Centrally-managed Funding

While College Research Support Offices are able to provide support for most research funding applications, Research and Innovation Services (RIS) and International Office are responsible for managing certain types of grant. These typically fall into two categories:

  • Schemes where the funder has placed a limit on the number of applications that can be submitted by any single institution
  • Schemes where the funder has allocated a block grant to the University which is to be distributed via internal competition

RIS & IR are here to help you identify the best scheme to apply to and help you to develop your proposal to the highest possible quality. 


 Waseda Collaboration Fund

Up to £2,300 available for the development of research collaborations with Waseda University, particularly in the subject areas of:

  • Shakespeare studies
  • Linguistics
  • Robotics
  • Sport Sciences
  • Social Sciences

Waseda Research Collaboration Fund Guidelines

Applications are accepted at any time.

For further information contact Wenwei Wu in International Relations on 44037.

 Birmingham-Melbourne Fund

Up to £2500 match-funding for visits to/from Melbourne, for collaboration in research, education and professional services. This fund does not cover direct research costs; only travel, networking and ancillary costs. Guidelines to help applicants and an application form can be found below:

Melbourne Travel Fund Application Form

University of Melbourne Travel Fund Guidelines

Applications are currently accepted at any time.

For further information click here or contact Matt Cluee in International Relations on 45323

 U21 Fellowships  

Fellowships of up to £5000 to travel within U21 network, for the purpose of knowledge transfer and best practice.  Applications to this scheme will open in October 2016.

For more information, please click here or contact Matt Clulee in International Relations on 45323

 EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account 

Impact Acceleration Accounts (IAAs) are awarded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to accelerate the impact of research and help universities bridge the divide between academic research and the market place. The University of Birmingham's operational objectives for the IAA are:

  • Accelerate the rate of translation and maximise the impact from key research areas
  • Deepen the University's strategic relationships with long term stakeholders
  • Building capacity and a culture for the importance of impact

Applications must be submitted by the 26th June for consideration at the July panel meeting.

Three schemes are currently available under the EPSRC IAA:

Knowledge Transfer Secondments (KTS)

The KTS scheme provides funding to help ensure the exploitation of the University of Birmingham’s research and expertise in the engineering and physical sciences. The scheme operates on the principle that the best way to transfer knowledge is through the movement of skilled people both into and out of the University.

Further details about the KTS scheme are available here.

All applications to this scheme must be made via the online form available here: https://bham.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/kts

Follow-on Fund (FOF)

The Follow-On Funding (FOF) scheme supports the development of outputs from existing or previous research at the University of Birmingham. The aim of the scheme is to ensure the translation and/or commercialisation of the University’s research outcomes in the engineering and physical sciences.

Further details about the FOF scheme are available here.

All applications to this scheme must be made via the online form available: https://bham.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/epsrc-follow-on-fund-fof-application-form-2

Accelerating Research Impact (Invite-only)

The resources allocated through this strand of the EPSRC IAA play an important role in both de-risking and demonstrating the UoB’s technological capability within key strategic areas in order to realise their market potential and commercial return.  Funds are distributed through a competitive, invitation-only process that includes both small (typically up to £25k) and large (£25k+) awards.

Further details about the Accelerating Research Impact scheme are available here. 

All applications to this scheme must be made via the online form available here: https://bham.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/epsrc-iaa-accelerating-research-impact-scheme-aug17

For further information contact Anthony Khan.

 Brazil Travel Fund

Applications are invited to The Brazil Travel Fund, which exists to support the development of links between the University of Birmingham and Brazilian institutions. The fund provides up to 50% of travel costs for staff visiting Brazil to develop collaborative relationships, or for Brazilian staff visiting the University. Guidelines to help applicants and an application form can be found below:

Brazil Travel Fund Procedures

Brazil Travel Fund Application Form

For more information, please contact Richard Brunt in International Relations. 

 Developing Leaders Scheme

Designed to support academics working within the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council's (EPSRCs) remit, the Developing Leaders Scheme will fund projects for academics who are returning to work following a career break or extended period of leave. This may be due to:

  • Maternity / adoption / paternity leave
  • Leave to care for a dependant
  • Parental leave

The scheme exists to assist in re-establishing the applicant's research profile within the EPSRC's remit. Funding may be used for a wide variety of activities and applicants are encouraged to be innovative in their thinking. All projects must be complete by 31st March 2017.

  • Developing Leaders application form

To be eligible you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be an academic, research fellow or other member of staff employed at UoB for whm research is a contracted part of your role
  • Be employed by the University for the duration of your proposed project
  • Be able to demonstrate potential in delivering research excellence within the EPSRC remit
  • Have returned from a break in career within the last year

Completed application forms and a 2 page CV should be sent to centralfunds@contacts.bham.ac.uk by 5pm on 7th October 2016.

  Wellcome Trust ISSF

The Wellcome Trust's Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF) provides funding to a range of UK-based universities, investing in strategic areas of importance across the Trust's portfolio. 

Career Development Hub

Through the ISSF the University is now establishing a Life Sciences-focused Career Development Hub, mirroring the broad research remit of the Wellcome Trust in terms of support and funding eligibility.

