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People Awards and Society Awards

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About People Awards and Society Awards

Albert Webb from Brain Donors series
Image: ‘Mr Albert Webb’ from the Brain Donor series in Ania Dabrowska and Dr Bronwyn Parry’s Mind Over Matter 2011 exhibition, supported by a people award.

People Awards and Society Awards are two related schemes supporting projects that encourage the public to explore biomedical science, its impact on society and culture, its historical roots or the ethical questions that it raises.

Both schemes aim to:

  • stimulate interest, excitement and debate about biomedical science and/or the history of medicine
  • support formal and informal learning
  • reach audiences of all ages and from all walks of life and inform, inspire and involve them
  • encourage high-quality interdisciplinary practice and collaborations
  • investigate and test new methods of engagement, participation and education.

The schemes are open to a wide range of people, including: mediators, facilitators and practitioners of science communication; science centre/museum staff; artists; educators; film makers; theatre producers; games developers; public participation practitioners; health professionals; and academics in bioscience, social science, bioethics and medical history and humanities.

Project activities and outputs may include:

  • workshops, events, debates and discussions
  • exhibitions and museum outreach
  • films, games, websites and cross-platform projects
  • performance or theatre projects involving existing work or work that may be more illustrative than artistic
  • deliberative or opinion-gathering projects
  • creation of teaching materials
  • projects that use the collections of the Wellcome Library and Wellcome Collection at the Science Museum.

Please see the eligibility tab for the difference between the two schemes.

Please note we have recently revised the criteria for our Co-production Awards specifically to support production costs for broadcast, games or film mass-media entertainment projects up to and including £40,000. Please see here for details of this scheme.

Eligibility

To be eligible, you must be based in the UK or the Republic of Ireland and the primary audience engagement must take place in the UK or the Republic of Ireland. Applicants are usually affiliated to organisations, but you can apply as an individual for a People and Society Award.

Projects must be scientifically sound - we look for scientific input either through a scientist taking on an advisory role or through direct collaboration.

People Awards (up to and including £40 000)


People Awards are for innovative and creative projects that engage the public with biomedical science and/or the history of medicine. They can fund small-to-medium-sized one-off projects or projects that pilot new ideas with an aim to scale up or become sustainable following the grant, or they can part-fund larger projects.

Society Awards (above £40 000)

Society Awards can fund the scaling-up of successfully piloted projects (whether funded through People Awards or through other means) or can fund projects that are more ambitious in scale and impact than is possible through a People Award. Society Award projects would normally expect to reach audiences with a wide geographical spread across the UK and/or Republic of Ireland. They can also part-fund larger projects. The average level of a Society Award is around £180,000 over 2-3 years.

Mass-media entertainment projects are not suitable for the People Awards and Society Awards. We have recently revised our Co-production Awards to specifically fund production costs associated with broadcast, games or film mass-media entertainment projects, please see here for more details.

If your proposed project involves the creation of new artistic work, please also see our Arts Awards.

Projects that are not eligible for People Awards and Society Awards include:

• health promotion or campaigning projects

• arts projects for therapeutic purposes

• projects that do not deal with biomedical science or the history of medicine

How to apply

During 2015 we are launching a new grants system that will replace eGrants, our current electronic application system and other ad hoc application mechanisms. It is important that your application is submitted to us using the appropriate system; this will depend on when you intend to submit your application (see ‘Deadlines’ tab). Please contact us if you wish to discuss these arrangements in more detail.

People Awards (up to and including £40 000)
Complete a full application form, via the Trust's eGrants online application system (select the 'People Awards' form in the 'Full application' drop-down menu), and submit it at any time before the published deadline.

Please refer to the application guidelines [PDF], Grant Conditions and evaluation guidelines [Word] before completing your application.

Please note that organisations need to be registered on eGrants before an application can be submitted. This is done by contacting the Trust; for full information, see the 'About' page on eGrants.

