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Apply for the Participate Grants

What you need to do to apply for funding from the University of Bath's Participate Grants.

A group of pepole of mixed genders and ethnicities standing in a large warehouse looking at a presentation behind the photographer
Retrofit Reimagined 2023 (c) Ibolya Feher/Knowle West Media Centre

The Participate Grants is a funding call for community groups in South West England and researchers at the University of Bath to do research together in a participatory way.

This call aims to improve the connections between society and University of Bath research.

Participatory research

For this call, participatory research is work that asks and forms questions, leading to the generation of new knowledge and understanding that benefits everyone involved in the research. It involves:

  • Different groups of people actively collaborating to build trust and share power

  • People respecting and valuing difference

  • Everyone benefiting from the work

Participatory approaches to research can happen throughout the research cycle.

Funding available

The total funding available for the Participate Grants is £50,000, and we are looking to fund various activities of different scales. There are three levels of funding available:

  • Micro – a few hundred pounds

  • Medium – a few thousand pounds

  • Large – approximately ten thousand pounds

Due to the novelty of this scheme and taking a portfolio approach to funding, we have not put hard amounts on each level nor the exact number of projects at each level we expect to fund. To help you decide which level to apply for, we have calculated the following number of initiatives at each level:

Level of Funding Number of Projects to be funded
Micro - a few hundred pounds Five to 10
Medium - a few thousand pounds Five to seven
Large - approximately ten thousand pounds Two to three

What we’re looking for

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

  • Any community organisation in the South-West with an income of under £1m. To help guide us, we are following Quartet Community Foundation's defined eligibility criteria for community organisations as a reference. Check out Quartet Community Foundation's website for more information.

  • Any University of Bath staff member in the Research & Education and Technical and Experimental job family (Doctoral students are not eligible to apply but can be involved in a project led by a member of staff).

Assessment criteria

We will be assessing all proposals against a single criterion. Does the proposal demonstrate a collaborative approach between everyone designing and delivering the activities?

We are looking to fund a portfolio of activities, mapping proposals against the following:

  • Led by a community organisation, led by a University of Bath researcher, or jointly submitted

  • Geography across the South West of England

  • Type of community organisation

  • Size of community organisation

  • Academic discipline

  • How well established the collaboration is (from entirely new to very long-standing)

  • Level of experience in participatory approaches to research

  • New or established work (but for established work, the proposal should demonstrate some aspect of development or novelty about the work)

  • The scale of participation from the involving, working together, or empowering sections (in exceptional circumstances, the listening category will be considered, but we would encourage you to talk with us to see how you could move your idea up the scale)

  • The point in the research cycle where the activities take place

How to apply

This is a two-stage application process. Applicants must fill in and submit an outline proposal that will be reviewed for eligibility. After that, you will be invited to submit a full proposal.

Participate Grants Outline Proposal form

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

Information Session

We are hosting an information session on Thursday 8 February, 1-2pm, if you would like to attend please email for the link.


We 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. If this is something you or your collaborator is interested in, please get in touch with the Public Engagement Unit to arrange this. We anticipate this process will take between two and three weeks.

This support is made possible with funding from the Transformational Governance Project.


Outline proposal forms must be emailed to no later than 4pm on Friday 23 February 2024 with ‘Participate Fund’ in the subject line.

Assessment process

Your outline proposal will be assessed by the Public Engagement Unit for eligibility.

The Micro level funding will also be decided at this stage by the Public Engagement Unit.

If eligible, you will be invited to submit a full application which will be reviewed by a small panel comprising a member of the Public Engagement Unit, an academic with expertise in participatory research, and a member of staff / volunteer in a community organisation.


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

Reporting and support

Throughout your project, the Public Engagement Unit will be available to offer guidance and support. This will be done one-on-one through regular check-ins and monthly drop-in surgeries.

Successful applicants are required to report to the Public Engagement Unit on their learning, outcomes, and experiences.

We have a reporting form we use, but we are happy to accept a project report in a format appropriate to the applicant and the project.

Key dates

  • Call opens – Monday 22 January 2024

  • Information session – Thursday 8 February 2024

  • Outline proposal submission deadline – Friday 23 February 2024

  • Outcomes of assessment communicated – Monday 11 March 2024

  • Full proposal submission date – Friday 10 May 2024

  • Outcomes of assessment communicated - By Friday 31 May 2024

  • Grants start – end of May 2024

Useful guides and information

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

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

Participate Grants Outline Proposal Form

Apply for the Participate Grants


If you want to learn more about the Participate Grants, drop us a line.

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