The key themes within this are: effective management of critical career transition points where researchers are vulnerable; support for increased flexibility and responsiveness to research opportunities; further support to promote development of skills and collaborations, particularly interdisciplinary; and ensuring equality and diversity in research careers.

Applications must be submitted by Friday 25th August 2017 for consideration at the September 2017 panel meeting.

Applications must be submitted by Friday 17th November 2017 for consideration at the December 2017 panel meeting.

There are four funding streams available via the Career Development Hub:

Accelerator Fellowships

Excellent researchers at either the late PhD or postdoctoral stage of their careers can apply for personal salary support and up to £25,000 per year research pump-priming and mobility funding to establish a competitive position for external Fellowship applications.

Critical Data Awards

Excellent researchers across any of our highlighted career stages can apply for funding awards of up to £15,000 (early-career) or £25,000 (mid-career) to deliver key experiments or other research work which either provides compelling pilot data for a specified external application, or supplements existing data to enable publication in a high-impact journal.

Global Mobility

Collaboration and experience outside the UK is essential to deliver world-leading research, and funders are placing increased emphasis on global partnerships which directly address issues specific to regions such as Low & Middle Income Countries (LMICs). Excellent researchers at any of our highlighted career stages are therefore encouraged to apply for Mobility awards of up to £10,000.

Continuity Awards

Excellent researchers may face a multitude of challenges, within and without the University environment. We wish to offer support for return to work for ECRs/MCRs after responsibilities such as maternity/paternity leave, but also caring for sick family members or other difficult personal circumstances.

Further details about all four streams are available    here.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions can be found here.

Please note: All applications must be submitted via the online application form https://bham.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/uob-wellcome-trust-career-development-hub-application


Applications are welcomed at any time, with four annual UoB ISSF Panel meetings deciding the majority of awards, with the next meeting taking place in September.

Applications must be submitted by Friday 25th August 2017 for consideration at the September 2017 panel meeting.

Decisions can be made more rapidly where needed, please get in touch to discuss. 

updated: 14/07/17

 Global Challenges Research Fund

The University of Birmingham has a £377,000 fund to support engineering and physical sciences research that will establish a portfolio of Official Development Assistance (ODA). More details are available on the dedicated intranet page here.

 ESRC Impact Acceleration Account

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Impact Acceleration Account is a flexible and dynamic fund designed specifically to support knowledge exchange and impact from excellent social sciences research.

Four schemes are available:

  • User Engagement Fund: supports earlier stage engagement or scoping activities with new or existing non-academic partners to co-design/co-develop projects with clear impact potential
  • Follow-on Fund: supports the development of innovative and experimental forms of knowledge exchange from existing or ongoing quality research
  • Secondment Fund: supports the inward and outward secondment of staff, intended to developer sustainable partnerships between academic and non-academic organisations
  • Urgency Fund: enables research staff to respond quickly to urgent, rare or unforeseen events

Further details of the fund, along with guidance documents and upcoming deadlines, can be found on the ESRC IAA intranet page here.

If you are interested in applying you should contact Emily Hargreaves, ESRC IAA Manager (e.collins.1@bham.ac.uk, ex. 49133) as soon as possible to discuss your proposal.

 MRC Confidence in Concept scheme

Expressions of Interest are now welcomed for the Medical Research Council's Confidence in Concept scheme (MRC CiC). Applications are sought from any biomedically relevant project from the University looking to prove translational viability. Projects are typically in the region of £50-100k over 6-12 months and must support the MRC's remit (previous MRC funding is not required).

All applications should be discussed in advance of submission with either Claire Fenlon (c.m.fenlon@bham.ac.uk, x46804) or Jonathan Watkins (j.watkins@alta.bham.ac.uk, x49090). 

Translational Training

Recognising that translational projects are non-typical and outside the comfort zone of many researchers, we will provide a programme of ‘Translational Training’ to support project development for CiC internal funding as well as the multitude of other external funding possibilities available.

The mandatory 1hr translational training session will be held on Wednesday 15th March 2017 (2pm, Stanley Barnes Room, MDS)Please contact Neil Holland (N.A.Holland@bham.ac.uk) for more information and to book your place.

The deadline for expressions of interest is 1pm Friday 24th March 2017.

 MRC Proximity to Discovery

The University of Birmingham has been a recipient of the MRC Proximity to Discovery: Industry Engagement Fund (PtD) institutional award since 2015.  We have funded more than 40 applications to date and are seeking to support even more.

The PtD aims to support individual mobility to enable early engagement with industry (RRM) as well as proof of principle projects with businesses that could accelerate the translational potential of your work (E&E) but can also support discovery days (KE&D) more strategic interactions with industry (streams 4-5). 

Proximity to Discovery Streams:
StreamFunding and timeframeProposed Outcomes Application

Rapid Response Mobility (RRM)

Flexible funding released rapidly for researchers to visit companies anywhere in the world for face-to-face meetings to pursue early interactions.

£1-2k/project to support travel and accommodation.

Response within 48hrs.

Direct industry investment or collaborative grant awards.