As of July 2014 applications for our Small Arts and People Awards will no longer be peer reviewed ahead of Committee meetings. This change aims to enable faster funding decisions and to relieve the burden of peer review from public engagement professionals and researchers.

The Trust will continue to provide written feedback from funding Committees for all eligible applications submitted to the schemes.

Society Awards (above £40 000)
You must complete and submit a preliminary application form [Word] by the published deadline. Please refer to the application guidelines [PDF], Grant Conditions and evaluation guidelines [Word] before completing this form and emailing it (as a Word document) to PEgrants@wellcome.ac.uk.

The Society Awards Funding Committee will assess your application. If successful, you will then be invited to submit a full application (usually about two months after the preliminary deadline).

Your full application will be peer-reviewed by at least two independent reviewers, and we will invite you to respond to their comments in writing. We will then ask you to present your proposal to the Society Awards Funding Committee. This meeting will discuss the peer reviews and your response to them, and will make a funding decision.

Deadlines and contacts

During 2015 we are launching a new grants system that will replace eGrants, our current electronic application system and other ad hoc application mechanisms. It is important that your application is submitted using the appropriate system.

People Awards

If you plan to submit an application for a People Award to the deadlines in February or May 2015, please complete and submit an application form via the Trust's eGrants online application system.

There are four deadlines per year. Forthcoming deadlines are:

• 20 February 2015 (17.00)

• 22 May 2015 (17.00)

• 21 August 2015 (17.00)

• 20 November 2015 (17.00)

Funding decisions will be made approximately two months after the relevant deadline; we will tell you the result shortly afterwards.The committee reserves the right to request independent expert review of applications to inform their decisions. In cases where this is required funding decisions may take longer.

Society Awards

If you plan to submit a preliminary application for a Society Award to the deadline in March 2015, please complete a word form (available via the 'How to apply' tab).If you intend to submit an application to a later deadline, you should wait until our new system is launched in May 2015 – we will update this webpage to let you know when the application forms are available. Please contact us if you wish to discuss these arrangements in more detail.

There are two deadlines per year. Forthcoming deadlines are:

• 13 March 2015 (17.00)

• 18 September 2015 (17.00)

We will make shortlisting decisions for preliminary applications approximately two months after the relevant deadline; we will tell you the result shortly afterwards.

Contact us at:

People /Society Awards
Wellcome Trust
Gibbs Building
215 Euston Road
London NW1 2BE, UK

T +44 (0)20 7611 5757
E
PEgrants@wellcome.ac.uk

Previous Funding

Funding rate: During the financial year from October 2013 to September 2014 the Committee received 211 People Award applications. Of these, 36 were funded, giving an overall funding rate for the scheme that year of 17%. The Trust received 30 preliminary applications to the Society Awards. Of these seven were shortlisted for full application and four were funded, giving an overall funding rate for the scheme that year of 13%.

You can read summaries of all our previous People Awards and Society Awards funding, including award rates over the last three years.

We have recently funded the following projects:

People Awards

Awarded January 2015

Sylvia Wroblewska
International Documentary Festival Sheffield
DocFest
£29,992

Doc/Fest Ideas & Science is a major programming strand within the UKs biggest Documentary Festival: Sheffield Doc/Fest. It is an inspirational programme of knowledge, ideas, forgotten archives, collections and curiosities. It is a seedbed of great stories and an exploration of compelling films. The programme includes live pitches, animated panel sessions, film screenings with Q&A, plus fantastic opportunities to network with some of the country’s leading thinkers.

Sharon-Marie Weldon
Imperial College
The Time Travelling Operating Theatre
£29,811

The Time Travelling Operating Theatre constructs three simulations from different eras of surgery - 1884, 1984 and 2014 - during one audience viewing (a sequential simulation). Each two-hour event comprises a comparable re-enactment of surgery from each of these three dates, performed by medical professionals from our wide range of contacts. In-between each performance there are opportunities for discussion between the audience, the performers and a small panel of experts, including historians, ethicists and medical professionals.

