Enriching Engagement Grants Scheme
This scheme is now permanently closed.
Enriching Engagement was a pilot grants programme open to Wellcome grant holders and awardees at the University of Oxford, to develop and deliver Public Engagement with Research projects. It ran five application rounds from 2019-2021, funded by £1.25m from Wellcome. Though projects awarded through this pilot will continue for several years, the final application round was in September 2021. From September 2021 onward, Oxford-based Wellcome researchers must instead apply to Wellcome's Research Enrichment: Public Engagement scheme, next deadline 8 March 2022. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or your departmental or divisional public engagement staff for application support.
Enriching Engagement aimed to be a funding scheme with a difference. It offered wrap-around support at every stage of pre- and post-award; including a series of pre-application workshops before each round to support researchers of any Public Engagement with Research experience level to develop their ideas, and an innovative light-touch application process that helped researchers communicate their passion, as well as their plans. The Enriching Engagement team also supported researchers in initiating and developing external partnerships, with a particular focus on community organisations.
If you require any of the documents for the scheme in a different format for accessibility reasons, please contact email@example.com
Any queries? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Embedding Awards: special round summer 2021
The Embedding Awards are a special round of Enriching Engagement, for projects from £150k- £300k. Expressions of Interest (EOIs) for Embedding Awards were due 1 July 2021; a funding panel in July assessed them and invited a select few to proceed in developing full applications, which were due in September 2021. These are currently under review and awardees will be announced later in autumn 2021.
A key feature of Embedding Award projects is that they will work closely with an external partner(s). It is also expected that all prospective EOI submissions for Embedding Awards would work closely with Oxford public engagement staff to develop their proposal. Prospective EOI applicants and invited full applicants were provided with detailed application guidance, eligibility and criteria information. Now that applications are no longer open, copies of this guidance are available on request from email@example.com.
Key dates: 1 July 2021: Expressions of Interest were due. 16 September 2021: invited full applications were due. Applications were submitted via IRAMS.
January 2022: six projects have been awarded funding in the final two rounds of the Enriching Engagement scheme, a pilot grants programme open to Wellcome grant holders and awardees at the University of Oxford to develop and deliver Public Engagement with Research projects. Four of the newly awarded projects have been awarded through Round 4 of the regular Enriching Engagement scheme, and the other two projects have been awarded through the one-time "Embedding Awards" round, for larger projects (over £150k) with a focus on partnerships.
Summaries of awarded projects from all rounds, 2019-present, are listed below in reverse chronological order.
Enriching Engagement awardees: Round 4 and Embedding Awards (awarded autumn 2021)
PI: Dr Thomas Crellen (NDM Big Data Institute)
Project team: Dr Arporn Wangwiwatsin (Khon Kaen University) and colleagues
“Food, health and livelihoods in northeast Thailand”
Many regions in Southeast Asia are affected by liver fluke; parasitic worms acquired from eating raw or insufficiently cooked fish that causes cancer of the bile duct. The liver cancer caused by liver flukes (cholangiocarcinoma) is rare in Western countries, but is one of the leading causes of death in Northeast Thailand and neighbouring Laos. This project aims to explore attitudes and perceptions towards health and diet among the communities most heavily affected by liver fluke. To facilitate an open dialogue between endemic communities and researchers, we propose a mixture of focus group discussions and participatory visual media, which will be embedded within a local festival with food vendors, music, and market stalls to encourage inclusion from a broad cross-section of society. The main outcome will be a better understanding of how different public health measures against liver fluke will be received, and adhered to, by community members.
PI: Dr Caroline Hartley (Paediatrics)
Project team: Dr Tricia Adjei, Marianne van der Vaart (Paediatrics) and colleagues
“My baby’s brain”
In the UK more than 60,000 babies are born prematurely each year. Premature babies are born at a time of rapid brain development. Using custom designed animations and interactive resources, “My baby’s brain” is a project that will give the parents of infants in the Newborn Care Unit, John Radcliffe Hospital, an invaluable insight into their child’s brain. We are partnering with the charity SSNAP (Supporting the Sick Newborn and their Parents) to create resources in collaboration with parents, ensuring that they are easy to understand and focus on areas which are important for parents. Parents will gain an understanding of their baby’s brain development and how brain immaturity relates to infant breathing patterns, and they will be introduced to the research techniques used to investigate babies’ brain development. We hope this will increase parent-infant bonding, and help researchers better understand which areas of infant brain research most interest parents. Through the release of information leaflets and animations on our websites we also hope to reach parents of premature babies beyond the John Radcliffe Hospital.
PI: Prof. Heidi Johansen-Berg (Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging – WIN)
Project team: Dr Carinne Piekema (WIN) and colleagues, with Oxford United FC, Oxford City FC and Football Beyond Borders
“Football on the Brain”
Learning depends on improvements in performance during practice but is also known to improve after training has ended. This so called ‘consolidation’ is boosted during sleep and involves reactivation of brain activity patterns that were present during learning. The research programme linked to this grant will investigate brain changes that occur during learning and consolidation and will test whether modifying activity in the sleeping brain can boost learning and rehabilitation. “Football on the Brain” will bring together communities who can benefit from this research. Specifically, through our collaborations with Oxford United FC, Oxford City FC and Football Beyond Borders, we will be working with coaches to embed neuroscience theory into their training, help students improve their (football) skill learning, and help football fans to better understand and look after their brain health.
PI: Prof. Paul Klenerman (NDM Experimental Medicine)
Project team: Zakiya Leeming (Royal Northern College of Music)
“Thanks for the memories”
“Thanks for the Memories” is musical excursion through interactions between viruses, vaccines and immunity, culminating in an Opera informed by engagements with KS3 students. The story will explore the history of vaccine development from its precursors in Ancient China, Africa and the Middle East through to modern vaccine technologies. Focusing on the role of memory, the KS3 students will create their own musical responses to the science and history of vaccines and develop an awareness of contemporary challenges in vaccine study. This project aims to provide a space to explore controversies and preconceptions in an inclusive and enjoyable way through song and storytelling. Contextualised through characters living through pandemics past, this project aims to give voice to a range of experiences whilst promoting awareness of both current research and past histories of this global story of viruses, vaccines and memory.
