We’re offering five grants of up to £9,200 to support community groups in Reading and Slough to work with a researcher to design local research projects on ideas, themes or issues that are important to them, with a broad link to science.

Area: Reading and/or Slough, UK

Suitable for: Community groups

Funding size: up to £9,200

Timeframe: Projects running from October 2023 – October 2024

How could you explore a local priority within your community in Reading and/or Slough by connecting with a researcher on a research project?

The Community Led Research Pilot Grant aims to support local people and community groups to feel that research and science is more accessible, and to highlight the value communities can bring to research by improving both its quality and relevance.

Community led research puts communities in the ‘driving seat ‘– allowing them to develop their own research questions and decide what the focus will be. We hope this approach will help put communities’ local needs, interests and priorities at the forefront and tap into the unique insights they can provide.

We especially want to hear from grassroots communities in Reading and Slough, particularly community groups working with people who are traditionally underrepresented in research. In particular, people from minority ethnic groups; communities living on low incomes; those experiencing inequalities in accessing education and work; and people who are neurodiverse or are considered to have a disability.

For detailed information about applying for a grant, please visit our guidelines and FAQ.



If you require any further information, or information in different formats, please get in touch at [email protected].

If you are a researcher interested in being involved in the scheme, please visit our researcher information page.


The Community Led Research Pilot is part of the Community Engagement work at the British Science Association (BSA), and is funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

Our partners are the
University of Reading, Community Partners Slough Council for Voluntary Services (SCVS) and Reading Voluntary Action (RVA) and the Social Change Agency, our independent learning and evaluation partner.

You can skip to the following sections:

How to apply

All applications should be submitted online via the grant application form by 17:00 on Monday 18 September 2023.

Please read the full guidelines and FAQ before submitting an application for the grant.


Frequently Asked Questions 

Application form

Deadline for Community Led Research Project grant applications - submit form by 17:00

18 September 2023

Grants confirmed

Mid-October 2023

Researcher/group ‘matching’

6 - 16 November 2023

Projects begin

End of November 2023

In-person Community of Practice workshop

Early December 2023

In-person Community of Practice workshop

January 2024

Online Community of Practice workshop

March 2024

In-person Community of Practice workshop

May 2024

Online Community of Practice workshop

July 2024

In-person Community of Practice workshop

September/October 2024

Projects completed

31 October 2024


November/December 2024

End of project celebration, sharing findings and the evaluation report

February/March 2025

We understand that this type of community led research may be a new experience or different to your usual work. The University of Reading, Slough CVS and RVA will be available locally to provide specific support. Please do contact the BSA team if you have any questions, or require support regarding the application process: [email protected]. Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss any of your ideas before you submit the application.

Who can apply

We especially want to hear from grassroots communities in Reading and Slough.

To be eligible for a grant, the application must come from a representative of a community group (rather than a researcher). Groups must be community-based and work with people who are traditionally underrepresented in research, including:​

  • people from minority ethnic groups;​
  • communities living on low incomes;​
  • those experiencing inequalities in accessing education and work; and​
  • people who are neurodiverse or are considered to have a disability.

Things to consider as a group or organisation before you apply. You will need to have the following:

  • A Community group leader or key person who can lead on the grant and research project delivery for their group and ensure they have the support of their group including key decision makers.
  • Identified ideas or themes that can be developed into questions for a research project. Possibility of wider engagement with community members/participants. It is not just a project initiated by only one or two people.
  • Be a grassroots community organisations rather than an activity provider or service provider.
  • Interest in and capacity* to possibly run your own research project.

*This should include having a person/people who are able to take a lead within a group, as well as enough experience of community engagement to run a project, even if there is no prior experience of research.

The types of research projects we fund

You don’t need to have a fully formed project to be able to apply at this stage, although your research project or activity idea should ask a research question that matters to your community, and has a broad link to science.

For inspiration, below are some examples of different types of community led research projects/activities.

Browse Community led research projects/activities

These are only examples but should help give an idea of how a potential theme could turn into a research question, that then forms the basis of a project.

The examples show how the community groups have worked with a researcher, and how their projects link to science. You’ll be able to see that our definition of science is broad. It includes traditional science subjects as well as social sciences, psychology, sociology, geography, economics, science and the arts. 

For more information please visit:


Frequently Asked Questions 

If you have any questions or require any assistance, please get in touch at [email protected].

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