Engagement funding at Imperial

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Seed Fund

The EDI Seed Fund offers £10,000 each year to help nurture and stimulate our community's creativity so that it might have the maximum impact, helping to build a fully inclusive institutional culture at Imperial.

Find out more about the EDI Seed Fund.

Outreach Seed Fund for Recruiting Black Students

Imperial College London has identified Home Black students as underrepresented in its undergraduate student population. It has therefore committed in its Access and Participation Plan to double the intake of Black heritage students by 2025. Access and participation plans set out how higher education providers such as universities will improve access to, success during and progression from university, specifically for groups that are underrepresented.

The Outreach Seed Fund for Recruiting Black Students* will support students at the College to develop and deliver Outreach initiatives targeted at engaging Black UK students with our research and education to inspire the next generation of Black UK students to make a successful application to the College.

Find out more about the Outreach Seed Fund for Recruiting Black Students.

Research Councils

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)

BBSRC standard research grants are for researchers at eligible organisations that include: higher education institutions, research council institutes, approved independent research organisations, and sector research establishments. Funding can support a range of activities from research projects to technology development, new infrastructure and equipment, use of equipment and facilities, networks, and summer schools.

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

  • Education research programme 2022: Apply for funding to join a research programme exploring teaching and learning, with a focus on teachers and their training, supply and retention the uses of technology in teaching and learning.
  • ESRC new investigator grant: Awarding new investigator grants to support new researchers at the start of their careers, based at research organisations eligible for UKRI funding, to become independent researchers through gaining experience of managing and leading research projects and teams.
  • ESRC research grant: Awarding research grants to fund individuals or research teams based at research organisations eligible for UKRI funding.

Medical Research Council (MRC)

  • MRC Public engagement seed fund: Open to all MRC and Medical Research Foundation (MRF) - funded researchers and those working in MRC research institutes, units and centres. Their aim is to support the piloting of new activities and take advantage of unexpected engagement opportunities.
  • MRC Neurosciences and mental health partnership: Apply for a grant to support new partnerships between diverse groups of researchers in neurosciences and mental health. The grant will allow you to establish new, high-value collaborative activities or capabilities and add value to high-quality scientific programmes that are already supported by grants from MRC and other funders.
  • MRC Population and systems medicine research: Apply for funding for research projects focused on population and systems medicine. You can involve more than one research group or institution in the project.

Natural and Environment Research Council (NERC)

As the UK's leading public funder of environmental science NERC is committed to communicating its work as widely as possible, to inform and enthuse non-scientific audiences about environmental science and to demonstrate the economic and societal benefits that science brings. 

  • NERC urgency funding – This fund allows researchers to respond quickly to transient and unexpected scientific opportunities. These may be events affecting the environment like earthquakes or volcanic eruptions. The aim is to help researchers collect valuable data at the start of the event before other events and actions affect the data collection. You can apply if you are a research group or an individual based at a UK university or other approved institution. 

Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC)

  • Public Engagement Spark Awards: This scheme is designed to support high quality programmes of novel public engagement that inspire and involve audiences with stories of STFC science and technology. Proposed engagement programmes must focus around the remit of the STFC science programme (comprising astronomy, solar and planetary science, particle physics, particle astrophysics, cosmology, nuclear physics and accelerator science). Grants of up to £15,000 are available.
  • Public Engagement Reaction Awards: These awards are a mechanism to allow the funding of public engagement programmes that are a fast response to new and/or unexpected significant developments related to STFC’s science and technology remit. Irrespective of focus, Reaction Award applications will propose high quality and extremely timely programmes of public engagement that inspire and involve target audiences with stories of STFC science and technology.
  • Leadership Fellows in Public Engagement: The scheme supports the very best people in STFC’s community to undertake extended programmes of the highest-quality, innovative public engagement as a core part of their job role. It aims to create a network of highly-skilled practitioners of public engagement with STFC science who inspire and involve colleagues, students, and the public, in their activities.
  • Public Engagement Nucleus Awards: Supporting high quality programmes of novel public engagement that inspire and involve target audiences with stories of STFC science and technology.

