Today, with the generous support of the Williamson Trust, the RSE is launching a brand new community-led award.   

‘Healthy Planet, Healthy People’: Community-led Awards are designed to support community-led research which has the goal of improving people’s health and the health of the environment.   

The RSE, together with the Williamson Trust, is looking to award ten pilot-projects led by community organisations £5,000 each to conduct a research project for up to 12 months.  

Funding will be provided to support new and existing research projects in any discipline that promotes the health of individuals by fostering healthy communities, healthy environments, and healthy foods. Research proposals should focus on one of three topics: climate; nature; and food.  

Professor David Salt FRSE, Chair of the Trustees of the Williamson Trust, said:

Whether it be through knowledge of a local area, or through a shared experience, communities contain the knowledge and creativity to tackle grand challenges and provide localised solutions to intractable problems.  With these funding awards, we are investing in the power of community-led ideas that can deliver real change in people’s lives.”  

This is the first time that the RSE has supported this type of research proposal, as the Society broadens its range of research awards.  

Professor Anne Anderson OBE FRSE, Vice President of Research at the RSE, said:

I am extremely pleased that we have launched this Healthy Planet, Healthy People award, in collaboration with the Williamson Trust. This is a new area of research for the Royal Society of Edinburgh to be supporting, and I feel that it is vital that we do so. 

The health of the individual and the health of the environment are inextricably linked, and it is my hope that this award fund will inspire and enable some fascinating and thought-provoking research which will lead to improvements in both.” 

The awards are open to applications from groups who can demonstrate that they could lead and deliver on their proposed research project. Academics can apply for funding, however the awards must be community-led. Applications from incorporated community groups are encouraged; unincorporated community groups can also apply, but will need the support of a constituted group.  

As this is the first time that this funding call has been conducted, there is scope for applicants to be innovative in their proposals. For example, a community group may establish a citizens’ assembly to develop a practical strategy to improve the food environment within a local area, with a view to supporting healthy eating. Another example may be to propose solutions to combat a lack of butterflies and bees in a local area, which is having a detrimental impact on both wild and cultivated areas. 

Applications are open from Monday 16 October 2023, until midday on Monday 22 January 2024.

For further details and to apply, please visit:

Awards designed to support new and existing community-led ​research projects that promote the health of individuals through fostering healthy environments and communities, and enabling access to healthy foods.