We have created this page on mesh to summarise all of the funding schemes we could find that could be used for community engagement in low- and middle- income countries.

It is a culmination of much research but there is still a chance we missed something so if you find extra information on any of these schemes, or are aware of other funding opportunities not listed here, please let us know so that we can update it for you.


Open Schemes: International

The British Academy: Writing Workshops 2020

For: Early career researchers in developing countries. The lead applicant must be based at a UK university or eligible research institute and be of postdoctoral or above status (or have equivalent research experience). Each application must have at least one co-applicant based in an ODA eligible country.

Closing date: Wednesday 6 November 2019

Amount: Awards are set at a maximum of £20,000. Funding must be used in the direct delivery of the workshops, and can cover travel and related expenses, subsistence costs, clerical assistance and consumables, networking, meeting and / or conference costs.

The British Academy, as part of the UK’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), is inviting proposals for writing workshops in developing countries. These workshops should aim to support early career academics, promote the uptake of research emanating from developing countries in international journals, and further intellectual interaction globally.

James Tudor Foundation – Overseas Projects

For: Early career researchers in developing countries. The lead applicant must be based at a UK university or eligible research institute and be of postdoctoral or above status (or have equivalent research experience). Each application must have at least one co-applicant based in an ODA eligible country.

Closing date: Wednesday 6 November 2019

Amount: Awards are set at a maximum of £20,000. Funding must be used in the direct delivery of the workshops, and can cover travel and related expenses, subsistence costs, clerical assistance and consumables, networking, meeting and / or conference costs.

The Foundation focuses on the relief of sickness and operates primarily within the UK but they will also consider applications from UK registered charities for overseas projects for the relief of sickness.

The Royal Society – Newton International Fellowships
For: Applicants with a clearly defined research proposal that has been agreed with a UK host researcher. Countries eligible to apply are Brazil, China, India, Mexico, South Africa and Turkey.
Closing date: The 2017 round is likely to open in January 2017
Amount: Fellows will receive £24,000 per annum for subsistence and up to £8,000 per annum for research expenses and up to £2,000 for relocation expenses, for the duration of the award.

The long-term aim of the scheme is to build a global pool of research leaders and encourage long-term international collaboration with the UK. The Newton International Fellowships Scheme covers researchers in the following disciplines: physical sciences, natural sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. The scheme also covers clinical and patient orientated research, for applicants from China and India during the current round.

Rockefeller Foundation – Residency Programme, Practitioner Residency
For: Senior-level policymakers, nonprofit leaders, journalists, private sector leaders, and public advocates “from around the world” with ten or more years of leadership experience in a variety of fields and sectors.
Closing date: Upcoming interim deadlines for review cycles in 2017 are August 1st, September 28th and November 30th.
Amount: Unknown

The Foundation’s Bellagio Residency Programme has a track record for supporting the generation of important new knowledge addressing some of the most complex issues facing our world, and innovative new works of art that inspire reflection and understanding of global and social issues.

Rockefeller Foundation – Residency Programme, Arts and Literacy Arts Residency
For: Composers, fiction and non-fiction writers, playwrights, poets, video/filmmakers, and visual artists “from around the world”. They have just launched outreach collaborations with organisations in India, Mexico, South Africa and the USA but seem to be open to applications from any country.
Closing Date: The next open application period begins October 1st, 2017 with the deadline of December 1st, 2017 for residencies in 2018 and early 2019.
Amount: Unknown

The Bellagio Center Arts & Literacy Arts residency is for composers, fiction and non-fiction writers, playwrights, poets, video/filmmakers, and visual artists who share in The Rockefeller Foundation’s mission of promoting the well-being of humanity around the world and whose work is inspired by or relates to global or social issues. The residency is for artists seeking time for disciplined work, reflection, and collegial engagement with a diverse community of academics, practitioners, and artists.

AAAS Leshner Leadership Institute Public Engagement Fellows
For: mid-career scientists including those “not based in the USA”
Closing date: Unknown
Amount: Unknown

The fellowship programme convenes mid-career scientists who demonstrate leadership and excellence in their research careers, and interest in promoting meaningful dialogue between science and society, in order to build their capacity for public engagement leadership. The topic for 2017 - 2018 cohort of Public Engagement fellows was Infectious Diseases but the deadline has passed. We will add the next deadline once the 2018 – 2019 topic has been announced. Applicants must be a member of AAAS or become a member upon acceptance

Open Schemes: Commonwealth-only

Commonwealth Foundation – sustainable development projects
For: The activity must be delivered in a Commonwealth Country and is open to Civil Society organisations. http://thecommonwealth.org/member-countries
Closing date: Two grant calls for will open for applications on 1 December 2016.
Amount: Unknown

The Commonwealth Foundation awards grants for sustainable development projects that contribute to effective, responsive and accountable governance with civil society participation. Their grants help civil society organisations get their ideas across to policymakers and projects can range across sectors and themes from creative expression to community empowerment; from health to human rights.

Open Schemes: Africa-only

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – Grand Challenges Africa – Innovation Seed Grants
For: Innovators resident in Africa with any level of experience, working in any discipline in colleges, universities, government laboratories, research institutions, non-governmental and non-profit organizations.
Closing date: The grants have now closed. Grant calls for the 2018 period will re-open in December 2017.
Amount: Unknown

These requests seek:

1) solutions and strategies to reduce maternal, neonatal and child deaths in Africa

2) creative communication approaches to inspire African governments to fund research and development.

