A new £40,000 public engagement fund has been launched to help promote public understanding of data research in Scotland. 

Research Data Scotland is set to open applications to funding on January 30 to help a range of organisations take advantage of promoting public discussion of data including registered charities, research organisations, schools, museums and libraries.

The fund aims to support RDS’s commitment to robust and systematic public engagement. 

Layla Robinson, Research Data Scotland’s partnership and strategy director, said: “We are delighted to launch a pilot public engagement fund to help demystify how data is used. Engaging with the public is essential to our work and the wider research landscape.

“It’s vital that the use of public sector data in research is transparent and trustworthy, and that means ensuring the public feel empowered to have a voice in conversations about research and understand how their data is used. 

“Our approach to public engagement includes directly involving members of the public in RDS’s work, establishing a Scottish network of public engagement professionals, and supporting wider projects that engage with people on data research. 

“The new pilot public engagement fund will help support organisations and partners with a similar mission to Research Data Scotland which is to help unlock the power of data by making it quicker and simpler to do research and improve lives.” 

The fund, which opens for applications on Monday 30th January, will support projects that promote public understanding of data research in Scotland and provide balanced information on data research. 

RDS is particularly interested in applications from projects that widen participation by involving diverse voices who are not usually involved in discussions about data, and projects which offer creative ways of engaging the public in data research. 

Eligible organisations can apply for between £1,000 and £10,000 of funding for public engagement projects, and RDS are open to having informal discussions with anyone interested in applications greater than £10,000. 

Full information about the fund, including how to apply, can be found here.