Introducing the new Participate Grants funding call

Posted in: Doing Public Engagement, Engage Grants, Leading Public Engagement

Are you interested in exploring an issue with a University of Bath researcher or a community group from the South West? The University of Bath's Participate Grants is a new funding call to bring together researchers and community groups to do just that.

Participate Grants funding call

For the Participate Grants, the University of Bath's Public Engagement Unit is distributing £50,000 from the Research England Participatory Research funding allocation. This funding call is open to community groups from across South West England and researchers from the University of Bath. There are three levels of funding available:

  • Micro - for projects costing a few hundred pounds (we anticipate funding between five to 10 projects in total)
  • Medium - for projects costing a few thousand pounds (we anticipate funding between five and seven in total)
  • Large - for projects costing approximately £10,000 (we anticipate funding two or three in total)

What is participatory research?

This call defines participatory research as an approach to collaboratively generating new knowledge, insight or understanding between academics and people affected by the issues being explored. All participants are equal partners in designing, undertaking, and disseminating research to bring about social change.

It is research that actively and meaningfully involves people and public groups and can happen at any point across the research lifecycle.

This approach is characterised by:

  • a relationship that shares power and builds trust between collaborators
  • respects and values difference
  • is of benefit to everyone involved

What we're looking to fund

We want to fund people to work together on research activities that are collaborative and bring benefits to everyone involved.

Activities funded under this scheme should involve a community organisation in the South West of England and a University of Bath researcher(s) working together.

They should address at least one part of the research cycle and address questions that can be generated from either the community organisation or the University of Bath researcher.

Here are some examples of what we mean by this:

  • A University of Bath researcher who studies disabled people’s access to green space working with disabled people to analyse interview data that has already been collected.
  • A community organisation wishing to understand if their work is making a difference working with a University of Bath researcher to develop a research question and design the research.
  • A community organisation and a researcher spending time together to get to know each other and identify areas of common interest.
  • An existing collaboration with findings to share working together on an exhibition or launch event to raise awareness of the new ideas.

Who can apply?

This call is open to any community organisation in South West England with an income under £1 million (check out the Quartet Community Foundation's guidelines for more information) and University of Bath researchers from any academic discipline.

Support and bursary

This is a new funding call, and we strongly encourage you to get in touch before you submit an application. For a quick chat about the potential project get in touch via email at

If you are interested in applying but have not yet identified either a researcher or community group collaborator, please don't be put off applying, get in touch via email at, and we can help.

We also have a small number of honoraria to help support community organisations to be involved in developing an application. These are a flat fee of £500 and are available for anyone applying for Medium or Large funding, get in touch via email at to discuss this.

How to apply

We have pulled together this Participate Grants guide, which outlines key details of the call, including assessment criteria and key dates. Applying for a Participate Grant is a two-stage process. The first stage is submitting a Participate Grants Outline Proposal form. If you're applying for a Micro level funding, a decision will be made at the first stage. Those submitting for Medium and Large level funding will then be invited to submit a full proposal. We'd be happy to chat about this process before submission, drop us a line

Information session

Come join us on Thursday 8 February, 1-2pm, online for an information session about this call (drop us an email for the Teams link,


Outline Proposal Forms must be emailed to no later than 4pm on Friday 23 February 2024.

Get in touch

If you have an idea and would like to discuss it with us ahead of submitting an application, we would love to chat, drop us a line (


How we developed this call

The Public Engagement Unit, using participatory techniques, facilitated the co-creation of this funding call with representatives of community organisations from Bath and North East Somerset and researchers from across the University of Bath.

Collectively, this group decided on the definition of participatory research, the levels of funding available, who should be eligible to apply for the call, the application process, and the assessment criteria.

This funding call distributes funds from the Research England Participatory Research funding allocation and is part of the ParticipatoryResearch@Bath project.

Dean Veall is Deputy Head of Public Engagement at the University of Bath 

Posted in: Doing Public Engagement, Engage Grants, Leading Public Engagement

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