PI: Prof. Simon de Lusignan (Primary Care Health Sciences)
Project team: Alice Williams (Primary Care Health Sciences) and colleagues
“Engaging patients in disease surveillance and research through creating links with general practice patient participation groups”
The Oxford-Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) Research and Surveillance Centre (RSC) is one of Europe’s oldest disease surveillance networks. A core part of our disease surveillance are the virology swabs collected by GP practices. We test the swabs for a range of respiratory diseases, including COVID-19 and flu, so that we can track their prevalence across the country in near-real time. One way patients can contribute to this disease surveillance is to request an at-home self-swab kit as soon as they have any flu-like symptoms. They can send us a swab without needing to visit their GP practice in person via TakeATestUK, set up by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA). Yet, uptake so far has been low. Our aim is to increase public engagement with this scheme by designing tools with five Patient Participation Groups (PPGs) and the RCGP’s patient group. The tools will help us best convey the purpose of virology surveillance to patients and explain how they can access the swab kits. Interventions could include: a weekly patient-focused newsletter; online ‘drop-in’ sessions with a member of the RSC Practice Liaison Team to discuss any queries; online resources and webpage shared via the RSC and/or GP practice social media; and any other suggestions from discussions with patient groups. By engaging patients directly, we hope that more will volunteer to self-swab earlier in their illness. We hope this will also lessen the burden on GP practices to identifying and following-up with eligible patients, particularly over the coming months of winter illnesses. We will measure the success of our interventions by comparing sample uptake in participating practices over comparable months. We will then use and adapt any successful strategies across the rest of our GP practice network.
PI: Prof. Shankar Srinivas (DPAG)
Project team: Dr Tomoko Watanabe (DPAG), Prof. Wes Williams (TORCH), and colleagues
“Shaping Destiny: Experiments in Embodiment”
Shaping Destiny is an inter-disciplinary project bringing together science, humanities and art, across industries and institutions, with the goal of engaging with the public from various communities of Oxford. During embryonic development, the fate of cells and the form of the body are, in a very real sense, determined by the activity of genes. However, there are obvious limits to the role of genes in determining, for example, our capabilities, place in society, relationships, sense of self, and our destiny. There is a tension between genetic determination of our physical form and the manifest ability of individuals to transcend biological determinism and societal constraints. Historically, society has explained congenital defects, and even normal variation, in terms of the ‘monstrous’, brought about either by devilish intervention, or by the actions or thoughts of the mother to be during pregnancy. The aim of this project is to explore different, changing, understandings of the key concepts of destiny and embodiment, in collaboration with partners with different perspectives. Setting molecular biology in tension with dance, theatre, and creative virtual reality, we will investigate intersecting conceptions of embodiment, physical form and the social norms which determine and shape human destiny. Together with our partners and community groups, we will explore the above ideas, distilling concepts to co-create and co-produce various art in different forms such as dance, theatre performance and a virtual reality experience.
Enriching Engagement awardees: Round 3 (awarded February 2021)
PI: Prof. David Clark (Experimental Psychology, Oxford)
Project team: project lead Dr Emma Warnock-Parkes (Oxford)
“Seeking help online: Improving access to reliable and engaging information about PTSD and Social Anxiety Disorder” – digital engagement
Social anxiety disorder (SAD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are common, persistent and disabling disorders that have been researched by the Oxford team for the past 25 years. Our team has developed highly effective and leading psychological treatments for SAD and PTSD that are recommended as first choice interventions in current National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines and are available in the NHS. However, despite the high prevalence and debilitating impact of these disorders, most sufferers do not seek professional help. Many people do however turn to the internet for advice. Google searches for ‘anxiety’ reached record levels in the last year, during the COVID-19 pandemic. A google search for ‘treatment for anxiety’ elicits 484 million results, but available information often lacks details about specific disorders and is also of variable quality and scientific rigour. Our project will explore what reliable online materials are currently available and link with other partners including the NHS and community and patient organisations to identify gaps. We will consult with experts in digital engagement to develop a plan for improving provision of evidence based and engaging online content about these anxiety disorders and their treatment.
PI: Prof. Patricia Kingori (Ethox Centre, Oxford)
Project team: Al Hopwood (artist), Dr Fiona Groenhout (Oxford)
"Museum of Revelatory Fakes” – museum and digital engagement
This grant will provide seed funding for The Museum of Revelatory Fakes (MoRF), an initiative that seeks to work with the public to explore the impact of so-called ‘fake news’ and misinformation in global health, via a collaboration between sociologist Patricia Kingori and artist/curator A.R. Hopwood. MoRF aims to explore the impact of the fake on public health messaging (particularly in relation to COVID-19), whilst interrogating questions of trust and discernment about the authenticity of messages among targeted groups. While research has identified the existence of vaccine hesitancy created by misinformation among certain groups, there has been little engagement with these groups to understand how they perceive and process this misinformation and what makes them accept or reject certain public health messages. MoRF is seeking to address this deficit by developing deeper insights into why certain health narratives have such psychological weight among targeted groups so that they can be more effectively understood and addressed. MoRF is intended as both a digital and physical space, but initial engagements in this first phase of the project will commence with a crowdsourcing website, which will invite co-production of knowledge by target groups, including the collection of a range of health misinformation case studies that will inform the further development of MoRF in future phases.
PI: Prof. Helen McShane (Jenner Institute, Oxford)
Project team: Samantha Vermaak, Blakeley Nixon (Oxford)
"BCG100 Programme” – vaccine anniversary engagement programme
The Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (‘BCG’) vaccine is the only licensed vaccine to prevent tuberculosis (TB). In 2021, it will be the 100-year anniversary of the first use of the BCG vaccine; with 1.4 million people still dying of TB every year, this vaccine urgently needs improving on with modern, more efficacious vaccines. To raise public awareness of TB and the need for an improved TB vaccine, we will host a programme of events and activities celebrating BCG’s centenary, called BCG100. This will include public talks, talks for schools, and a series of retro computer games, the ‘BCG Adventures’. These four games will be targeted at 11-14 year olds (KS3) and will be open access so that teachers and researchers can use them as a fun way to engage children in discussion and learning around vaccinology, immunology, tuberculosis, and careers in STEMM.