Amy MacLaren
British Science Association
Scientists and the consumer press - Media Fellowships pilot
£28,186

This is a pilot extension project to the British Science Association's established and successful Media Fellowships programme, which sees scientists undertaking placements at the heart of mainstream consumer media outlets. The programme has traditionally placed Fellows at national media outlets to work alongside science and environment correspondents and editors, or with specialist titles. This pilot project seeks to expand the reach and broaden the impact of the programme, increasing and improving the amount of biomedical content in consumer media outlets, by giving non-science journalists access to scientific expertise and thinking.

Felix Levinson
James Films Ltd
Why You'll Never Catch Smallpox - JAMES film primary school outreach
£29,999

A unique and innovative project to create a free package of teaching materials for primary schools to accompany JAMES, a short drama film funded by the Wellcome Trust, based on Edward Jenner's discovery of the smallpox vaccination. Led by the film's producers and the Association for Science Education (ASE), the project brings together an exciting combination of organisations and individuals including filmmakers, science education professionals, pharmaceutical scientists, and museums to develop and trial a package of engaging teaching resources for Key Stage 2.

Matthew Austin
MAYK Theatre
Mayfest 2015: Developing Compassionate Communities - Death, Dying and Palliative Care
£28,500

The Fourth Annual Public Health and Palliative Care Conference takes place in Bristol in May 2015 with the theme Community Resilience in Practice, involving up to 600 international delegates. MAYK leads a group of arts organisations in the city to present a cultural programme alongside the conference. Mayfest 2015 presents a series of performative and participatory artworks that engage the public and interrogate the social, biological and cultural aspects of death and dying. These artworks form part of the festival programme and are open to conference delegates and the general public.

Ailin Naomi Conant
Theatre Témoin Limited
Nobody's Home - UK Theatre and Military Veteran community tour
£28,320

'Nobody's Home' is a theatre production developed by Theatre Témoin in response to soldiers' homecomings and reintegration after combat. The piece was developed through consultations with Dr Edgar Jones alongside 4 American Vietnam war veterans who participated in forum-style scripting workshops as part of its first US tour. 'Nobody's Home' has been critically acclaimed for its imaginative staging and nuanced exploration of reintegration in both the USA and UK, and commended by military veterans for its sensitive and accurate treatment of the subject. Working with Salisbury Playhouse, we'll redevelop 'Nobody's Home' for a national tour, focusing on areas with high military and ex-military populations.

Lisa Graves
Bristol Museums Development Trust
Science of Death
£29,435

The 'Science of Death' theme forms a key part of Bristol Museum & Art Gallery's 'Death' exhibition. 'Science of Death' focuses on topical debates in bio-medical ethics relating to death and dying. The assisted dying debate is uniquely explored through the re-creation of a room from the DIGNITAS house in Switzerland. Backed up with a lively public events and schools programme, 'Science of Death' delivers an investigative approach, which helps to reveal the complexities around these important issues.

Kevin Malone
University College Dublin
Suicide and Stigma in an Indigenous Ethnic Minority: Engaging Irish Travellers with Lived Lives
£29,302

Suicide is a significant public health concern, associated with stigma. Young men, mental illness sufferers, prisoners and indigenous ethnic minorities bear an increased suicide risk. Irish Travellers are an indigenous ethnic minority with social and cultural parallels with similar groups internationally (Inuits, Aboriginals, Maoris, etc). The Lived Lives exhibition, with artist and scientist, co-curated by communities, has facilitated dialogue and response, described as transformative. Outputs will include an interactive exhibition and learning materials about suicide and its aftermath among indigenous ethnic minorities such as Travellers.

