The Wellcome Trust Public Engagement Fund is very open in its remit and so, to guide you through what it means for those working in low- and middle-income countries we have created this Mesh guide to the funding. 

What is it?

This funding is for anyone with a great idea for engaging the public or community in conversations about health-related science and research. It replaces Wellcome’s International Engagement Awards scheme.

The Public Engagement Fund supports creative and innovative ideas that aim to engage a public (non-professional, non-science) audience or specific community group in a two-way discussion about health. In particular, Wellcome is interested in projects that are led by the community or which enable their voices to be heard.
The proposals can come in many forms, such as collaborative theatre projects, research and development for a larger more ambitious project, or the creation of new engagement spaces or exhibitions.

You can apply for any amount from the equivalent of £5,000 to £3 million GBP for up to 5 years.

What to think about

As you are planning your proposal you may want to think about the following:

Project examples

For examples of what Wellcome has funded previously, take a look at the following case studies:

• Dharavi Beinnale – India
• Samala Moyo – Malawi
• Health in the Backyard – Vietnam
• Genome Adventures - Botswana

Who can apply?

The scheme is open to a range of applicants including scientists and health researchers, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), educators, artists, theatre practitioners, and cultural and community organisations.

The activity can take place in a low- or middle-income country within Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, or East Asia and Pacific. Projects can take place in more than one country and this can also include the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.

Wellcome encourages partnerships in all proposals and suggest that scientist or researcher-led proposals be planned in collaboration with partners in civil society or creative industries.

You can apply if your proposal:
- Encourages discussion about health-related science and research or history of medicine and its impact on communities.
- Bridges the gap between the research and community and the general public, and provides channels for these groups to understand one another.
- Promotes innovative partnerships between community organisations, arts and culture, and health researchers.
- Develops individuals, organisations and societies so they can carry out high-quality engagement with health research in the future.
- Encourages a critical awareness of the personal, ethical and cultural impacts of health research and stimulates an insightful sharing of views that has benefits for all involved.

You can’t apply if your proposal is:
- Health promotion or a campaign (i.e. any project that’s trying to change behaviour or raise awareness of an issue).
- Art for therapeutic purposes.
- Telling people what to do rather than giving them the information to make their own decisions.
- Academic research, apart from when it’s integral to the development of the initiative (e.g. action research).
- Engagement activities that are essential to carrying out your research in an ethical way (e.g. consulting with Community Advisory Boards or involving research participants in discussions).

More Information

For details on how to apply and further guidance documents please go to the Wellcome website

If you have any questions about the suitability of your proposal you can contact

To watch a video of two Q&A sessions where potential applicants asked questions about the scheme to the Wellcome Trust grants team visit their Facebook page.

Frequently Asked Questions

In these videos, from two live events in January 2017, Wellcome staff answer potential applicant's questions about the new fund.