PI: Prof. Frances Platt (Pharmacology, Oxford)
Project team: Dr Maria Fernandez-Suarez, Barbara Zonta (Oxford), James Harwood (Science Animated)
"Lysosomal storage diseases: creating web-based animations to educate and connect patients with support organizations” – animations project
Lysosomal storage diseases (LSDs) are a family of rare and ultra-rare genetic disorders, which often remain undiagnosed. The limited access to information and support inevitably brings an overwhelming sense of loneliness to patients and their families. Our project aims to bridge the gap between isolated affected families and support organizations. In consultation with patient organizations, we will explain our research on LSDs in a lay but scientifically accurate way and produce a series of animations in multiple languages to reach as wide a target audience as possible. These animations will be promoted on social media channels and will provide links to reach local and international patient organizations. These will be instrumental in providing patients with the support they need and access to information about treatments and clinical trials.
Enriching Engagement awardees: Round 2 (awarded July 2020)
PI: Prof. Anne Goriely (Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, Oxford)
Project team: Dr Nina Hallowell, Dr Hana Mlcochova, Arianna Manzini (Oxford)
“Me and my genome: What am I really made of?” – schools engagement
There is an ever-growing enthusiasm and fascination for ‘recreational genetics’ (home-testing kits) to query our own ancestral history, identify genetic relatives, discover personalised health-related susceptibilities, or even create tailored diets, with likely impacts on medical treatments, society and our own sense of identity. This project aims to develop a comprehensive educational package for young people (16-18yrs old) to promote understanding and critical thinking on the promises and potential pitfalls of this so-called ‘genomic revolution’. As a team composed of genetics researchers and bioethicists, we will address key scientific and ethical aspects of genomics that derive from our own research. In ‘Me and My genome’ we will explore some of the ways genetic differences between people arise. We will develop online engagement materials and run workshops that are designed to explore the processes by which new mutations (which can sometimes cause disease or differences between people) arise during the production of sperm and how these are passed down through generations. We will demonstrate how these genomic variations complicate the interpretation of the information contained in our genomes and the predictive power of genome analysis.
PI: Prof. Martin Maiden (Zoology, Oxford)
Project team: project leads Dr Charlene MC Rodrigues & Dr Frances Colles (Oxford), various other researchers and public engagement professionals (Oxford)
“Genome Detectives” – citizen science and animation project
‘We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge’ (John Naisbitt, Megatrends, 1988) is a statement that is currently very relevant to public health microbiology, the science that tries to keep people safe from infectious diseases. A particular problem is the enormous amounts of information generated by reading the DNA of disease-causing microbes. Clever computer programs can help with this, but people are much better. This project enables interested members of the public help us to understand epidemics, pandemics, and the microbes that cause them. Using the citizen science platform ‘Zooniverse’ (https://www.zooniverse.org/), state-of-the art animations will show participants how to examine the genetic makeup of disease-causing bugs. Then, using special on-line tools, they will analyse the data. The results will be fed through to scientists who will assimilate their information into knowledge that will be incorporated into the website. The goal is a two way-dialogue to build and disseminate understanding while simultaneously generating engagement with research.
PI: Dr Catherine Manning (Experimental Psychology, Oxford)
Project team: Dr Brett Heasman (UCL), Becky Lyddon (Sensory Spectacle), Emily (21andsensory)
"Sensory Street” – immersive experience
Autistic individuals often experience sensory symptoms, like discomfort under fluorescent lights or heightened sensitivity to sounds. Sensory processing differences are part of what make the world disabling for autistic people, impacting family life, education and mental health. While members of the autism community are all too aware of the importance of sensory processing differences, people without autism-specific training or expertise may be unaware of the effects that sensory processing differences have on daily life. In this project, we will be working with autistic people to create an immersive experience to inform those who come into day-to-day contact with autistic people (e.g., hairdressers, shopkeepers) about sensory processing differences. Shops, hairdressing salons and leisure places will be transformed into sensory experiences based on descriptions of difficulties faced by autistic individuals. To do this, we will first work with autistic individuals to hear which aspects of different environments most affect them and which audiences they would most like to be informed about their sensory needs.
PI: Prof. Jane Mckeating (Nuffield Department of Medicine, Oxford)
Project team: project lead Alison Stibbe (Oxford); research fellows and DPhil students (Oxford); Lois Muddiman (artist); Rosehill Primary School
“Understanding viruses: combining science and art to empower young people” – schools engagement
The project will forge a partnership between virologists at Reuben College, an artist and a local primary school with the goal of educating young children about viruses. The scientists will create materials to introduce and explain the microbial world to young children, particularly what viruses look like, how they replicate and are transmitted. Our workshops will build a sense of empowerment by engaging with this unseen world in the active creation of art – paintings or models – that will be exhibited and celebrated at the College.
*This project has now been cancelled by the PI due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and all funds returned.
PI: Dr Anna Mitchell (Experimental Psychology, Oxford)
Project team: Dr Brook Perry, Dr Juan Carlos Mendez, Eleonora Lomi, Stuart Mason (Oxford)
“APE: Animations and Public Engagement to promote transparency in primate neuroscience research” – animations, schools and festivals engagement
This project will conceptualise for the public using video, animations, hands-on workshops and talks why and how we use animal models and humans to investigate the brain circuitry involved in learning new information, making memories, and making value-based decisions. We’ll describe the methods and techniques we used and explain some of our latest findings and the projects we are working on to study the normal brain and what happens when we can no longer learn or remember so well.
PI: Dr Jacinta O’Shea (Psychiatry, Oxford)
Project team: Dr Carinne Piekema, Dr Maria Larriva-Hormigos, Dr Polly Waite, Dr Maryann Noonan (Oxford), Katrina O’Malley (Cooper School)
"Building stress resilience in early adolescence” – schools engagement
Stress related disorders, anxiety and depression, affect over 615 million people worldwide. They impose huge personal, health and socioeconomic costs. For most people the problem develops before their early twenties. The longer a person has a mental health problem, the harder it is to treat. Therefore, intervening earlier in life, to promote stress resilience, is a promising preventative strategy to reduce the burden of mental ill health. Early adolescence is a critical period of brain development in which circuits that control cognitive and emotional functions mature. We aim to engage young teenagers and equip them with the knowledge and practical skills to drive their own brain development in a positive direction that promotes good mental health. The central scientific insight we wish to share is that stress is a biological state with positive benefits, but which undermines mental and physical health when it becomes chronic. We aim to inform, inspire and empower teenagers to cultivate stress resilience skills and thus enable them to better manage their own minds. To achieve this goal, we will partner with students and teachers across schools in Oxfordshire to co-create a 2-year program of stress resilience skills development, to be delivered in schools to Years 7-9. Students will be partners and co-creators throughout each step of the process, from conception to evaluation. We will co-create a reusable shareable toolkit of practical and digital content and embed it in the curriculum.