Exchange & Explore (E&E)

Support for flexible interactions with industry partners to deliver short-term initial proof-of-principle work around areas of mutual interest to support longer-term relationships.

Up to £10k/project to cover direct project costs, travel and accommodation.

Response within 2 weeks.

Establishment of proof of principle, provision of pilot data, de-risking of projects and leveraging of external funding/investment.


Knowledge Exchange & Dissemination (KE&D)

Seminar programme on discoveries, technologies and methodologies to transfer knowledge into and out of companies and academic institutions to inspire new collaborations.

Up to £10k for workshops/ conferences with definite industry links.

Response within 2 weeks.

Training of researchers to enhance their commercial awareness and skills and stimulation of new collaborative relationships between academic and industry research teams.


Collaboration Catalysts (CC)

Multidisciplinary team (both senior and early career research staff ifpossible) visits to targeted companies.

Approximately £3k/visit to include an average of 6 members of staff, supported by the Business Engagement Partners.

 Response within 2 weeks.

Agreement on a Memorandum of Understanding (if appropriate) and funding/investment to support ongoing collaborative research.


Claire Fenlon

Ryan Brown

Creative Leaders in Industry Fellowships (CLIF)

Fellowship programme to meet a clear need articulated within industry (rather than working from academic expectations/perceptions) and provide opportunities for current/future industry scientific leaders to undertake 6-12 months training placements with key research teams.

Up to £10k for accommodation and travel, and up to £6k for lab-based activity/other parallel skills development.

 Response within 2 weeks.

Establishment of a network of new creative leaders /short-term industry fellows, UoB advocates in industry and establishment of new industry partnerships.


Claire Fenlon

Ryan Brown

Prior to submission, all applications to the PtD fund must have been discussed  with your college Business Engagement Partner: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/partners/contact-us/index.aspx


Application forms for the Collaboration Catalysts and Creative Leaders in Industry Fellowships  can be requested from Claire Fenlon (c.m.fenlon@bham.ac.uk) or Ryan Brown (R.M.Brown.1@bham.ac.uk). The streams are open to applications anytime (with no specific submission deadlines).  Requests for funding will be reviewed by the MRC Steering Group chaired by Prof. Paul Moss and where possible responses given within 48hrs or 2 weeks (see table below).

 H2020 Collaboration Fund

A grant designed to provide travel grants supporting participation in H2020 collaborative research proposals.

For application details and more information please read the EU support page here.

 India Funds

The International Relations Team offer funding to support collaborations with institutions in India. Further details of the scheme can be found on the International Relations Travel Funds page

If you have any queries, please contact Allan  McKinley (a.s.mckinley1@bham.ac.uk, x45299).

 Academic Collaboration Fund - China

The Academic Collaboration Fund for China is designed to support the development of links with Guangzhou and surrounding areas. The fund has three purposes:

  • It supports all trips to Guangzhou by Senior Management up to a cost of £5,000 per trip
  • It support one trip per year to Guangzhou by the University's Chief Representative to Guangzhou
  • it supports any number of trips up to the limit of the funding each year, either of UoB academics to Guangzhou or to help support a visit from a collaborative institution in Guangzhou to the University, in order to promote strategic development of relations with Guangzhou

More details on this fund, and the procedure for applying, can be found in the PDF document below:

If you have any questions about this fund please contact Shruti Doshi at s.doshi@bham.ac.uk.

 North America Funds 

The International Relations Team manages several funds, which support cooperation with institutions in North America. Guidance documents for these funds can be downloaded here. 

If you have any queries, please contact Richard Brunt, E-mail: R.Brunt@bham.ac.uk, ext 47373

 Birmingham-Nottingham SCF

The Universities of Birmingham and Nottingham signed a Framework for Collaboration in March 2011 to build on the complementary strengths of the two universities. In September 2012, the Birmingham-Nottingham Strategic Collaboration Fund (BNSCF) was launched. 

The BNSCF is an internal fund designed to support collaborative ventures between the two universities.

The 2017 round of funding is now open to research and professional services projects undertaken between the two institutions. The scheme is divided into two open funding streams: Creativity (for initial engagements) and Accelerator (for forging substantive activities).

There is a total of £100,000 available for the 2017 call.

Fund timeframes
Application deadline: Wednesday 5th April 2017

Further details, along with how to apply can be found on the partnership website here

 Birmingham-Nottingham SIRC

In 2011, the Universities of Birmingham and Nottingham established a unique strategic partnership, providing opportunities for the two institutions to work together and explore opportunities to share best practice and to diversify income streams. A partnership fund was established to catalyse engagement between academics across both organisations and both universities have worked together on a number of major initiatives.

In seeking to deepen and grow this institutional partnership further, the Vice-Chancellors of the University of Birmingham and University of Nottingham now invite Expressions of Interest for a £10m Signature Institutional Research Collaboration (SIRC) to established a new, world-leading, joint research activity between the two institutions in an area where both institutions can claim international leadership.

Further details, along with how to apply, can be found on the scheme's dedicated webpage here.

Final report forms:


Anthony Khan, Research Development Officer
Ext. 47093


Interested in any of the schemes listed on this page? Contact us at centralfunds@contacts.bham.ac.uk