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Public Engagement Public Engagement Seed fund

Eligibility criteria and application

The fund is not currently open for applications. Two rounds of applications have now taken place. The continuation of the fund beyond September 2023 is conditional on funding renewal by the UG.

For questions about the fund, please email pe

Further information:

Maximum reimbursement per application

Amount that may be applied for per project: up to €5,000. A total of €25,000 is available.

Eligible applicants

Research staff from the UG and the UMCG can apply as an individual or in a team, together with interested citizens and/or their organizations as partners, with the goal of achieving mutual benefit. We encourage inter- or multi-disciplinary collaboration with both internal and external partners. For more information, please refer to the eligibility criteria below.


All submissions are screened for suitability by a jury consisting of both UG and UMCG staff. The jury will check whether the application meets the eligibility criteria.

From the entries deemed suitable, five entries will then be selected at random, e.g. through the use of a bingo wheel.

This random selection for the Public Engagement seed fund rewards UG and UMCG staff who wish to acquire public engagement project funding without undue competition, and distributes available funds in a way that recognizes that funding is at least partly awarded based on chance. It takes time and effort to engage society in research, and public engagement is currently too often considered an investment with no obvious career benefits. Hopefully, the Public Engagement seed fund will help make researchers feel recognised and their efforts appreciated, and will encourage the rest of the UG and UMCG staff to follow their example.


All submissions are screened for suitability by a jury consisting of both UG and UMCG staff:

  • Henk Mulder, Programme Director, Master Science Education and Communication, Science Shop Coordinator @ Science Linx
  • Marcos Guimaraes, Assistant Professor, FSE, YAG-member
  • Yorrick Karseboom, Philosopher and chair Science Shops
  • Larissa van der Wal, Content Specialist Research & Impact, Communication, UMCG
  • Mijntje ten Brummelaar, Assistant Professor, Faculty Behaviour & Social Sciences
  • Pier Domenico Tortola, Associate professor, Faculty of Arts
Eligibility criteria project proposal

The project description should not exceed 900 words in total, excluding the applicant’s details, the project title, and any URLs and references. The jury will assess the eligibility of entries based on compliance with the following criteria:

1. Objective

1 The objective of the project should be aligned with the UG Vision on Public Engagement. The applicant should make sure to explain how the project will create a meaningful dialogue between public partners. (i.e. citizens, communities, (non-)governmental organizations) and scientific research (science taken in its broadest sense - including arts, social sciences and humanities and engineering).  For example, the objective can be to solve a problem and/or to improve an existing situation together.

2. Target group

2A The project should target a specific group and explain why it was chosen. The characteristics of the target group should be well defined (e.g. age, background, interests, education level, location, or civil society organization, etc.), and include a plausible explanation of why this target group would be interested in the project activity.

2B The active participation of the target group should be ensured.

3. Project activity

3A The project activity(ies) should plausibly lead to the achievement of the project's objective (as described under criteria 1), in an engaging way. Examples of project activities include sharing together, consulting together, answering together, creating together, or applying knowledge together. 

3B The project activity(ies) should be related to science in general or to (the results of) scientific research (science taken in its broadest sense - including arts, social sciences and humanities and engineering). 

3C The project should involve at least one external societal/public partner. Examples of external societal and public partners include schools, communities, patient groups, NGOs, governmental organizations, etc. Companies or industry may be involved, but - given the objective of public engagement, at least one societal/public partner needs to be involved as well. Please keep in mind that any organizations affiliated with the UG or UMCG (e.g. YAG, TAG, Scholierenacademie, etc.) are considered internal partners. In case of doubt, please contact

4. Mutual benefit

The benefits to the researcher(s), to the target group and to the partners should be defined and deemed realistic. Examples of benefits to the researcher could be: advantages for your research or that of your colleagues, for your own development, for education, for new forms of collaboration, etc. Examples of benefits to the target groups and partners could be: solving a problem, improving services, societal/political empowerment through acquiring relevant knowledge or skills, increased self-esteem, inspiring critical thinking or change in behavior, etc.

5. Project budget

5A The budget should be realistic and allow the applicant(s) to reach the project objective as described under criteria 1. The project should be completed within one year of receipt of funding. The PE organizational team will follow up with the winners 6 and 12 months after the project starts to assess project progress and completion. If insufficient information is provided, or the information shows that the applicant(s) do not adhere to the plan as agreed upon, the PE organizational team has the right to stop or withdraw the funding.

5B The budget should be used to fund a new public engagement activity, not as a top-up or as co-financing to finalize and/or expand a larger public engagement activity or deliverable. The project proposal will be assessed on the impact of the awarded seed funding only, not on the combined impact of a project co-funded from other sources. 

6. Evaluation

The applicant should describe how they will measure the success of the project.

Transparency clausule

Like NWO with the Open Science Fund, we have a transparency clause. We publish the proposals for which we receive permission from the researchers. That way, we hope that proposals that could not be accepted will find opportunities for implementation and cooperation elsewhere.

Last modified:25 January 2024 09.41 a.m.
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