PI: Dr Carlo Rinaldi (Paediatrics, Oxford)
Project team: Dr Mitra Forouhan (Oxford), Athanase Kollias (K-Invent)
“Muscle Switch” – children's activity
Incorporating video-gaming and hands-on craft workshops, ‘Muscle Switch’ aims to inform the audience about the mechanisms of transcriptional regulation of muscle mass in health and disease, while triggering a debate over the role of muscle in whole-body wellbeing, what makes us strong, and what is considered ‘normal strength’, based on multiple factors such as age and sex. In the video-game the participant will have to collect proteins floating in the cytoplasm of a muscle cell and bring those into the nucleus and then on the DNA. Once this task is completed and the transcriptional complex fully assembled, a short animation about muscle will seal victory. In order to control the character the player will need to apply maximum hand grip force through a specialised joystick, which is a hand-held dynamometer equipped with electronic force transducers. By capitalising on the UK network of local science festivals, with our engagement programme we aim to encourage children and young adults to think about what living with muscle wasting diseases is like.
Enriching Engagement awardees: Round 1 (awarded November 2019)
PI: Dr Alex Bullock (Structural Genomics Consortium, Oxford)
Project team: project lead Dr Ellie Williams (Oxford)
“Development of an SGC Zone within SMASHFest UK: Space Plague “ – escape room
This project developed an escape room focused on the problems and solutions to drug development and the use of open access research. It was successfully trialled in February 2020 at SMASHfestUK: Space Plague. SMASHfestUK was an immersive experience with a diverse mash-up of Science, Engineering, Technology, Maths & Arts - working for better gender, ethnic and socio-economic diversity in STEAM education and careers, and developing and publishing new design-led methods & approaches for creative public engagement, participation & impact. Through the story of an outbreak of a ‘space plague’, participants took on the role of scientists combatting the plague outbreak and learned about the real-life (and multidisciplinary) science behind it. Afterwards they had a chance to follow up on their experience and investigate the processes behind drug discovery in the escape room and at the same time learn about the work the Structural Genomics Consortium gets up to. The team is now developing an online version of the escape room in response to Covid-19. The Enriching Engagement scheme encouraged and enabled the team, funded by a Wellcome Strategic Award, to apply for PER funds for the first time.
PI: Prof. Derrick Crook (Nuffield Department of Medicine, Oxford)
Project team: project lead Dr Philip Fowler and PER Coordinator Carla Wright (Oxford)
“Broadening and deepening public participation in BashTheBug.net” – online citizen science project
This project aims to improve how BashTheBug engages with both the wider public and their existing base of citizen scientists. Its secondary aim is to develop legacy planning for BashTheBug to ensure its longevity past the end of its parent research project, CRyPTIC. BashTheBug engages citizen scientists to classify image data relating to tuberculosis and its resistance to antibiotics. It is hosted by the online citizen science platform Zooniverse. The project recently reached the milestone of 4 million image classifications completed by its volunteers, and, as an entirely online project, is seeing very high engagement numbers during the Covid-19 lockdown. The Enriching Engagement scheme enabled the team to recruit a p/t PER Officer to focus on significantly improving the reach and diversity of the citizen science volunteers and effectiveness of this Citizen Science platform."
PI: Prof. Deborah Gill (Radcliffe Department of Medicine – NDCLS, Oxford)
Project team: various (Oxford)
“Gene Therapy for lung diseases” – schools engagement
This project team planned a series of hands-on activities suitable for a science stall or school workshop. The first of these were successfully trialled in spring 2020, and further school and festival plans are now being reassessed in light of Covid-19. These activities introduced basic concepts of genetic diseases in the lung and the use of DNA as a treatment. The driver for this was the discrepancy between how gene therapy works and public understanding of the topic. In previous engagement efforts, the project team had found that both young people and adults are generally surprised to find that there are UK patients currently receiving gene therapy, since film and TV drama tend to portray gene therapy as both fantastical and risky. The project aims to separate fact from fiction. The Enriching Engagement scheme enabled this team to both develop and test the activities and to build engagement capacity within the research team, including those in the early stages of their career.
PI: Prof. Patricia Kingori (Ethox Centre, Oxford)
Project team: Eloise King (filmmaker)
“The Shadow Scholars of Global Health” – documentary
This documentary project aims to stimulate public engagement on the subject of fakes, fabrications and falsehoods in global health. It focuses on the people and processes involved in ‘shadow scholarship’ - people being paid to produce academic work in the name of others. The documentary provides an accessible means in which ‘shadow scholars’ can co-produce their own accounts of the nature of the academic writing for hire industry, and is the first documentary to explore this issue. It raises important questions related to the growth of ‘shadow scholars’ and what the impact of these activities is for the value, relevance and benefits of education, and about current strategies to build or strengthen capacity in STEM in the Global South. This Enriching Engagement project will enable the PI to engage with the shadow scholars, rather than as part of the ‘formal’ research process, which has the potential to open up conversations and enrich and enhance their research.
PI: Prof. Chris Lintott (Physics, Oxford)
Project team: project lead Dr Helen Spiers
“Scribbling for Science in Schools: Taking Authentic Research into Schools with the Zooniverse” – schools engagement
This project adapts the online citizen science format of the Zooniverse platform into a workshop that can be brought into schools. The project team are applying their experience of developing successful educational workshops for primary school pupils to the ‘Science Scribbler’ suite of projects. The research focus of the workshops, based on the research of the main Wellcome grant it is associated with, is understanding the biological basis of Huntingdon’s Disease and advancing knowledge of virus replication. The project is producing three novel, hour-long workshops that are focused on creating even more enriching experience for the citizen science volunteers.