Elizabeth Sharp
Folkestone Senior Academy
Get On
£29,849

Get On discusses the scientific world around them with young people from deprived areas aged from 5 to 15, and uses the medium of radio to record and broadcast their experiences. The project works in age-appropriate ways with groups of children and on an individual basis, to encourage them to question why things happen in the world around them, with particular focus on biomedical topics. Group work includes children creating art works inspired by images from the Wellcome Collection and they record discussing their creations, the inspiration, and why they think the organism is important to our world.

Rory Duncan
Heriott Watt
EnLightenment: build it, see it, show it
£10,000

2015 is the UN International Year of Light, promoting the beauty, science, application and understanding of photonics. To mark this and build on our existing activities, EnLightenment designs, manufactures and supplies 'phone camera microscope (PCM)' kits to a wide audience of schools, alongside a national image competition, CPD teacher training and extensive public engagement.

Rebecca Smith
Taking a turn: mental health history of hospital gardens
£30,000

'Taking a Turn' explores the mental health history of hospital gardens from 1800 to contemporary times, using historical archives as well as historical and contemporary patient narratives. The project engages and stimulates the public through a thought-provoking garden installation and public talks at the Chelsea Fringe festival, and raises awareness in children through a touring schools workshop programme. Taking a Turn brings together medicine, history and horticulture in a fresh approach to facilitate learning and debate in new audiences about a little-known medical history.

Sophia Collins
Nappy Science Gang
£21,454

A genuinely user-led citizen science project, with a group not traditionally engaged with science - parents using reusable nappies. Volunteers choose questions they want to answer. Research those questions to find out what is already known. Design their own experimental protocols, and then run the experiments. All of this is discussed and co-ordinated in a Facebook group.

Awarded October 2014

Dr Tomas Rawlings
Bristol Games Hub, Auroch Digital
Dark Future: mass market gaming with embedded science
£28,045

Auroch Digital is working with Games Workshop to reboot ‘Dark Future’ as a PC-based game. The game, originally from the 1980s, was a post-apocalyptic cyberpunk vehicle battling strategy game set against a backdrop of a world ravaged by environmental destruction yet which had still developed technologically. The grant will allow the formation of a group of advisers who are experts in appropriate science and medical topics alongside an experienced games writer, versed in using science to inspire game narrative. These advisers and the games writer will work closely with the developers to shape the core gameplay and story throughout its development. The People Award will allow detailed engagement with biomedical sciences and related issues, such as synthetic biology and the health implications of climate change, and share this more widely with the sector.

Ms Emma O'Brien
Dublin City University
Bio-boxes: an engaging biomedical science and health programme for children in hospital
£29,706

The Biomedical Diagnostics Institute, Dublin City University, in partnership with Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Dublin, will design and deliver Bio-boxes for children in hospital with chronic conditions. Bio-boxes facilitate practical investigation and e-learning and stimulate discussion. Children in the 10-12 and 13-15 age ranges will participate in the project, with boxes tailored for both groups. The programme will not only educate and inform, but also provide a medium through which students can reach a greater understanding of the workings of the human body, thus helping them make sense of their condition/current situation. The hospital setting provides an opportunity to involve parents in the learning process and collaborative child-parent interactions will be encouraged. It will also provide flexibility for the activities to be carried out in workshops in the school room and at patients’ bedsides if illness doesn’t allow them to join the workshops.

Professor Mike Stubbs
Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT)
Madlove
£29,870

'Madlove' forms part of FACT's 2015 spring exhibition exploring mental health through the work of contemporary artists. 'Madlove' invites the public to help imagine a designer asylum, and asks the question: If you could design your own psychiatric hospital what would it be like? It considers the current social and medical perception of mental health in the context of an exciting participatory installation created by disabled artist The Vacuum Cleaner. As part of the R&D process, The Vacuum Cleaner's team is currently holding participatory workshops across the UK with both patients and professionals. The stories, ideas and knowledge collected will be used to develop a blueprint for the creation of a temporary asylum in Liverpool at FACT - a pilot for a future larger-scale intervention. During the exhibition, the team will activate the space with talks and workshops led by patients, neurologists, nurses, psychologists, doctors and thinkers from across the fields of psychology, health and society.

