Grants

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.

Apply today for one of our three funding tiers:

  • Bronze up to £5,000
  • Silver up to £15,000
  • Gold up to £25,000

Timeline

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 are holding an online event for potential applicants to find out more about the scheme and ask questions. You can sign up for this event 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.

Monitoring

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.

GDPR

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.

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

How much funding is available?

The Inspire Fund has three tiers:

  • Bronze Awards, up to £5,000.
  • Silver Award, up to £15,000.
  • Gold Awards, up to £25,000.

We have a total of £150,000 to award through the Inspire Fund in 2021. In 2019, we funded 8 projects, totalling £98,974, and you can find out more about them here.

Who is eligible to apply?

We encourage applications from as wide an audience as possible – dementia researchers, community groups, artists, creative organisations, people in charge of cultural spaces such as museums and libraries.

We want to hear from people with the ideas, passion and ability to realise innovative public engagement projects, and we encourage applicants to forge links with collaborators or groups to grow the scale of ideas and the impact of the projects.

Are there criteria my proposal needs to meet?

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.

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.
What information should I include in my Expression of Interest?

The Expression of Interest is a chance for you to showcase your idea and what you want to achieve. We’ll capture the following in the online form:

  • Your contact details, so that we can follow up with you.
  • Your role, where you are based in the UK and whether you are applying on behalf of a group or organisation.
  • Which tier you are likely to apply to - Bronze, Silver or Gold.
  • Which of our three criteria your project will meet (it can meet more than one).
  • Whether you have existing partners or are looking to meet potential partners to deliver your project. What expertise you may be seeking from partners.

We will ask you to briefly outline your project idea in 300 words. You should try to briefly cover the following:

  • An outline of what you want to do with the funding.
  • An outline of the outcomes you want to achieve with the project.
  • Describe who you want to reach (a community you are a part of, or another target audience).
  • What is the purpose or need for this project.
What are the judging criteria by which Expressions of Interest will be judged?

Expressions of interest will be judged against the following criteria:

  • That the project is about dementia and meets 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.
  • That the target audience or community has been considered.
  • That there is a purpose or need for this project.
  • That the project would be in remit of the Inspire Fund.
What are the judging criteria by which full applications will be judged?

Full applications will be judged against the following criteria and should clearly demonstrate:

  • That the project is about dementia and meets 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.
  • Clear aims and outcomes for the project and the potential to make an impact on the target audience.
  • Targeting of specific public audiences with a clear rationale for why this audience is important.
  • Evidence of adequate and appropriate means of publicity to reach and attract the target audience.
  • Evidence of achievable and meaningful evaluation of the impact of the project.
  • Cost justification and effectiveness.
  • A realistic assessment of practical issues such as copyright, insurance, safeguarding and health and safety issues.
  • Realistic timelines and a clear plan for delivery of the project.
  • Partnership, collaboration or consultation with other groups or disciplines to deliver your project.
  • Evidence of previous experience delivering similar projects or the intention of partnering with individuals/organisations with this experience.

Applications will be assessed by a committee consisting of external advisors with experience in public engagement and dementia, people living with 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 fund, so make sure you include key information about your project.

Can I talk to the Public Engagement team about whether my idea is in remit before I submit an Expression of Interest?

We recommend that you attend the online Inspire Fund Information Event on 7 July 2021 to hear from the Public Engagement team about the scheme, and to put questions to them then. Unfortunately, we aren’t able to arrange individual phone calls at the Expression of Interest stage. The event and the information held on these webpages should help you get a clear understanding of the remit and what we are looking to fund.

You can find out more about the 8 projects funded in 2019 here.

If you have a question that is not answered by the information in the FAQs or webpages, please email the Public Engagement team

Why is there a two-stage application process?

When we previously ran the scheme in 2019, we used a one stage application process. We received 123 full applications, of which we were able to fund 8 projects with our budget. Using a two-stage application process allows us to better manage the pool of applicants, progressing projects to the next stage that are clearly in remit and are more likely to be funded. We feel that having a short initial Expression of Interest is a better use of applicants’ time.

We also wanted to facilitate matching between applicants, supporting you to build relationships with others to grow the strength of your plans and tap into other people’s skills and expertise. Information submitted through Expressions of Interest will be used to help make introductions between applicants, and to prepare ahead of the online matching event.

Where can I find guidance on completing the full application form?

Following review of the Expressions of Interest, a selection of applicants will be invited to submit a full application. Guidance on completing the full application form will be made available along with the form itself.

How long should projects last?

We estimate most projects will run for up to 12 months, but given the ongoing pandemic situation, we can be flexible to changing timelines on projects.

What topics related to dementia can my project focus on?

