International Engagement Awards
What are the Awards?
The International Engagement Awards support public engagement projects and work that builds capacity for engagement with biomedical research in Sub-Saharan Africa, South-east Asia and South Asia.
The scheme aims to:
- stimulate dialogue about biomedical research and its impact on the public in a range of community and public contexts
- promote innovative partnerships between community organisations and the cultural sector, and scientists/researchers
- strengthen capacity to conduct public engagement with biomedical science and health research
The scheme is open to a wide range of people and organisations including scientists, health researchers, NGOs, educators, artists, theatre practitioners and cultural or community organisations.
If your project is not led by a scientist, health researcher or research institution, you must have biomedical scientific input into the project by working in partnership with an expert in the area of biomedical science you are exploring. Similarly, we also strongly encourage scientist-led projects to be planned in collaboration with partners in civil society or the creative industries.
Please read about a Vietnamese project supported through the scheme, ‘Doi Moi’ [PDF 179KB], which aimed to bring science to the forefront of people’s minds in an engaging and entertaining way through theatre productions, lively debate and informed writing.
You may also be inspired by the Art in Global Health projects that supported artist residencies in six research centres across the world to look at personal, philosophical, cultural and political dimensions of health research.
The audience for the project, and the engagement activity, must be in a low- or middle-income country within Sub-Saharan Africa, South-east Asia or South Asia that is also eligible for our Investigator Awards within the broader remit of the Trust (but also including India). These are the countries that marked with an asterisk on our
LMIC country eligibility page.
If you are a Wellcome Trust-funded researcher outside of these regions, please contact us to discuss your engagement plans.
Projects that are not eligible for International Engagement Awards include health promotion or public health campaign projects, research projects, or projects that do not deal with biomedical sciences or the history of medicine.
How do I apply?
To be eligible, you must be either:
- a biomedical scientist or health researcher
- or collaborating with a researcher, research group or institution to provide expertise in the area of biomedical science you are exploring
To apply for a grant of up to £30,000 for up to three years, please complete an
expression of interest [Word] and
email it to us. We will reply to your email with information about the project’s suitability for the scheme and invite a full application if applicable.
We encourage you to contact us as early as possible before the deadline so we are able to provide feedback and there is sufficient time for you to complete the full application form.
All eligible projects will be peer-reviewed and assessed individually on merit and need by a funding committee. Final decisions will be made approximately three months after the full application deadline.
What projects have been funded?
The International Engagement Awards scheme has previously funded projects such as:
Dr Nobhojit Roy
Anusandhan Trust, India
Sensitising and training medical students on communication and ethics
The project will engage medical students and professionals working at teaching hospitals in Mumbai with social science, ethics and humanities and address their needs for better communication skills, insight into their patients’ lives and better conflict resolution skills. This interactive activity-based programme is the outcome of research conducted in six hospitals in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai on ethics in everyday obstetric practice between 2009 and 2011, where it was found that the legal and regulatory framework was defined as ‘ethics’ by a majority of doctors, nurses and medical students. It was observed that most students had little exposure to and critical understanding of the local culture, language and social life of patients. The project will result in the production of case studies and educational material relevant to teaching of medical humanities in the developing world.
Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies, South Africa
Jiving to a science beat: Using radio-style interviews and popular music to disseminate the Africa Centre’s health research, foster community dialogue and promote evidence-based health practices in an area of high HIV prevalence in rural South Africa
This project used popular music to engage community members in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, where the Africa Centre is situated and conducts population studies into HIV/AIDs within the region. Three CDs were developed and distributed and their impact evaluated over two years. Each CD contained a radio-style information interview, interspersed with popular local music and targeted health promotion messages. The CDs were distributed so that they could be played in communal spaces such as local minibus taxis, which have 50-60 000 weekly users, and hair salons. The project aimed to increase community awareness of the work of the Africa Centre and the health research it conducts, to develop and deliver evidence-based health promotion messages based on the Africa Centre’s HIV research, and to engage with new and hard-to-reach sectors of the community in a dialogue about the research of the Africa Centre, producing sustainable partnerships.
University of Oxford/Wellcome Trust Vietnam Major Overseas Programme
p(L)ace of change
p(L)ace of change is a media-led investigation into the rapid development occurring in Vietnam, the impact this change has on health and wellbeing, and what communities have to say about it. The first phase involves a series of community-authored films. These ‘Digital Stories’ focus on health, development and the environment, engaging individuals with the issues around them. The focus areas will be developed as part of an ongoing discourse with science professionals from the Major Overseas Programme in Vietnam. Alongside the community-authored content, professional film makers and health researchers will develop media that enhances the local narratives, adding scientific quality and depth to the content. The resulting DVD will then be used in facilitated community discussions. The project will culminate in a novel media site that will facilitate community discourse as well as global awareness of development issues, captivating and educating audiences through touching personal stories, rigorous science and a uniquely interactive experience.
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London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK
Enhancing the understanding and use of health research in media and national policy frameworks in Kenya
This project developed a model of public engagement with media and policy frameworks in Kenya. Four interrelated engagement activities took place: a press briefing workshop, where journalists were exposed to health research and received training in reporting and writing health stories; a policy briefing workshop, where the role of health research in decision making and how research can be better used was explored; science cafés, where members of the public discuss health topics in a casual and participatory forum; and media training for Kenyan health researchers. Each activity targeted a different audience, but all were supportive of one another. The project initially focused on the use of maps of malaria and helminth infections to support disease control efforts in Kenya; this also served as an entry point for developing a strategy of public engagement for the wider research portfolio of the Public Health Group in Nairobi (Malaria Public Health and Epidemiology Group and the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme, Nairobi) with the aim of improving dialogue between researchers, media and policy partners in Kenya.
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Society for Nutrition, Education and Health Action (SNEHA), India
Art and health in urban India
This project is conducting a series of activities that foster dialogue between formerly segregated communities: slum dwellers, professional artists and health scientists. The activities involve collaborations between established artists and emerging artists from Mumbai’s majority communities. Artworks will be developed for an exhibition of pictorial and plastic arts, film and live performance on an urban health theme. The project will culminate in an exhibition of creative works on the health of people who live in India’s slums, to be displayed at the International Conference on Urban Health, which will be hosted in India in 2011.
Institute of Health and Society, Newcastle University, UK
Facilitating a three-way engagement between study communities, policy makers and researchers in stroke research in Hai and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
This project is raising awareness and stimulating dialogue about stroke research and its impact on health in the Hai and Dar es Salaam districts of Tanzania. This project is based on research in these districts, including the Tanzanian Stroke Incidence Project and social research on the perceptions and treatment of stroke. Stroke is a significant problem and major cause of mortality in sub-Saharan Africa, yet many people don’t seek medical care following a stroke. By means of interactive interviews with stroke patients and participatory focus-group discussions with family members of stroke patients, villagers, social leaders, religious leaders and other members of the general public, the project team are examining understandings of the research process in general, and the specific research carried out in relation to stroke. They are also providing feedback on stroke research results, assessing the response and discussing implications of the research. A facilitated dialogue between the communities and policy makers in the Ministry of Health will also be conducted.
Information on all our previous funding is available here.
Deadlines and contacts
The upcoming full application deadline for the International Engagement Awards is:
18th April 2014
You can contact us at:
International Engagement Awards
215 Euston Road
London NW1 2BE, UK
T +44 (0)20 7611 8806