Mr Nicholas Andrew Taussig
The Greatest Ironman
£30,000

'The Greatest Ironman' is a film following the impacts of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) on a father and son. Alex Smith intends to complete an Ironman triathlon, well known as the toughest single-day challenge you can undertake. But not only that: Alex will also be carrying his 35 kg disabled son, Harrison, the whole way. Harrison suffers from DMD. Ambitious in scale, narrative and meaning, the film will have three strands: Harrison's story (the first eight years of his life, the realisation for his parents that he had DMD, his life today, and the prognosis for him); Alex's story (in critical situations, human beings react/try to cope in different ways - Alex's solution is both constructive and dramatic; and the DMD story (which will be told by Professor Kay Davies -determined to find a treatment and/or cure before she retires, her current work seems promising).

Ms Alison Bowyer
Hayward Gallery
'Britain Can Make It' at Hayward Gallery curated by Dr Cliff Lauson: Roger Hiorns's section - a creative exploration of BSE and vCJD
£29,900

‘Britain Can Make It’ is a thought-provoking artist-curated exhibition at the Hayward Gallery that will reflect on a series of pivotal events and episodes to affect British life since the end of World War II. As part of the exhibition, Turner Prize nominee Roger Hiorns will curate a section exploring the biological and social impact of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and its human corollary, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD). Working alongside leading scientific experts in the field, Hiorns will undertake a serious investigation of BSE and vCJD, its social and cultural impact, and related developments in agriculture, animal husbandry, food production and consumption. The results will be presented in a visually exciting, multi-layered display containing art works, scientific research, cultural artefacts and newly created work and will be supported by a public programme.

Ms Victoria Burton
The Old Vic
AGES
£30,000

The Old Vic's pioneering community programme engages thousands of people annually and offers the opportunity to participate in high-quality theatre projects. The programme provides a creative outlet and a chance to connect with people from different backgrounds, and empowers participants to tackle social issues through theatre. This project, AGES, will take a multifaceted approach to the theme of ageing. AGES presents an innovative platform to consider the economic, political and societal impact of our ageing population and encourage public discourse about what it means to be elderly and living in London. The project will incorporate current scientific thinking by examining the biological and psychological impact on the individual and challenge preconceptions about the elderly through a programme of R&D workshops, research sessions, one-to-one interviews, a debate-style event, a post-show discussion, two pop-up performances, all culminating in public performances of the resulting large-scale community production.

Prof. Andrew Chamberlain
University of Manchester
Gifts for the Gods: Animal mummies in ancient Egypt
£29,168

'Gifts for the Gods: Animal Mummies in Ancient Egypt' is the first UK touring exhibition focusing on votive animal mummification in ancient Egypt. The discovery, excavation, subsequent curation and recent biomedical study of mummies will be showcased; and the exhibition, as well as an accompanying programme of public events, will investigate the practice using biomedical techniques, to place the mummies in their ancient context. The project, an 18-month touring exhibition and events programme, launches at the Manchester Museum in September 2015, before touring to Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, and World Museum, Liverpool.

Prof. Andrew Chamberlain
University of Manchester
Gifts for the Gods: Animal mummies in ancient Egypt
£29,168

'Gifts for the Gods: Animal Mummies in Ancient Egypt' is the first UK touring exhibition focusing on votive animal mummification in ancient Egypt. The discovery, excavation, subsequent curation and recent biomedical study of mummies will be showcased; and the exhibition, as well as an accompanying programme of public events, will investigate the practice using biomedical techniques, to place the mummies in their ancient context. The project, an 18-month touring exhibition and events programme, launches at the Manchester Museum in September 2015, before touring to Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, and World Museum, Liverpool.

