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Engagement with your research

Engaging with people about research, why it matters and what it means for them is now an essential activity for your career and will help your research reach its full potential for health improvement. The Wellcome Trust expects all our major research groups to engage the public with their research.

This film highlights some of the reasons we think public engagement is important.

Communicating clearly is one aspect of engagement; however, there are several approaches you can use to actively engage with different groups. Interacting with these audiences and stakeholders creates mutual benefit. For many researchers, the benefits of public engagement include developing new skills and enhancing their research.

Whether you are new to public engagement or already have experience, the Wellcome Trust can help. We can offer advice and help to develop your engagement at every stage of your career and support universities and research institutes to better foster public engagement. Through our training and engagement support, we can help you and your group or centre to engage with people in an effective and rewarding way.

Schools and young people Inspire the next generation of researchers.
Broadcast Reach large audiences through the use of audiovisual media.
News and media Become a spokesperson for your field and help set the news agenda.
Getting research into policy Interact with and influence decision makers.
Arts Stimulate new ways of thinking.
Festivals Showcase your work to new audiences.
Patient groups Interact with the people affected by your research.
Public events Engage with the public at local meetings.

Training and support

Free training and support is available to all Wellcome funded researchers who want to engage people with their research.

All researchers can benefit from the support that we provide to other organisations, such as the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement.

Public engagement funding

The Wellcome Trust allows costs for public engagement within our research grants. Researchers are invited to plan how they will inform, consult and collaborate with the non-specialist public over the lifetime of their research project and cost for this appropriately. New research applicants can propose a programme of public engagement activities within their research application, while current Wellcome researchers can apply for an enhancement of their award.

If engaging with the public is essential to the ethical conduct of your research (e.g. recruitment of study participants) then relevant activities (e.g. community advisory panels) should be included within your research methodology and within your research costs.

In addition to the provision of funds within research grants, the Wellcome Trust funds discrete public engagement projects. If you want to organise an event, develop an exhibition, run a workshop or engage the public in some other way, you can apply for a separate grant.

Workshop report Sharing Our Practice: Successes and challenges of public engagement in the Wellcome Trust's UK Centres Download PDFDownload PDF
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