A seedling plant growing in a pot with the letters PE on it

The Public Engagement Starter Fund is an exciting opportunity for University of Cambridge researchers to apply for small grants to undertake innovative public engagement with research activities.

The fund supports novel projects based on contemporary research at the University of Cambridge which aim to do one or more of the following:

  • Reach a specific target audience
  • Develop a partnership with a community of interest
  • Create an innovative activity for any of the Cambridge Festivals

Applicants can apply for grants up to £2,000. Proposed projects can take a variety of formats, provided a clear rationale is given regarding the appropriateness of the method of engagement adopted, and how the necessary resources and expertise will be secured. This variety of formats includes (but is not limited to):

  • Live events e.g. festivals, discussions, workshops, science cafes.
  • Collaborative projects e.g. with publics/organisations as partners in research.
  • Public involvement e.g. patient and public, citizen science.
  • Media e.g. social media, discussions via blogs, broadcasting-led activities.
  • Exhibitions and installations e.g. museums and galleries.
  • Education resources and programmes that connect pupils, teachers and/or education providers directly with research.

The judging panel for this year's edition is composed by:

  • Lucinda Spokes, Head of Public Engagement, University of Cambridge 
  • Claudia Antolini, Public Engagement Manager (School of Physical Sciences and School of Technology), University of Cambridge (secretary)
  • Beth Elliott, Community Engagement Manager, University of Cambridge 
  • David Farrell-Banks, Participatory Research and Impact Coordinator, Fitzwilliam Museum
  • David Cain, Public Engagement and Festival Manager, University of Cambridge 
  • Emily Calderbank, Research Associate at the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute/Dept of Haematology
  • Amaya Camara-Campos, Senior impact and knowledge exchange coordinator at University of Cambridge
  • Emma Salgård Cunha, Commercialisation Manager (Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences), Cambridge Enterprise


Applications for 2024 are now open and will close on the 15 September 2024

Applications will be assessed by a selection committee. Research students and postdocs should receive permission from their supervisors before applying. College researchers are fully eligible to apply.

Successful applicants will be supported by the University Public Engagement team with advice and training, and must submit an interim and concluding report including thorough evaluation upon completion of the project.

Please read the application guidelines before applying for the Starter Fund.  

You can contact the Public Engagement team with further questions by emailing starterfund@admin.cam.uk. If you experience issues filling in the form, or if you require reasonable accommodations, please get in touch with us.

You can book a drop-in session to learn more about the Starter Fund.


Apply for the Public Engagement Starter Fund