Public engagement and health research – a Wellcome Trust initiative

Promoting public engagement on science and health in developing countries is a challenge. Knowing that, the Wellcome Trust (an independent organization for human and animal health) launched in 2008 the International Engagement Awards – Engaging with global health research. They are already supporting 20 projects (mostly in Africa) and want some more!

Siân Aggett, Public Engagement Adviser at Wellcome Trust, came to the XI RedPOP meeting to encourage research groups from Latin America to apply for the International Engagement Awards. From the 20 projects already approved, only three are from Latin America.

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She said that Wellcome Trust has funded public engagement projects of all kinds in the UK for over 10 years. It has supported international research initiatives, and now it’s time to support international public engagement projects too. “It is very important for the democratization of science that these two things – research and public engagement – are married together”, Siân told SciDev.Net

“Health research is a global challenge, and public engagement with health is very important because people need to own research, research needs to be democratized. And people, in order to own it, need to understand it. One can’t exist without the other”, she added.

The International Engagement Awards support projects with grants of up to £30.000 – around US$ 50.000 – related to facilitating public engagement with health research, stimulating dialogue about health research and its impacts, developing new engagement strategies and so on. Policy engagement projects are welcomed too.

People shall send preliminary expressions of interest until October 2nd (deadline for complete submissions is October 30th). For more information, see http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/internationalengagement.

Catarina Chagas, SciDev.Net

One Response to Public engagement and health research – a Wellcome Trust initiative

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