PI: Prof. Shankar Srinivas (Department of Physiology, Anatomy & Genetics, Oxford)
Project team: project lead Dr Tomoko Watanabe (Oxford), Anan Atoyama (choreographer)
“Dynamic Origins” – dance project
This project brings together a dance choreographer with researchers that are focusing on embryonic cell movement. A major aspect of the researchers’ work relies on using microscopes to image cell movements in the embryo and computer programs to visualise these data, so that they can understand how they lead to the emergence of form; however, even with these modern tools, they have difficulty sometimes truly assimilating the complicated three-dimensional changes occurring over time during development. AToU is a dance company with a strong emphasis on creating dance pieces to visualise invisible and unknown aspects of humans and society. This Enriching Engagement funded project brings researchers and AToU artists together to visualise and experiences processes that are not easily seen, through the medium of dance. Plans to share the project’s outcomes more widely are currently being redeveloped in light of Covid-19.
2. May I submit multiple applications to one Enriching Engagement round?
1. If I applied to a previous round of Enriching Engagement but was unsuccessful, may I reapply to the current round?
Yes. However, we would strongly recommend that you make use of the significant Public Engagement with Research expertise and support provided as part of this programme to support researchers in the development of their Public Engagement with Research proposals. Contact: Brian Mackenwells (Public Engagement Coordinator, Medical Sciences Division) and other Public Engagement staff from your Division or department, as may be appropriate.
(Round 1 deadline closed September 2019, Round 2 closed June 2020)
Proposed Enriching Engagement projects must directly relate to the research of your main Wellcome grant. You may submit two applications proposing significantly different public engagement activities relating to the same Wellcome grant. However, please note that Wellcome awarded Oxford with the funding to run the Enriching Engagement grants scheme on the basis of a set of goals, which included that under Oxford's management of this scheme a greater number and diversity of researchers would apply for and be funded to develop and deliver high-quality Public Engagement with Research (PER); including those new to this area. Thus, if in the current round the assessment panel recommends more projects for funding than there are funds to support, it is unlikely that two applications from the same PI in the same round would both be granted funding.
No. PPI is required as part of ethically robust research and so should be part of your main research grant and cannot be funded through this scheme. However, patients can be one of your key audiences as part of your PER plans – but not as part of ‘formal’ PPI processes. If you are uncertain about how this may affect your proposed project, contact Brian Mackenwells (Public Engagement Coordinator, Medical Sciences Division).
Small Awards are to a) scope out, pilot and evaluate an engagement project, including seeking and developing new partnerships for development and delivery; or to b) develop, deliver and evaluate smaller scale activities and projects. Large Awards are to enhance and scale-up a previous/existing engagement project (funded via any source) that has already been scoped, developed and evaluated; and in which proof-of-concept has been established.
Furthermore, please note that the Enriching Engagement grant you apply for does not have to be commensurate with the size of your main Wellcome research grant/award. For example, you can have a modest main grant but a larger-scale engagement activity, or a large main grant but want to test the waters of engagement with a smaller project.
5. The total budget for my proposed activity falls within the funding size categories for Enriching Engagement, but I have partial funding from other sources – which means the amount I’m applying to Enriching Engagement for does not fall within the funding size categories. Can I still apply?
It is the amount applied to Enriching Engagement for that must fall within the funding size categories listed above (i.e. a minimum of £10k). Applications whose requested amount falls outside these ranges, even if they are for part-funding of projects whose overall budgets fall within the stated funding ranges, are not eligible. For example: if you already have £10k of funding from other sources for a £15k proposed activity, you cannot apply to Enriching Engagement for the remaining £5k - since the minimum application amount is £10k. Enriching Engagement is intended to make a fundamental difference to the development and delivery of projects that would not otherwise be possible; it is not intended to act as 'top up' funding.
6. I've read the guidelines and all the information on the website, but I am still not sure if I am eligible to apply or my proposal is within scope.
Detailed information is available on these webpages particularly in the Application Guidance tab. If you have further questions, contact Dr Hanna Smyth (Grants Officer).
Yes. In addition to the pre-application support workshops and consulting with your departmental/divisional public engagement colleagues, you can also request 1:1 application support from Brian Mackenwells, Public Engagement Coordinator for the Medical Sciences Division.
As Enriching Engagement is a pilot funding scheme, it is important that we gather learning about effectiveness, efficiency and outcomes of the funded projects and overall funding scheme. As part of the evaluation of the grant scheme, you will be contacted by the evaluation consultants commissioned by the University of Oxford and Wellcome, to take part in evaluation activities to explore your experiences of applying for this grant scheme.
Those who apply and are funded through the scheme are expected to provide learning, feedback and outcomes and impacts from their funded project throughout the process. You will be required to conduct evaluation and final reporting regarding your own Enriching Engagement project’s activity; details of these requirements will be provided in your Grant Conditions document. We will use this information for monitoring, evaluating and reporting purposes, and research, learning and reporting to Wellcome. As this is a pilot scheme, which may also influence Wellcome’s future engagement funding strategies, evaluation is key. Enriching Engagement is part of a larger Wellcome pilot exploring the benefits and drawbacks of devolved funding schemes; you can learn more in this blog post by Wellcome’s Head of Public Engagement, Imran Khan, here.
9. Am I required to attend the pre-application workshops and consult my divisional/departmental public engagement colleagues?
A fundamental part of this pilot grants programme is to provide support and guidance to increase the quality of proposals and impact of the funded projects. Applicants are strongly advised to take up the significant expertise on offer from the University’s Public Engagement staff (based in Research Services, the Divisions, and some departments) to support applicants in developing their ideas and shaping their plans through workshops and one-to-one meetings. For further information, please contact: Brian Mackenwells, Public Engagement Coordinator, Medical Sciences Division.
The PI listed on your Enriching Engagement proposal must be the PI or named Co-I of the main Wellcome grant whose research your Enriching Engagement proposal is attached to, as per Wellcome’s requirements. However, the Project Lead can be another researcher or professional services staff member, or an external partner. The Project Lead should be listed as the first co-I on your Enriching Engagement application.