Dementia is a broad topic, and as a biomedical research charity, we focus on the following:

  • Building understanding of the reality of dementia, as experienced by those with the condition and their loved ones.
  • Building understanding around brain health, and the actions we can take to look after our own and reduce dementia risk.
  • Highlighting and showcasing the progress being made by biomedical dementia research.
  • The need for increased funding and support for biomedical research to deliver effective diagnosis and treatments.

Care and support services are beyond the charitable objectives of ARUK, and so the below topics are outside our area of expertise:

  • Care and support services for people with dementia.
  • Research into non-medical interventions, such as art or music therapy.

As such, projects delivering care, support or non-medical therapies for dementia are outside the remit of the scheme, as are projects focussing on topics related to care.

What constitutes an underserved audience?

We know that traditional methods of disseminating information and building knowledge don’t manage to reach everyone, and that particular stigmas and misunderstandings can persist in certain communities. Our Dementia Attitudes Monitor highlighted particular communities in which people saw lower value in seeking a dementia diagnosis, were less willing to undergo particular diagnostic tests, and less likely to get involved in dementia research. This report and others indicate that minority ethnic communities, marginalised and socioeconomically disadvantaged people are an important section of society to reach, particularly as these groups may experience higher rates of dementia and worse health outcomes.

As such, we want to support engagement with these communities through the Inspire Fund, particularly funding projects lead by members of these communities. Applicants should be clear about the communities or audiences they plan to reach, and why there is a need for engagement with them.

What do you mean by brain health?

Just as we can protect other areas of our health, we can take steps to keep our brains healthy and reduce our risk of developing dementia later in life. However, many people are unaware of how to take care of their brain health – only a third of people in the UK realise that it’s possible to reduce their dementia risk.

We are keen to build public understanding of what brain health is, and how to take care of it. Our Think Brain Health campaign focuses on three key actions you can take to protect your brain – things you do to look after your heart, staying mentally sharp, and maintaining connections with loved ones and the world around you.

You can find out more about Think Brain Health and these three simple rules here.

Do I have to have a partner or collaborator on my project?

We want to help establish relationships between dementia researchers, communities, artists/creatives and those responsible for cultural spaces. We believe that having partners, collaborators or consultants for your project will strengthen it, and help it to have more impact.

While some applicants may have existing relationships with people or organisations they can partner with, we recognise this isn’t the case for everyone, and so will try to facilitate relationship building between applicants.

We are particularly keen to see dementia research professionals as partners, collaborators or consultants on projects.

I’m a dementia researcher – how can I get involved?

You may have a project idea you’d like to propose, or you may want to partner, collaborate or consult with others to deliver their ideas. All are possible through the scheme, as we will facilitate relationship building between applicants.

Can we form partnerships with individuals or groups not in our local area?

We want to help establish relationships between individuals and groups that continue beyond the life of Inspire Fund funding, and feel this will be easier if partners are local to each other. However, the past year has demonstrated that people can work effectively when not in the same place, and we recognise that it may not be possible to have local partners and that they may come from further afield.

What can I spend the grant on?

The grant is intended to cover the following:

  • Salaries or fees for people who are essential to the proposal such as project lead, researchers, artists or consultants that aren't already covered by another grant.
  • Participant costs if relevant.
  • Materials and consumables.
  • Equipment that is essential to the project.
  • Production costs, including marketing.
  • Travel and subsistence relevant to the proposal.
  • Room hire.
  • Catering
  • Accessibility costs (e.g. BSL translation).
  • Evaluation and dissemination of the work.
  • Contingency (up to 5% of total cost).

You cannot use the grant to cover things such as:

  • Costs incurred before your project starts.
  • Cost of salaries that are already covered by the organisation applying.
  • Activities delivered outside the UK.
  • Providing care or support services.
  • Continued delivery of activities that are part of an organisation’s usual programme of activities.
  • Loans, investments or capital costs.
  • Emergency, top-up or maintenance funding.
How will the grant be paid?

Successful applicants to the Inspire Fund will receive their grant payments depending on the level of award they are receiving. We normally make grant payments in advance of activity. Grant payments will not be made into personal bank accounts.

Bronze Awards (up to £5,000) will be paid by bank transfer following the completion of the finance forms and receipt of the signed award agreement.

For Silver and Gold Awards (over £5,000), a payment schedule will be agreed prior to signing the award agreement. Successful applicants will be asked to provide a phased budget to enable us to decide the payment schedule over the grant period. Future payments will be dependent on an interim report being provided to the Public Engagement team.

Can I apply if I’m based outside the UK?

The Inspire Fund is focussed on the UK, and lead applicant’s will need to be based in UK and delivering projects based in the UK.

Projects can have consultants, collaborators or partners based outside the UK, and we are aware that this may result in additional impacts occurring outside the UK.