Charities and networks

Wolfson Foundation

The Foundation's interest in engaging the public in science complements its funding of scientific research infrastructure. They support institutions conducting high quality scientific research or in possession of important scientific collections to engage with the public. 

Wolfson Foundation Grants are awarded towards new buildings, refurbishments and equipment with the aim of producing the following outcomes:

  1. Increased numbers of visitors and engagement of new audiences
  2. Improved educational experience and understanding of science
  3. Improved financial stability of the organisation 

Black Environment Network

The Ethnic Minorities Award Scheme for Environmental Projects (EMAS) – The Black Environment Network (BEN) offer small grants of up to £500 for individuals undertaking projects which concern the environment and involve people from ethnic communities. 

Learned Societies

Anatomical Society

  • Anatomical Society: Members of the Anatomical Society can apply to support outreach and public engagement activities that ignite curiosity in young and old audiences about the anatomy of humans and animals. Applicants must be members who have been elected to membership by Council for at least a year. 

The Biochemical Society

  • Biochemical Society: The Society wishes to support scientific outreach activities that communicate the excitement of molecular bioscience to young people and the community. Applications are invited for sums up to £1000 to assist with the direct costs associated with an event and expenses incurred. 

British Ecological Society

  • British Ecological Society: Support projects that increase public understanding of, and engagement with, ecology. The maximum award is £2,000. However, the award may be used as part-funding for larger projects involving other sponsors. 

British Pharmacology Society

  • British Pharmacology Society: Our goal is to support and promote engagement with all forms of pharmacology and drug discovery research. With our Engagement grant, we want to support our members who are also working towards this. This grant provides up to £1,500 for creating or developing high quality, in person or digital, engagement and outreach activities that will reach a variety of public audiences. You can also apply for smaller ’Seed Funding’ grants (up to £250) that can be used for high impact, low cost activities, or for the design and testing of activities that have potential to grow.

British Society for Plant Pathology

  • British Pharmacology Society: BSPP wishes to promote an understanding and awareness of the importance of plant pathology to a wider audience than its membership. To that end it has established a fund for the promotion of plant pathology, with the aim of stimulating interest in, and knowledge and awareness of, plant pathology to people who do not normally come into contact with the subject. Who can apply: All members of the BSPP.

The British Society for Immunology

  • British Society for Immunology: The aims of the BSI's Communicating Immunology Grants are to stimulate interest, discussion and understanding of immunology amongst a wider audience  Each grant is worth up to a maximum of £1,000 and grants are awarded quarterly. There are deadlines throughout the year.

The Endocrinology Society

  • The Endocrinology Society: Public engagement grant up to £1,000 supports organisation and delivery of outreach activities, aimed and school children and/or the general public to engage them with hormones and the impact of endocrinology. 

European Society for Evolutionary Biology

  • The Endocrinology Society: Applications for funding will be accepted for educational initiatives that promote evolution, translation of evolutionary material (books, films, and websites) intended for a general audience, public outreach seminars, public exhibitions, etc.

Genetics Society

  • Genetics Society: Grants are available to members of the Genetics Society to cover costs associated with travel and materials for public engagement activities relevant to Genetics. Successful applicants must: acknowledge Genetics Society support at their activity or event, feature the Genetics Society Centenary logo in any new promotional items produced. Applications are currently accepted on a rolling basis and will be sent to reviewers at the start of each month for assessment. Applicants are encouraged to send their applications at least three months in advance of the project start date, where possible, and should normally expect to receive a decision on their application within four weeks of the application being put forward for assessment.

Healthcare Infection Society

  • Healthcare Infection Society: We provide funds to support events where aspects of clinical microbiology, infection prevention and control, and healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs) are promoted to the public and other relevant stakeholders. Events eligible for support can be diverse (pieces of art to popular music) or funds may be used to aid individuals to exhibit at public science festivals. The main criterion is that the event/activity must promote the science of microbiology in the context of (HCAIs). Priority for funding will be given to activities/events that would not go ahead with HIS support.

The Institute of Physics

  • Public Engagement Grant Scheme: This scheme provides up to £2000 to individuals and organisations running physics-based events and activities in the UK and Ireland.
  • School Grants Scheme: The scheme provides grants of up to £600 for projects or events linked to the teaching or promotion of physics and engineering in schools and colleges based in the UK, catering for students in the age range 5-19.

