The Brief

Engaging Libraries Phase 2 will support public libraries to run public engagement activities on research within the themes of health, society and culture. It will help to facilitate partnerships between public libraries and researchers, and spark people’s curiosity around topics that are relevant or interesting to them. The programme is a partnership between the Carnegie UK Trust, Wellcome and the Wolfson Foundation.

The Offer

  • Funding to deliver a public engagement project on research in health, society and culture:
    • £12k – £25k if you are applying as a single library service
    • £12k – £50k if you are submitting a joint application
  • Support with matching successful applicants to a suitable research partner if you do not already have a research partner in mind or in place. We can also provide advice about partnership matching during the application process.
  • A Development Programme providing contact with experts and the opportunity to share ideas and learn with other Engaging Libraries participants.
  • An external evaluation to ensure that learning and experience is captured and shared more widely.

We are aiming to support around 20 projects. We expect projects to come on board late November 2019 and to spend 3-6 months further developing and refining their idea, with activities coming to a close in May 2021.

The Programme Aims

Engaging Libraries Phase 2 has three core aims. The programme aims to:

  1. Energise and empower people through engagement with research about health, society and culture in one of the following ways:
  • Enable people to access, use and respond to research
  • Enable people to value and think critically about research
  • Enable people to play a role in formulating research
  1. Enable public libraries to build upon and explore their civic role as safe spaces for participation and engagement with research.
  2. Facilitate partnerships between public libraries and universities or Independent Research Organisations (IROs).

Applications are now closed for Engaging Libraries Phase 2. We will notify successful applicants in November 2019.

Further information about the programme’s aims, ethos and practicalities are available in the Engaging Libraries Phase 2 Application Pack, as well as case studies, definitions and guidance on approaching researchers.

We also published a blog series designed to support potential applicants to Engaging Libraries Phase 2.

If you have any queries please get in touch by emailing [email protected] – we’re happy to help!

Phase 1

The first phase of Engaging Libraries was a pilot programme, run in partnership by the Carnegie UK Trust and Wellcome. It supported 14 projects across 16 public library services to experiment with creative and imaginative public engagement projects on health and wellbeing. Engaging Libraries: Learning from Phase 1 outlines learning, reflections and some case studies from the successful first phase of Engaging Libraries.

Please note that the programme scope and criteria for Phase 1 are different from those for Phase 2.


Speak To

Rachel Heydecker

Georgina Bowyer

Jenny Peachey

Katie Pekacar

Andy Wright

Public engagement involves creating an opportunity for people to consider, participate and debate ideas. It is two-way process, which may involve activities like participation, conversation, interaction and listening. It can take many forms but is often made up of projects, activities or events, ranging from a family fun make-and-take activity, right through to an artist performing a new piece of work exploring an issue or concern to a public audience.


Applications open: 12 June 2019
Applications close: 25 September 2019





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