11. How can I find out about projects that have been funded in the previous rounds?
For a list of the projects funded in Rounds 1 and 2 of Enriching Engagement, see the project summaries tab.
Your application is automatically sent to your Department or Faculty for financial approval and then is automatically sent to the Enriching Engagement team. Dr Hanna Smyth (Public Engagement with Research Grants Officer) administers the application process. She will check the panel date availability you listed in your Case For Support document, and then assign you to a panel slot. You will be notified of your panel day and time shortly after the application window closes. All, or nearly all, applicants will be given a panel slot; there will be no pre-screening, with the following exceptions: 1) the administrative team will screen for basic eligibility and to ensure the project is within scope (and will notify the applicant if this has not been met); 2) pre-screening will only occur if an unusually high volume of applications is received, which the planned panels cannot accommodate.
You should prepare a 5-8 minute presentation expanding upon the details in your submitted application. You may prepare slides (no more than 4) to use during your presentation – these must be submitted in advance to Dr Hanna Smyth (Grants Officer). Your four slides should follow this format:
1 slide introducing key activities
1 slide on the engagement purpose and target public audience/participants
1 slide on your expected outcomes (i.e. the difference you aim to make; changes you expect to see)
1 slide on content of your choice
You will be given a half-hour timeslot with the panel. For this current round of Enriching Engagement, due to Covid-19, we expect the panels to take place online. Following introductions, you will be asked to give a 5-8 minute presentation explaining and expanding upon the content of your submitted application. The remaining 20-25 minutes of your slot will consist of a discussion with the panel. The selection criteria can be found on the Application Guidance tab.
Each panel consists of a chair and four panellists, who are a mix of internal and external to the University of Oxford. Once you have been assigned a panel slot (shortly after the applications close), you will be sent a document with the bios of everyone who will be on your panel. All chairs and panellists are academics or professional services staff with extensive experience in public engagement, from a range of disciplines and specialties. There will also be other people present including members of the Enriching Engagement administrative team, and external evaluators (who will be observing the panel process for the purposes of evaluating the overall grants process – not evaluating the applicants!).
The PI should ideally attend the panel slot along with the Project Lead (if these two individuals are different), and you are welcome to bring other members of the project team, including external partners. The 5-8 minute pitch presentation during your slot can be presented by any combination of the above.
The Enriching Engagement team will endeavour to communicate all decisions as soon as possible after the panels have taken place, and aim for this to be no later than 4 weeks after the second panel date.
If you were unsuccessful, you will be given the opportunity to receive feedback on why this was the case. If you were successful, the Enriching Engagement team will send you award paperwork to sign, assign you a project mentor, invite you to a mandatory Evaluation Planning workshop, and work with your departmental finance team to get your award set up. This generally takes 1-2 months. Successful and unsuccessful applicants will also be subsequently contacted for evaluation purposes (as discussed in Question 8).
Round 4 closed on 16 September 2021. Further details on the scheme process and application documents are provided below:
- no lengthy written applications required - just great ideas and effective project planning
- workshops and one-to-one surgeries to inspire and shape your thinking
- open to those that are new to public engagement; and those with experience in this area
- no anonymous written reviews and closed panels - applicants are invited to discuss their proposal directly with the funding committee members.
- A Budget Guidance document and Past Panel Feedback document are available to applicants upon demand; please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request."
1. Enriching Engagement is piloting a new way of running the Wellcome Public Engagement Enrichment grants scheme by the provision of devolved funding to the University of Oxford to allocate as internal grants.
2. Enriching Engagement is open to Wellcome grant holders and awardees, across all disciplines, at the University of Oxford, to develop and deliver Public Engagement with Research projects. These projects must engage the public with the research within the main Wellcome research award or grant.
3. The Principal Investigator of the Enriching Engagement application must be the awardee or the grant holder (either the Principal Investigator or named Co-Investigator) of the main Wellcome research award or grant.
4. The Project Lead of the proposed Enriching Engagement activity can be the PI or a different member of the project team, in which case your Project Lead should be listed as the first named co-I on your IRAMS Enriching Engagement application. Other co-applicants can include researchers, public engagement officers and other professional services staff and external partners.
5. For the pilot period (July 2019 – September 2021), all Wellcome-funded researchers at the University of Oxford can no longer apply to Wellcome directly for this funding; they must instead apply to the University’s Enriching Engagement scheme. There are some exceptions to this, alongside the list of some schemes from which you cannot apply for Enriching Engagement funding (see Appendix below).
6. The Enriching Engagement grants scheme is developed and delivered by the Public Engagement with Research teams in Research Services and the Medical Sciences Division.
Planning your application
7. The Enriching Engagement pilot period has five separate funding rounds.
Round 1 closed in September 2019.
Round 2 closed in June 2020.
Round 3 closed 21 January 2021.
The ‘Embedding Awards’ round for extra large projects (£150k - £300k) opened for Expressions of Interest in May 2021, with EOIs due 1 July 2021 and selected proposals invited to submit full applications due 16 September 2021
Round 4 opened 17 June 2021 and closes 16 September 2021.
8. A key part of this pilot scheme is providing engagement support and guidance with the aim of increasing the quality of proposals and impact of the resulting funded projects. There is significant expertise on offer from the University’s Public Engagement staff (based in Research Services, the Divisions and departments) to support applicants in developing their ideas and shaping their plans through workshops and one-to-one meetings.
9. All potential applicants are strongly encouraged to attend at least one of the pre-application workshops or a one-to-one surgery to discuss and develop their proposal ideas and plans. This will also avoid considerable time being invested into a proposal that is out of scope or ineligible.
10. Applications from those that are new to or experienced in Public Engagement with Research are welcome.
11. If you have previously applied unsuccessfully to Enriching Engagement and are planning to apply again, your new application must be substantially different from your old one.
12. Two levels of funding are available. Please note, the purpose of the Awards in rounds 3-4 has evolved from rounds 1-2 of Enriching Engagement. This change has been made to better align with Wellcome’s strategic priorities and encourage multi-phase scoping, development and scaling development of public engagement with research projects.
a) Small Awards (£10k - £40k; < 2 years*) are to either:
- scope out, pilot and evaluate an engagement project, including time to develop new project partners.