Next Einstein Forum – NEF Fellows
For: African scientists and technologists residing in Africa and studying any field of science – including social sciences and technology fields. Applicants should be under 42 years old and have a doctorate degree.

The application process for 2017-2019 NEF Fellows has ended. For more information about the program, email: fellows@nef.org.

The NEF Fellows is a select programme that recognises Africa’s best young scientists and technologists. These innovators and emerging leaders will have two main opportunities as a NEF Fellow – advance their scientific career and inspire the next generation of African innovators. The latter may present opportunities for engagement projects.

USADF – Apply for a grant
For: Organisations based in Africa. USADF does not provide funding to government agencies, political parties, or organizations that are not based in Africa. Please note, USADF does not provide funding or scholarships to individuals.
Closing date: Rolling deadline
Amount: The majority of USADF’s funding agreements range between $50,000 and $250,000 (USD).

USADF supports African led development that grows community enterprises by providing seed capital and technical support. This aims to empowers those who are least served by existing markets or assistance programs to become a part of Africa’s growth story.

University of Pretoria – Africa Science Leadership Programme
For: Early- to mid-career researchers in Africa
Full for 2017, no details yet available for 2018, but may become available soon on the website.
Amount: Unknown

The Africa Science Leadership Programme trains fellows in advanced leadership skills and empower them to lead a new paradigm for African science. They invite applications from early- to mid-career researchers in all disciplines including natural sciences, engineering, social sciences, arts and the humanities.

Open Schemes: India-only

Paul Hamlyn Foundation – India Open Grants Fund
For : Organisations supported within the India programme have to be local Indian NGOs with Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) registration.
Closing date: rolling deadline
Amount: Specifically state that there is no minimum or maximum grant size. However, they are unlikely to fund 100 per cent of the costs, preferring to make grants where hosts and/or another funders are also contributing.

This scheme supports work which is intended to improve the overall wellbeing of communities, groups and people. The works may be in one or more thematic areas, whether health, education, governance, livelihoods, empowerment of or any other which assists them to deal with the immediate causes of their vulnerability but begins to look at the longer term factors that need to be addressed to help them get out of it.

Other Funders of Interest without currently open schemes


AngloAmerican Group Foundation
The Foundation’s main objective is to promote sustainable livelihoods and its main areas of interest are community development, education and training, environment and HIV/AIDS and welfare. The Foundation prefers to fund specific projects or components of projects within the overall activities of an organisation that are a priority area in need of support. 

The Foundation funds projects in those countries around the world in which Anglo American has operations, projects or representative offices: UK, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, China, India and Zimbabwe.

Comic Relief – Fighting Malaria, Improving Health
This partnership wants to support work which targets the most vulnerable, particularly children under five and pregnant women, puts people and communities at the heart of the response and addresses priorities at primary health care and community level, and complements and enhances national priorities, especially National Malaria Control Programmes.

Only invited organisations will be eligible to apply. Funding will be available for Ghana, Sierra Leone and the Greater Mekong sub region in 2017.

A link to open fundings schemes: https://www.comicrelief.com/grants/initiatives

The David & Lucile Packard Foundation – Population and Reproductive Health
The Packard Foundation’s funding in this program area supports efforts to expand access to and improve the quality of essential services, including comprehensive sexuality education, voluntary family planning/contraception, and safe abortion. They focus their efforts in South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the United States. In each region, they make grants to strengthen service delivery, build leadership and advocacy capacity, and shift social and cultural norms that prevent women and youth from seeking the services they need to make healthy reproductive decisions.

They do not accept unsolicited proposals but do remain open to new ideas and approach that meet their strategic grantmaking goals. Interested grantseekers may submit an email inquiry to population@packard.org


Amref Health Africa
Amref Health Africa is committed to improving the health of people in Africa by partnering with and empowering communities, and strengthening health systems. They aim to improve the lives of disadvantaged people in Africa through better health, bridge gaps between communities, health systems and government, be a leading force for advocacy for health system reforms in Africa and be a leader in the NGO community, developing and documenting best practices and training programmes.

They are not currently accepting requests for proposals, but this may change.

Helmsley Trust – vulnerable children in sub-Saharan Africa Program
Through select nonprofit implementing partners, the Trust invests in evidence-based interventions that provide at-risk children with greater access to education, improved food and nutrition, and clean water and sanitation. They seek to support sustainable solutions that will leave durable and lasting change within the communities touched. The program’s initial grantmaking efforts have been in Kenya, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Angola, Ethiopia, and Zambia, supporting a range of integrated development initiatives.

TY Danjuma Foundation – Community Fund (Nigeria)
TY Danjuma Foundation is an independent private Nigerian philanthropic organisation committed to improving the quality of life for disadvantaged Nigerians.

The Community Fund supports initiatives of Community Based Organisations (CBOs) and similar organisations located and operating in local communities of Taraba and Edo States. It provides small grants to NGOs and CBOs to carry out innovative development activities geared towards addressing the social-economic challenges within rural communities. It also provides technical and institutional assistance as a way to address organisational development and for enhancing community engagement in targeted social initiatives.

Community fund grants are made once a year, following a call for proposals.