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Public engagement

We want people to consider, question and debate the key issues in science and society and aim to support innovative projects that engage audiences with biomedical science.

Public Engagement funding

Each year we offer up to £10 million through our wide-ranging Engaging Science grants programme to support projects that encourage people from all ages and from all walks of life to be informed, inspired and involved. Whether you work in science, the arts, media or education, we want to hear your ideas for projects that build excitement and interest around science and society. We support projects in many different areas, including film-making, theatre productions, exhibitions, discussion and policy-influencing events and multimedia.

Supporting researchers

We expect our major research groups to engage with the public about their work and we therefore offer training, funding, opportunities and advice. We also work with other research funders, universities and research institutes to foster a research culture where public engagement is valued, recognised and supported.

Broadcast, Games and Film

Our Broadcast, Games and Film team work with the entertainment industry to support fresh approaches and original ideas inspired by science and its impact on society.  We seed ideas, facilitate access to experts and offer funding for development and production.

Large-scale initiatives and seasons of public engagement

We directly commission work and develop partnerships with other organisations to reach broader audiences and support innovative practice. Taking inspiration from scientific themes, public events or anniversaries we deliver national-scale engagement programmes. Recent examples include In the Zone - celebrating London 2012, Dirt – inspired by a Wellcome Collection exhibition of the same name, and Wonder – a collaboration between the British Neuroscience Association and the Barbican.

See the Wellcome Trust’s strategy page for more information on our focus areas and aims.

Science Learning+ Funds research exploring the impacts of informal STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) experiences.
Engagement Fellowships Support the most talented people in public engagement with biomedical science.
Arts Awards Support imaginative and experimental arts projects that create new artworks to investigate biomedical science.
International Engagement Awards Fund public engagement projects in low- and middle-income countries.
Broadcast, games and film awards Fund proposals from the entertainment industries (broadcast, games and film).
Science Journalism Studentships Offer financial support for students of the MA in Science Journalism at City University London.
Capital funding For large-scale projects that engage the public with science or make the history of medicine relevant to contemporary audiences.
People Awards and Society Awards Support projects that enable the public to explore biomedical science, its impact on society and culture, its historical roots and the ethical questions that it raises.
The Hub Award Project funding and a stimulating space for researchers and other creative minds.
Sustaining Excellence Awards Supporting the enhanced delivery of existing outstanding public engagement projects.

Funded projects

Featured project ER Surgery Workshop Funded by a People Award, the ER Surgery Workshop was an event at the Edinburgh International Science Festival that allowed children to investigate and 'operate' on a range of diseased or injured manikin 'patients'.

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