- develop deliver and evaluate smaller scale activities and projects.
b) Large Awards (£50k - £100k; < 3 years*) are to enhance and scale-up a previous/existing engagement project (funded via any source) that has already been scoped and at least piloted and evaluated; and in which proof-of-concept has been established, including evidence of demonstrable outcomes to date.
*or until the main Wellcome research grant ends; Enriching Engagement grants must be coterminous with the main Wellcome research grant.
13. Please note that the Enriching Engagement award size does not have to be commensurate with the size of your main Wellcome grant/award. Those holding relatively small Wellcome grants may apply for Large Awards (noting that these are to enhance/scale up activities that have already been successfully trialed); and those holding relatively sizable Wellcome grants are welcome to apply for a Small Award.
14. In terms of Public Engagement, the ‘public’ is defined as individuals (young people; adults or families), groups or communities who do not have a professional purpose for engaging - but who may have general or vested interests in the research.
15. Enriching Engagement grants cannot be used for
engagement activities that are essential to carrying out your research in an ethical way, for example consulting with community advisory panels or communicating research findings to research participants;
engagement with those that are engaging with a professional purpose, for example policy makers, scientists, healthcare professionals and public engagement professionals, without the involvement of public voices;
engagement with undergraduate students, or those where the primary purpose is to increase student applications to the University of Oxford (or other Universities).
If you work with patients as part of your main Wellcome grant research, and you wish to apply for funds to conduct PPI (Patient and Public Involvement) please contact Brain Mackenwells in the first instance, as some PPI activities are out of scope.
How to apply
16. Proposals are submitted via the University’s Internal Research Award Management System (IRAMS).
- Complete the online application form on IRAMS.
- Download the Case for Support template [Word.doc] that is available from here and once complete, save as a PDF and upload the document as your ‘Case for Support’.
- Applicants whose applications are eligible and in scope will be invited to discuss their proposal with the funding panels, which will take place in October 2021. Please state in your Case for Support which date(s) you can attend. Please note that in the event a large number of applications are received, shortlisting may need to occur before the funding panel stage.
IRAMS Application Form
17. The online IRAMS application form requires a financial breakdown of the project. For each budget line please describe the costs being requested in the corresponding ‘Description’ field, and if appropriate, a brief justification. You can provide a fuller ‘justification of costs’ as part of your Case for Support document, in the extra information section. It is your responsibility to confirm all costs with your department; all staff costs (except for casual workers) should be calculated using the X5 costing tool.
18. Once you enter the ‘Purpose’ for three budget lines, more budget lines will become available on the online form.
19. All direct costs required to develop, deliver and evaluate the project are allowed. Further information on eligible costs are provided at the end of this document.
20. A University cost centre is needed to host an award and funds must be managed through a Department or Faculty.
21. Applications are automatically submitted to your Department or Faculty via IRAMS. Applicants are advised to consult with their departmental approver prior to applying to ensure their application is approved in a timely manner to avoid unnecessary delays.
Case for Support
22. Your proposal must identify the target public audiences or public participants that the project aims to engage. You can define your target group by a range of demographic factors. This could include by age, location, gender; socioeconomic status or a particular community. Publics and communities can also be defined by their interests, attitudes or views. Please note that projects that aim to reach the ‘General Public’, are unlikely to be funded.
23. Applicants are also required to identify the key Purpose of the activity:
- To inform and inspire the public about your research: Researchers informing and inspiring public audiences about their research. Possible formats include: festivals; interactive talks and shows; films and animations.
- To consult and listen to public views about your research: To inform researchers on the public’s views or concerns about the direction of research, or an opportunity to hear fresh perspectives and insights. Possible formats include: public debates; online consultations; panels and user-groups.
- To partner and collaborate with the public on shaping, defining or carrying out your research: Whereby researchers and the public work together on projects or help define future research direction, policy or implementation of research outcomes. Possible formats include: crowd-sourcing; citizen science; co-production of knowledge; deliberative dialogues on shaping research questions or tools.
Communication, Evaluation and Reporting requirements
24. Summary details of the Awards made will be published via internal and external communication channels.
25. Please note that successful Awardees will be required to submit a more detailed evaluation plan for their project at the beginning of the project development phase. Support and guidance will be available.
26. As this is a Pilot scheme, which may also influence Wellcome’s future engagement funding strategies, evaluation is key. As such, you will be contacted by the internal or external evaluators to take part in evaluation activities; your participation is voluntary.
27. Selection criteria for the Enriching Engagement awards are as following.
The potential for the project to enhance or influence your research or its impact in some way.
For example this could include one of the following: shaping research direction; providing new perspectives; raising debate and dialogue on social and cultural contexts of the research; public participation in collecting or analysing data through Citizen Science; sharing the research findings to enable cultural enrichment or empowering people through increased knowledge and understanding.
The potential for the project to result in benefits to the engaged publics.
Clear evidence that the purpose of the engagement and target public audiences or public participants have been carefully thought through and articulated; and that the chosen way to engage is compelling and appropriate to reach the target groups and achieve the objectives.
How well the project relates to the specific research within the main Wellcome research grant; and potential for benefits to the researchers and/or to influence their research in some way.
The potential to build capacity for high-quality Public Engagement with Research through enhancing the public engagement skills, knowledge and experience of Wellcome-funded researchers.
The appropriateness of the budget, justification for the costs and value for money.
For Large Awards – evidence that the proposed activity has already been successfully scoped, piloted and evaluated with evidence of demonstrable outcomes.
Privacy and Confidentiality
28. The University of Oxford is committed to safeguarding your personal information in accordance with data protection law.
29. The Enriching Engagement team will use your information for the administration of your proposal throughout the grants process. In addition to internal staff, the information within your proposal will be shared with external panel members; the external evaluators who have been commissioned by the Enriching Engagement team; and with the funder, Wellcome.
Contact & Further Information
• For enquiries, please email Dr Hanna Smyth, Public Engagement with Research Grants Officer, on the Research Services team.
• Read about the awarded projects from prior rounds of Enriching Engagement on the project summaries tab.
• Read about the most common areas in which applications to this scheme could be improved, in the following guide produced by Wellcome: Research Enrichment – Public Engagement: ten common pitfalls [PDF].
