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Devolved Wellcome funding support for public engagement with research in Scotland 

Joint statement from the SWEA Operational Group and Wellcome, 2021

The ScotPEN Wellcome Engagement Award (SWEA) is now closed, following the final October 2021 funding round.

The SWEA pilot scheme (2019-21) devolved Wellcome funding support for public engagement with research to a Scotland-based team led by the Scottish Public Engagement Network. It was designed to improve the quality and quantity of researcher led engagement projects and to create opportunities for inter-institutional collaborations and partnership working. SWEA has been highly successful, meeting its aims and objectives as a pilot. As Wellcome pauses to review its public engagement support to reflect its new strategy, this pilot leaves a legacy of knowledge and learning for future development of funding in this sector.

In particular, SWEA has:

  •     Proved extremely effective in increasing uptake in engagement with research funding.

  •     Broadened the diversity of those taking part – as researchers, project partners and participants.

  •     Been successful at generating projects with strong and meaningful partnership working.

Engagement with Wellcome research is vital in solving the urgent health challenges facing everyone, and learning from the scheme will be invaluable in helping Wellcome to refine and evolve our support for engagement.

Going forward, Wellcome funded researchers at Scottish universities will be able to access funding and support for public engagement through the Research Enrichment: Public Engagement scheme

For further information on Public Engagement support within your Institution, contact your local team;


University of Glasgow: 

University of St Andrews:

University of Dundee:

University of Aberdeen:

University of Edinburgh: or for enquiries from CMVM

University of Strathclyde:

Herriot Watt University:  

Edinburgh Napier University:

Glasgow Caledonian University:

We recognise this list is not exhaustive; please contact to have your team included here.

Central public engagement teams in Scottish universities and research institutes
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