This Mesh practical guide outlines how to plan a Community Engagement and Involvement (CEI*) strategy for a grant application.

The guide describes how many global health funding agencies demand that CEI is fully integrated into any proposed research and it outlines some ways of engaging communities and relevant stakeholders whilst preparing a funding application. It also describes what to include in a thoughtful and appropriate engagement strategy that is integrated into research.


*The guide uses ‘Community Engagement and Involvement (CEI)’ as an over-arching term to describe activities that ensure research is conducted in collaboration with the communities and the public.


  1. CEI during the research planning stage
  2. Values and principles 
  3. Whom to engage and involve 
  4. Thinking through your approach 
  5. Goals and methods of CEI
  6. Creating your CEI proposal 
  7. Allocating resources
  8. Top tips
  9. Summary
  10. Appendix 1


The guide outlines how to plan and budget for a Community Engagement and Involvement (CEI) strategy in a grant application. In summary, it recommends a CEI proposal should include:

  • CEI and scoping work you have done to feed into the proposal
  • How your research proposal has been influenced by CEI
  • Your team’s ethos and approach to CEI
  • Who you will work with including team members, experts, stakeholders and community, patient and public groups
  • Your agreed goals or aims for the CEI
  • What engagement methods you will use and the activities you will deliver in what timescale
  • How you will document, monitor and evaluate your CEI work and share this learning
  • What resources/funding you require and a breakdown of costs

Finally, remember to read all application guidance carefully to ensure that you have provided all the information that the funder requires.

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