Microbiology Society

  • Microbiology Society: Education and outreach grants of up to £1,000 are available to support relevant science teaching or promotion initiatives, or to support developments likely to lead to an improvement in the teaching of any aspect of microbiology.

Palaeontological Association

  • Palaeontological Association: Engagement Grants are made to encourage educational outreach, public engagement, and related initiatives in palaeontological themes. Grants are awarded up to £5,000, however under exceptional circumstances a budget of up to £15,000 will be considered. 

The Pathological Society

  • The Pathological Society: Support for activities related to the promotion public awareness and understanding of pathology. A maximum sum of £3000 per application. Deadlines are 1 March, 1 June, 1 September and 1 December.

The Physiological Society

  • The Physiological Society: Public Engagement Grants of up to £5000 are available to both Member and non-Members of The Society to promote the discussion of physiology with public audiences. 

Royal Academy of Engineering

  • Royal Academy of Engineering: Ingenious is an awards scheme for projects that engage the public with engineers and engineering. It has funded over 189 projects to date, providing opportunities for over 2,000 engineers to take part in public engagement activities, to gain skills in communication and to bring engineering to the very centre of society.

The Royal College of Pathologists

  • The Royal College of Pathologists: The Public Engagement Innovation Grant Scheme was introduced to give financial support for the delivery of a range of pathology-related events throughout the UK. Grants of up to £1,000 are available for individuals or organisations who wish to develop pathology-related public engagement activities or events.

Royal Economic Society

  • Research Dissemination Grants provide funding up to a maximum of £2,000 for activities involving the discussion and dissemination of new economic research. The activities may include the organisation of workshops, mini-conferences, short seminar series, and could be on-line entirely or in part. The purpose is to bring together a group of researchers from different institutions focusing on a specific area of interest and promote its development and understanding among the research community.  


The Royal Society

  • Royal Society: Partnership Grants of up to £3000 are available to schools to enable students, aged 5 – 18, to carry out science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) projects.

The Royal Society for Arts

  • Royal Society for Arts: By funding pilots explicitly focused on testing and evaluating new possibilities for dialogue, the Rethinking Public Dialogue fund hopes to capture evidence about their effectiveness that can help de-risk these approaches for policy makers, research funders, public engagement practitioners. Projects will be able to bid for a share of £480,000 of funding, with up to £60,000 available per project

The Royal Society of Biology

  • Royal Society of Biology:We look to fund a wide range of public engagement and outreach events and activities. We are keen to support people who are experienced in event delivery, people hoping to organise their first event, and everyone in between.

The Royal Society of Chemistry

  • Royal Society of Chemistry: The Outreach Fund provides financial support to members, individuals and organisations in order to enable them to run chemistry-based public and schools engagement activities. It is split into 2 categories, with rolling deadlines throughout the year; small grants of up to £2,000 and large grants of £2,000 to £10,000.

Society for Applied Microbiology

  • Society for Applied Microbiology: The Outreach and Engagement Grant is designed to support activities where aspects of microbiology are promoted to the general public and other relevant stakeholders (or to create resources used for education and training). Proposals eligible for support can be very diverse, from pieces of art and drama to popular music, or funds may be used to aid individuals to attend and exhibit at public science festivals, or in collaborations with schools and community groups.

Engagement funding within grants

Pathways to Impact

  • Pathways to Impact: Impact is now a core consideration throughout the grant application process and showing how the applicant(s) will maximise the impact of the proposed research should therefore be intrinsic to the proposal itself in a way that is appropriate to the nature and scope of the research being proposed. For example, in proposals focused on discovery research the proposal may focus principally on the generation of new knowledge, whilst proposals with significant elements of applied research may have impacts related to economic and societal benefit 

Wellcome Trust

  • Research Enrichment (Public Engagement): This funding supports Wellcome grantholders who want to use public insights to develop their research. Engagement helps to build the public's trust in research, and ensure research is valued within society.

    More information about eligibility and the application process can be found here, including guidance notes and common pitfalls to avoid in your application.