Working Together in Research


About the grant opportunity

We know there is a huge amount of knowledge and expertise amongst voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations (VCSE) within the diverse communities across South Yorkshire. We also know that VCSE organisations are key partners in many health and care research projects, and in understanding the health and wellbeing of the communities they serve.

There is often little time or money to capture and share this knowledge and expertise. This can lead to communities feeling they are asked again and again similar questions by different organisations.

Sometimes, funding for health and care research is linked to very specific research questions, and this can mean that communities feel they don’t have the opportunity to shape the questions and research topics that really matter to them.

And sometimes, funding requirements mean that we build a rich picture of the health and care priorities of some communities but not of others, and there are gaps in our understanding of the barriers some communities face to engage in health and care research.

Through this grant programme, we are looking to address some of these challenges. The grant programme is available to VCSE organisations to:

  • Capture the knowledge and insights you hold as an organisation about how to engage with communities in health and care research, so that this can be shared with other organisations and research teams. We are particularly interested to hear about how to collaborate with communities that face disproportionately poor health outcomes in South Yorkshire (such as ethnic minority groups, people with learning disabilities and autism, and people facing socioeconomic disadvantage.


  • Share approaches you’ve taken to put the community in the lead in health and care research, which can offer lessons to other projects


  • Build on previous work you have done to engage underrepresented groups in health and care research, and develop expertise in how to reach groups that you didn’t reach and how to overcome barriers they face.

What might this look like in practice?

Project ideas might include:

  • Funding community researchers with extensive experience of working with people with learning disabilities to capture and synthesise their insights about the barriers to inclusion this community can face, and what you know to be effective in breaking down these barriers, to develop a rich case study that can be shared with others


  • Making a community film about a project you’re proud of that put communities in the lead of a wellbeing research project, so that community members can share in their own voice how this worked and what they think the lessons are for others


  • Extending a project you’ve been doing to understand the barriers to engaging in cancer screening programmes to do focused work with the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community to understand their own specific experience and views


The above examples are purely illustrative and we hope they help you to imagine what your organisation might want to contribute.

Our key focus through this grant programme is capturing your knowledge, insight and expertise about the communities you work with and how to break down barriers to make research inclusive. Your project can capture this in whatever way works for you and the communities you work with including use of case studies, imagery, illustration and/or film.

The activity must take place by the end of February. We will then collect the materials from all groups and share them with system colleagues.


Criteria & Guidelines

Groups applying for this opportunity must:


  • Be able to deliver the activity by the end of February 2024


  • Be ready to share with us, by the end of February 2024, stories and insights in a format that can support our learning and that can be communicated with colleagues.


  • Have a track record of working with the communities this programme seeks to reach


  • Have a bank account in the name of the organisation with at least two unrelated signatories.


  • For grant requests of more than £1,000 be a properly constituted organisation with appropriate governing documents.


  • Be able to share a breakdown of costs for the project.

We are inviting you to capture your stories and insights, and to share them with us.

  • Capturing the voices and stories of communities through films


  • Writing up case studies and lessons learnt


  • Using imagery and illustration to bring to life community experiences

How much can you apply for?

The total funding available is £40,000, and we expect proposals to range from £200 to £5,000 depending on the approach you want to take. We will be available for check in chats and advice if needed throughout the application process and project delivery.

When is the closing date

This programme has now closed. 

Reference Form

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