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Overview of the Scheme

The Participatory Research Seed Fund offers awards of up to £4,000 to enable researchers or professional services engagement staff based in any department or unit with the Medical Sciences Division or the Social Sciences Division to undertake a project that supports participatory research. 

We acknowledge that exact definitions of participatory research vary between research disciplines and research funders. This funding call will seek to be as broad and as inclusive as possible, considering applications that demonstrate well thought through, meaningful activities that involve researchers and members of the public and/or practitioners working together.

"Participatory or co-produced research strengthens research outcomes by involving the communities and users of research, better recognising their experience, needs and preferences, and giving greater agency to communities to implement findings."

Research England

Example activities that this scheme could support

You are encouraged to consider the definitions used in one of the supporting resources listed below when thinking about your project.

  • Pilot projects using innovative models and methodologies for participatory research  
  • The costs of co-produced research
  • Public engagement activities that are related to participatory and co-produced research
  • Evaluation of co-produced research activities
  • Development of case studies of co-produced research, if these are shared widely and used for peer learning

What we are looking for

We are looking to support projects with a clear aim and one where the public contribution to the research or to the capacity building is clear. As part of your application you must be able to articulate:

  • The overall aim and measurable objectives
  • The plan (activities) to achieve the objectives
  • How the proposed project is relevant to your research / the research agenda of the unit or department that you support
  • A clear rationale for how the public partners / contributors for the project have been identified, and a realistic plan for how you will engage them
  • An assessment of any risks to the participants and how these will be mitigated and/or managed
  • A clear and justified budget, with appropriate support for public contributors
  • Any outputs from the project, for example reports or films
  • What changes you hope will happened as a result of the project – both for the research and for the community partners involved
  • How will you communicate / share the results of the project with your community partners?

further support

The University has produced a range of resources to support participatory research activities which applicants are encouraged to consider when planning their activities:

Participatory Research Oxford This Webpage includes resources to support planning, developing and delivering participatory research activities, and a number of case studies of participatory research projects.

Patient and public involvement (PPI) This resource has been developed by PPI staff from across the Medical Sciences Division in conjunction with NIHR staff in the Oxford BRC and Oxford Health BRC, with input from researchers, patients and members of the public. The resource includes step-by-step guides and pointers for further support. 


This fund is supported by the Research England Participatory Research fund. A total of £15,000 is available for projects in the Medical Sciences Division and a further £15,000 for projects in the Social Sciences Division; projects should request no more than £4,000. All funds must be spent by 31 July 2024.

PDF Guidance Notes

Please find a PDF version of the Guidance Notes here.