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The University of Southampton
Public Engagement with Research


Seed Funding for Public & Community Engagement

We invite applications annually for funding to develop public and community engagement (PCE) activities.

Our seed-funding has supported numerous projects over the years, many of which have thrived and grown beyond the funding period to attract other funding, develop partnerships and take up new and exciting directions.  A significant number have contributed to impact case studies within the Research Excellence Framework (REF).

Funding criteria

Projects should stimulate interest, excitement and debate about an area of University research/innovation/teaching/collaboration, and:

We encourage projects which can be framed within the following strategic Strands (with additional specific criteria):

Strand 1 - Civic University: co-creation/co-production with local partners

Strand 2 - UKRI priority: Developing 'citizen science' engagement approaches

Strand 3 - Reflective practice for PCE

Opportunity for community-led projects

It is possible (and encouraged!) for people outside the University to propose and lead a project - an internal co-lead would need to be identified in this case.  We are always keen to hear ideas from 'beyond our walls' and can assist with connecting people from outside and inside the University.  Please email us at if you would like to discuss a public/community engagement idea.

Indicative timeline for annual Call cycle:

The next call will open in July 2023

Newly funded projects 2022/23

Engaging vulnerable communities in research on sensitive topics - a co-creation project to develop sustainable networks and collaborations with community organisations who support people living with a terminal illness experiencing financial insecurity - Michelle Myall, Nursing Midwifery & Health

Developing digital communication in the community for SPRiNG - developing an outward-facing digital communication hub for Southampton Psychosis and Bipolar Disorder Research & Innovation Hub - Emma Palmer-Cooper - Psychology

Conversations and co-creation with women on health inequalities - from puberty to menopause, women's health is an intricate journey with different milestones and across diverse cultures and backgrounds.  Overall, it has been poorly served by healthcare systems - Michelle Smith, Theatre for Life, with Kathryn Woods-Townsend, LifeLab

Widening participation in patient & public involvement for clinical trials - engaging to better understand and overcome the barriers that prevent or dissuade people from underserved groups from taking part in clinical trials - Liz Allaway, Cancer Sciences

Supporting students with eating disorders in schools - co-creating a programme of research and resources to provide better support - Katy Sivyer, Psychology

SO-Together Health: Working together for better hearing and brain health - engaging to understand how new knowledge in hearing loss and dementia can be translated to meet local community needs and enhance quality of life and health - Kate Hough, ISVR Enterprise

Windrush Portraits - working with communities to co-create monumental artworks representing the Windrush Generation - testing new ways to co-design/create art in the public realm - Lynne Dick, John Hansard Gallery

What's the problem with vaping? - working with young people to co-create resources highlighting the negative consequences of vaping - Lisa Bagust, LifeLab

Rainbow infrastructures of care: the impact of the pandemic on local LGBTQ youth support - engaging local groups with research findings to open up dialogue and establish enduring connections between the University and local LGBT+ charities - Eleanor Wilkinson, Geography & Environmental Sciences

Raising AMR awareness via reverse socialisation - engaging with 16-19 yearolds to create awareness of AMR and antibiotic alternatives against bacterial infections - Franklin Nobrega, Biological Sciences

Growing Wild Citizens @ School - encouraging children to take a citizen science approach to thinking about the food they eat, and how to grow food plants in their school grounds in a sustainable way - Jenny Baverstock, Biological Sciences

Engaging students and creative writers in research on fictional role models and their carbon footprint - Denise Baden, Southampton Business School

Biodiversity of Micro-Munchers - engaging children-in-care, care-leavers and carers through hands-on scientific discovery of a microscopic ecosystem - to raise awareness and build understanding - James Dillon, Biological Sciences

Living with a genetic predisposition to cancer: a co-creation project - co-creating visual illustrations to improve accessibility of web resources with and for patients with Lynch Syndrome - Kate Morton, Health Sciences

Sharing the lived experience of patients through the visual arts - exploring with patients, carers, and visitors from diverse backgrounds and a community artist - Heather Parsons, University Hospital Southampton.

Follow the related links below to:


Ad hoc Seed Funding

Outside our annual Call we also consider approaches for small amounts of seed-funding to respond to emerging opportunities.  Please note that such requests are likely to be successful if the applicant could reasonably have applied through the annual Call process.  Please contact for info/advice.

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