Public Engagement with Research Award

The call for the ERC Public Engagement with Research Award 2024 was opened on 14 November 2023 with the deadline of 21 February 2024.

You are an ERC grantee? You carried out public engagement or science communication activities in the course of your project or up to two years after its end? Your efforts and impact can be rewarded with a prize of €10,000! Check if you are eligible, read the call documents and apply before the deadline.

Many ERC grantees engage the public with their research, showing commitment to bridging the gap between science and society. Some are outstanding science communicators, effectively conveying complex ideas to diverse audiences and promoting a deeper understanding of cutting-edge scientific advancements. Others invest in public outreach or embrace citizen science, enabling the public to actively participate in scientific research, fostering a sense of shared discovery.  

The European Research Council’s (ERC) Public Engagement with Research Award recognizes and rewards  grantees who successfully engage audiences outsides their domain with ERC-funded research.  

ERC Principal Investigators – even though they don’t have to include a plan for communication activities in their grant applications – have a contractual obligation to promote their ERC-funded research.


What is Public Engagement with Research?


In a two-way interaction, public engagement with ERC-funded activities involves the public in project design, conduct, and dissemination, fostering mutual understanding for mutual benefit.

The public engagement activities may include:

  • Citizen Science: Collaboration or consultation with the public at any project stage, from design to public consultations or citizen juries.
  • Public outreach: Putting spotlight on a research topic through diverse public outreach activities, from art and science projects to exhibitions and educational programmes, including diverse audiences and venues.
  • Consultation and awareness: Engaging with various citizen groups, including journalists, policymakers and NGOs, a to raise awareness, tackle societal challenges, and contribute to public debates.


2024 Awards  


Who can apply?

All Principal Investigators in an ERC frontier research project,  ongoing or ended on or after 31 December 2021, are eligible to apply. Please see Annex 3 of the ERC Work Programme 2024 for any restrictions.

Each Principal Investigator may submit only one application per ERC project under this work programme.  

Eligible and admissible applications

All applications must refer to public engagement activities for an ERC-funded project, regardless of the sources of funding for the public engagement activities themselves. These activities should be sufficiently mature to demonstrate impact.  

Award amount

Up to six prizes will be awarded under this work programme of a value of €10 000 each.

Award criteria

The quality of the applications received will be evaluated on the basis of two weighted award criteria:

  1. Strategy and implementation: quality of the public engagement strategy, its alignment with action objectives and audience, and the novelty or creativity of the approach, along with the appropriateness of tools, channels, and resources used. 
  2. Impact: quantitative and qualitative evidence of the activity’s success in achieving its own public engagement objectives, including possible evidence of learning for both the research team and the engaged public regarding successful engaging strategies.

Further details on the evaluation procedure, as well as possible promotional activities will be specified in the rules for contest.

Past awards

2022 Awards

The announcement of the winners occurred during an award ceremony held on Thursday, July 14, 2022, as a hybrid event, within the framework of the Euroscience Open Forum in Leiden (The Netherlands).

Three awards, each valued €10 000, along with a "Public's Choice" award without a specified prize amount.

  • Award category: Involve - citizen science

    Mariska Kret, Leiden University
    RecognizeYourself - Bringing science to the zoo, involving the public into the study of great apes emotions
  • Award category: Inspire - public outreach

    Jonathan Tennyson, University College London
    Orbyts - Engaging students in original research, inspiring science careers
  • Award category: Influence - media and policy

    Alpa Shah, London School of Economics and Political Science
    CounterOppression - Challenging inequalities, countering oppression 
  • Public's Choice

    Artur Obłuski, University of Warsaw
    NAFEER - Engaging local community in Sudan to promote archaeological heritage


Press releases
•    Winners of ERC public engagement award announced (14 July 2022)
•    ERC Public Engagement with Research: voting starts for your favourite project (30 June 2022)
•    ERC Public Engagement with Research Award: Second edition launched (4 November 2021)

General information of the call  
•    Rules of Contest 2022
•    Call on the funding and tenders portal: ERC-2022-PERA
•    Jury members 2022  
•    ERC Work Programme 2022

2020 Awards

The winners were announced at a virtual award ceremony on 7 July 2020.

  • Award category: public outreach

    Konstantinos Nikolopoulos, University of Birmingham, UK
    ExclusiveHiggs – Exploring the interface between science and art to inform, educate and inspire the public.
  • Award category: online and social media

    Anna Davies, Trinity College Dublin
    SHARECITY – Crowdsourcing data of urban-based food sharing activities
  • Award category: press and media relations

    Erik Van Sebille, University of Utrecht, Netherlands
    TOPIOS - Tracking of plastic in our seas

Press releases

Contest document

On-going evaluation


Call details: ERC-2024-PERA

Key documents



How to engage the public with research

Science communication videos Playlist

Ceremony 14 July 2022

Ceremony 7 July 2020

Get in touch


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