of any size – great examples can be easily achievable and low-cost, or big and shiny
  • with or without Wellcome funding.

To be successful, your public engagement must have made a difference. There are several ways that opening up research to and with the public can make a difference to:

  • the research or work that the project was connected to – did it help to better understand people’s experience and draw on that knowledge? Did it change direction, priorities, understanding? Did it help save time on recruitment, did it help deliver data, did it result in better outputs, uptake or relevance?
  • the researchers – did it change yours or your colleagues’ outlooks and understanding, or skills, networks and relationships? Did it help connect across disciplines and open up other opportunities?
  • the public – did it change anything for the public that were directly involved or those who might benefit from the research or project at the end? Did it improve trust in the research? Did it empower them to get involved in research, or inform, inspire or persuade them to do something different?
  • other groups and organisations that you worked with, or that were affected by the work – did it help them to deliver their aims?

To help guide your submission, here are some examples of public engagement and the difference they’ve made:

  • Night Club is a unique physical space that brings Co-op night-shift workers together with leading sleep researchers. The project has made a difference by informing and empowering the supermarket’s night-shift workforce, and its impact will be extended through partnerships with other major UK employers.
  • Swab and Send is an antibiotic resistance project which asks the public to send in swabs from their lived environment, to see if they contain bacteria that can be developed into new antibiotics. This project empowers the public by involving them in the creation of health research and new antibiotics.
  • The RACE project aims to find the cause of rheumatoid arthritis and work out why some patients don’t respond to treatment. Patients are involved in the research process from priority setting to dissemination, which ensures that research outcomes are relevant to and valued by people living with rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Let all know, MNCH opportunities digital storytelling project, engages people in storytelling to help create meaning from the wealth of information generated through the Mbarara University’s research into maternal, newborn and childhood experiences. This helps disseminate the research to those who need it and empowers those telling their stories.

How to submit

Tell us about your public engagement work using this form. Your submission must not contain any confidential information.

The deadline for submissions is 8 November 2019 17:00 GMT. You will hear back from us about your submission by the end of November.

If you have any questions at any point during the process, get in touch at wellcome@aprilsixproof.com.

Do you know people who might be interested in submitting their work?

Follow us on Twitter or join the conversation on LinkedIn and encourage your networks to submit great examples of public engagement.

What's your favourite example of public engagement? @Engagement25 is a @wellcometrust project collecting great examples to inspire researchers to make a difference. Share the example using #EngagementTop25 or submit directly https://wellc.me/2lUeeHL

How we'll process your submission

We’re working with AprilSix Proof and Hilo Consultants to assess and select our final 25 examples that showcase the diversity of inspiring public engagement.

This will ensure that Wellcome-funded projects are assessed independently from Wellcome. We will not publish any information contained on the form without your consent. 

By submitting your example you agree that your submission does not contain any confidential information. Any applications containing confidential information will be removed from the process.

Please see our privacy statement [PDF 125KB] before you submit your application to find out how we handle your personal data.

More information