Dr Berry Billingsley
University of Reading
Creating strategies for primary teachers to teach evolutionary science and its applications
£27,903

This project brings together primary teachers, science teacher educators and biologists to provide support in teaching evolution, which will become part of the primary-school science curriculum from 2015. It aims to help teachers identify and overcome their concerns and to provide them and their pupils with exciting learning experiences which address common misconceptions, help them understand biological adaptation, and inform them about applications they will encounter in their everyday lives. This will be achieved through a number of mechanisms and will include professional development workshops for primary-school teachers, and the development of a website that provides free materials for teachers. This year will act as a pilot to determine how support is best delivered to teachers in time for the curriculum changes.

Miss Amanda Tyndall
Edinburgh International Science Festival
Carnival of the Brain
£29,990

Edinburgh International Science Festival plan to develop and deliver a brand new immersive workshop, Carnival of the Brain, to be staged in their flagship family venue, City Art Centre, in April 2015. Carnival of the Brain will transform a section of City Art Centre into a journey through the brain, themed around a retro carnival setting. Audiences of children, families and independent adults will step through a visually exciting entrance to the gateway of the mind, and follow carnival-style signposts that direct them to drop-in workshop activities that use traditional carnival activities to explore areas of the brain. These will run alongside other activities, such as wall-based illusions and communicator-led challenges and puzzles.

Miss Amanda Tyndall
Edinburgh International Science Festival
Carnival of the Brain
£29,990

Edinburgh International Science Festival plan to develop and deliver a brand new immersive workshop, Carnival of the Brain, to be staged in their flagship family venue, City Art Centre, in April 2015. Carnival of the Brain will transform a section of City Art Centre into a journey through the brain, themed around a retro carnival setting. Audiences of children, families and independent adults will step through a visually exciting entrance to the gateway of the mind, and follow carnival-style signposts that direct them to drop-in workshop activities that use traditional carnival activities to explore areas of the brain. These will run alongside other activities, such as wall-based illusions and communicator-led challenges and puzzles.

Society Awards

Awarded November 2014

Sara Kenney
Surgeon X
Wowbagger Productions
£227,960

Surgeon X is a cross-platform comic series that explores the future of surgery & medicine including biomedical ethics. The comics are aimed at an interested public. Surgeon X is a doctor called Rosa who has extraordinary, surgical and medical abilities. She doesn’t possess superpowers, but is a prodigy in her field. When Rosa encounters a patient she makes judgment calls on the sorts of treatments they receive. The content of these comics will be the result of an extensive dialogue with scientists, medics, biomedical ethicists & sociologists.

Ellen Dowell
Potplant Ltd.
Einstein’s Garden 2015-2017
£198,946

This award will transform, strengthen and sustain Einstein’s Garden’s place within the UK’s cultural landscape as a SPACE for brave experimentation with new forms of science engagement, as an interdisciplinary COMMUNITY of science and creative engagement experts and as a PRODUCER of adventurous, playful and unexpected projects placing biomedical science centre-stage. Twelve projects fusing contemporary cultural forms with compelling biomedical themes with be developed and presented at the Green Man Festival and a wide range of other cultural contexts. Activities will generate original ways for audiences to discover, conceptualise, question and debate biomedical science, always prioritising direct engagement with scientists.

Trisha Lee
MakeBelieve Arts
The World Inside Me
£160,000

The World Inside Me is a two year programme about the incredible things that are happening in our bodies and brains as we grow older. Using story to engage primary school children with science, we take theatre audiences on a journey through the world inside us, discovering how wonderfully complex we really are. Accompanying these three shows, on the body, the brain and the process of ageing, is a website containing video footage of characters and situations drawn from each show, thus further enhancing the learning potential of the programme.

All past awards made can be found here.

Wellcome Trust, Gibbs Building, 215 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE, UK T:+44 (0)20 7611 8888