• For further information on how to plan high-quality Public Engagement with Research activities; toolkits; guidance; resources and examples of best practice.
• You can also read about Wellcome’s approach to engaging the public.
Researchers that are part of the Wellcome-University of Oxford Africa-Asia programme (including MORU; OUCRU and KEMRI) – please get in touch with your key contact at Wellcome in the first instance to enquire about eligibility towards applying to Enriching Engagement.
Furthermore, if you have a Strategic Award, please contact Dr Hanna Smyth (Grants Officer) to discuss your eligibility.
Who can't apply?
Biomedical Vacation Scholarships
Four-year PhD Studentships in Science
International Master's Fellowships
Master's Studentships in Humanities and Social Science
PhD Training Fellowships for Clinicians
Public Engagement Fund
Seed Awards in Humanities and Social Science
Seed Awards in Science
Small Grants in Humanities and Social Science
Sustaining Excellence Awards
The Hub Award
What costs can be applied for?
Funds can be used for a range of costs including:
• Dedicated salaried posts, where justified
We will provide costs for staff who will coordinate and support the development of your public engagement programme if you have a public engagement programme with substantial reach and impact.
We don't cover the salaries of staff already funded by their organisation.
• Other personnel costs directly related to the programme, including salary replacement or cover, eg teaching staff
• Consultancy costs and project management fees
• Direct activity and production costs, including venue costs, equipment and materials relevant to public engagement, training and development for you and any staff employed on your grant
• Travel costs
We will provide travel costs for you to: attend relevant training or public engagement conferences; visit audiences and collaborators; develop and deliver your public engagement activities; support the involvement of collaborators and audiences.
You can also ask for costs to cover caring responsibilities if you or any staff employed on your grant attend a conference. This includes childcare and any other caring responsibility you have, provided:
- Wellcome is paying your salary
- the conference is directly related to your public engagement programme
- the caring costs are over and above what you'd normally pay for care
- the conference organiser and your employing organisation are unable to cover the costs
- you can ask for up to £1,000 per person for each conference
• Evaluation costs
• Administration costs that are not already covered by other funding
• Marketing and publicity costs for events and activities
• Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks
We will provide costs for enhanced DBS checks (formerly Criminal Records Bureau checks) for applications in the UK. If you are a scientist, these are free if you register to be a Science and Engineering Ambassador (opens in a new tab).
• Contingency costs, as long as these are reasonable and you can justify them
• VAT on fees where the VAT can't be reclaimed.
Downloadable pdf - Enriching Engagement Application Guidance Round 4.pdf
Case for support
Please note in order to submit your case for support you will need to download the editable Word document from this page or from IRAMS. Once completed you can upload the completed form as a pdf to the IRAMS system.
Enriching Engagement Case for Support Round 4.docx
The contents of the case for support is included below for reference:
This Case for Support is to provide an overview of the proposal and details on aspects that are particularly key to the planning of a Public Engagement with Research (PER) project. Applicants* will be invited to discuss their proposal in more depth with the funding panel. Please read the Application Guidance here before completing this form. It is your responsibility to confirm all costs with your department; all staff costs (except for casual workers) should be calculated using the X5 costing tool.
*For all applications that are eligible and in scope. However, if the number of applications is greater than expected, shortlisting may need to take place before the panels.
About your main Wellcome Research Award / Grant
for which you are requesting enriching engagement funding (this information is in your Wellcome grant letter)
Name of PI - main Wellcome Grant
Title of Main Wellcome Research Award / Grant
Type / Name of Wellcome Research Award / Grant
Start & end date
Wellcome grant reference (13 characters)
Brief summary of main award
About your proposed Public Engagement with Research (PER) project for enriching engagement
(which must relate directly to your research award / grant above)
Enriching Engagement PER project title
Are you applying for a: Small Award (£10 - 40 k) or Large Award (£50 - 100k)
Enriching Engagement applicants
Name of PI (the PI of your enriching engagement proposal must either be the PI or a named Co-I of the main Wellcome grant)
Name of Project Lead (the Project Lead should be listed as the first named Co-I on your IRAMS application form), if different to the above
PER project team
Include details of other key team members NOT already listed on the IRAMS application form.
Previous PER Funding
Has the enriching engagement PI and/or Project Lead held a public engagement grant or funding before? If so, provide brief details.
Brief description of PER project
Large award proposals for scaling-up and enhancing either a) a scoped and piloted project or b) an existing activity / project. For large awards only - please provide further details of the original activity (please refer to the application guidelines on the information required)
We expect all eligible applications to be invited to discuss their proposals at a funding panel (however, in the event of a large number of applications received, shortlisting may need to take place before the panels); please note which date(s) you can attend.
Tuesday 05 October 2021 / Monday 18 October 2021
Planning your PER project
(Credit: This case for support template is inspired by a Public Engagement Planning Template developed by Flow Associates)
Publics and partners
Who are your target publics? Why? How will you reach them?
If applicable, provide more details on your partners. Why are you working with them?
Why are you aiming to target these groups? Is it to:
- Inform and inspire the public about the research
- Consult and listen to public views about the research
- Partner and collaborate with the public about the research
Please outline the key stages of your project. For each, address what will be done, when and the key people who will be involved in making that happen.
What will the public see, do and gain?
What will researchers see, do and gain?
Change / Benefits (Outcomes)
What difference will your PER project make?
- For the Public
- For the Research; for Researchers
- Other outcomes (e.g. for Partners)
Additional comments in support of your application (optional)
This can include more detail on your proposed budget and its justification, where you think this is warranted.
As this is a Pilot scheme, which may also influence Wellcome’s future engagement funding strategies, evaluation is key. As such, you will be contacted by internal or external evaluators to take part in evaluation activities; your participation is voluntary.
Data sharing notice
The University of Oxford are committed to safeguarding your personal information in accordance with data protection law.
The Enriching Engagement team will use your information for the administration of your proposal throughout the grants process. In addition to internal staff, we will also share the information within your proposal with external panel members; the external evaluators who have been commissioned by the Enriching Engagement team; and with the funder, Wellcome. Summaries of funded projects will be shared through external communication channels.
I consent to sharing the information in my proposal as described in the data sharing notice above
Yes / No