Inspire Fund – public engagement grant

Grant amount:

Up to £25,000.

Grant deadline:

5 August 2021

The Inspire Fund provides funding for projects that engage the public with dementia and the life-changing research going on into the condition.

This scheme is part of Alzheimer’s Research UK’s work to engage and empower the public by improving understanding of dementia and sharing the benefits of dementia research. We want to support new perspectives, talent and expertise to shed a spotlight on this important issue, and the scheme is open to anyone with the passion and skills to make that possible.

The Inspire Fund is now closed for expressions of interest, and applications are under review. Applicants will be notified of the outcome by 27 August 2021.


7 July 2021, 3-4pm BST

Inspire Fund information event

5 August 2021

Expression of interest deadline

7 September 2021

Matching event

7 October 2021

Full application deadline

by 2 December 2021

Applicants notified of funding decisions

We encourage applications from people, organisations and communities with ideas, passion and ability to realise innovative public engagement projects on the topic of dementia. From those within or outside the research community, those with a track record in public engagement and those looking to apply their skills to this important issue for the first time.

Through the scheme, we want to build relationships between communities and researchers, and are especially interested in proposals from underserved communities – minority ethnic communities, marginalised or socioeconomically disadvantaged people.

We strongly encourage applicants to forge links with collaborators or groups to strengthen ideas. As we recognise that potential applicants may not have existing links or contacts, we will be facilitating relationship building through the applications process.

Inspire Fund projects must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Engage with under-served audiences on the topic of dementia, including minority ethnic communities, marginalised or socioeconomically disadvantaged people.
  • Build knowledge and engage the public with the topic of brain health.
  • Engage and create dialogue with people about the progress being made in dementia research.

Projects must be deliverable in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with clear plans for mitigating the impact of pandemic restrictions or adapting delivery methods as required. We encourage applications from those using pandemic-proof or remote engagement methods, including but not limited to online or digital.

Grants will not be awarded to:

  • Research projects.
  • Projects that will take place outside of the UK.
  • Projects providing dementia care services, as this is beyond the scope of the charitable objectives of Alzheimer’s Research UK.
  • Projects judged to be using the scheme to further the commercial interests of an organisation.
  • Cover the cost of projects that are part of an organisation’s usual programme of activities.
  • Cover the cost of salaries that are already covered by the organisation applying.

For more information about the Inspire Fund, please read the FAQs.

The application and review process will consist of the following steps:

    • Scheme opens for expression of interest (EOI)
      The first step in applying is to complete an EOI. In this short online form, applicants can outline their project idea. It does not need to be a fully fleshed-out proposal, but should outline what you would like to achieve, and what partners or expertise you are seeking to be able to deliver it.
    • Inspire Fund information event – 7 July 2021
      During the submission window for EOIs, we held an online event for potential applicants to find out more about the scheme and ask questions. You can watch the event recording here.
    • EOI deadline – 5 August 2021
    • Invitation to next stage
      The ARUK team will review EOIs against the aims of the scheme, and invite a selection of applicants to the next stage. Successful EOI applicants will be sent details of how to submit a full application and invited to attend the online matching event.
    • Matching event – 7 September 2021
      A matching event will take place online on 7 September 2021. This is an opportunity to meet other applicants and researchers, and forge new partnerships to deliver your ideas. We strongly encourage applicants to attend this event to help grow and develop your ideas.
    • Full application deadline – 7 October 2021
    • Review committee meet
      The Inspire Fund Review Committee will meet to discuss proposals and recommend those to be funded. The Review Committee consists of external advisors with a range of experience in public engagement and dementia, and representation from Alzheimer’s Research UK. Advice will be sought from additional public engagement professionals when necessary during the review process.The committee will score applications against the Inspire Fund’s criteria. In order to make a judgement, they will need to fully understand what you are applying to do, so make sure you include key information about your project.
    • Applicants notified of funding decisions – by 2 December 2021
      Following funding decisions, applicants will be informed of the outcome within 8 weeks of the application deadline.

For more information about the Inspire Fund, please read the FAQs.

You can read the terms and conditions of the scheme here.


Grant holders are required to submit an interim report detailing progress towards aims at a mutually agreed point in the project.

They will also be required to submit a final report as project evaluation, drawing on evidence gathered throughout the project. This is an essential way for us to assess the impact of projects we fund.

Information on how to build effective evaluation into your project will be provided in application guidance along with the full application form.


Download our GDPR statement that explains how the Alzheimer’s Research UK Public Engagement team handles personal data about our grant applications and the rights that applicants have under data protection law. In this Notice, we refer to this type of information as “Applicant Data”.

This statement applies to all applications submitted to this scheme.

Download GDPR statement

For more information about the Inspire Fund, please read the FAQs.