Internal Research Funding

While College Research Support Offices are able to provide support for most research funding applications, Research Support Services (RSS) and the International Relations (IR) 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

RSS and 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.

BBSRC Impact Acceleration Account

The University was successfully awarded BBSRC IAA funding in April 2018, allowing members of the academic community who hold, or have previously held, BBSRC funding to apply for financial support.

The specific aims of the University of Birmingham’s BBSRC IAA focus on:

  • Building capacity and embedding an impact culture
  • Accelerating translation of impact from our existing BBSRC portfolio
  • Deepening our engagement with key stakeholders and partners to maximise impact

Further information can be found in the accompanying BBSRC IAA Guidelines.

 The funding schemes are outlined below:

Follow-on-Fund (FOF): will provide early-stage commercialisation funding (market analyses/validation, business modelling, business planning with a focus on commercial validation).

 Guidance Document

Application Template

Business Engagement Fund (BEF): to support early stage interactions with new users or collaborators (primarily industry-based), funding will enable individual mobility through grants of up to £2,500 allowing researchers to visit UK/international stakeholders for face-to-face meetings.

Application Template

Policy Placement Scheme (PPS): to drive policy impact, and create/nurture/embed partnerships as part of the University’s wider impact agenda, knowledge exchange activities between BBSRC-funded researchers and public sector organisations are a key priority.

 Application Template

People Exchange Programme (PEP): the most ambitious of our IAA-funded knowledge exchange programmes, this scheme aims to support long-term embedding of staff (typically 6-12 months) within non-academic user organisations – or embed people from these organisations within the University – to support the translation of BBSRC funded research.

Application Template

Public Engagement Funds (PEF): We are enhancing the funding available to engage the public with BBSRC-supported research, working with the University’s Public Engagement with Research Team to support new PER activities specifically related to BBSRC research. Applications should go via the PER Team’s existing process for supporting new activities.  The public engagement team can be contacted at engage@contacts.bham.ac.uk

The BBSRC Impact Acceleration Account panel welcome enquiries about any of these schemes.

To enquire, please email Michelle Read with 1 paragraph detailing the scheme of interest, details of the project concept and the relevance to the scheme. The BBSRC IAA panel will review these applications and contact you to discuss the project further.

All funding streams are currently accepting applications on an open basis. 

Birmingham-Nottingham Signature Institutional Research Collaboration (BNSIRC)

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.

Further details about the partnership can be found on the partnership's dedicated webpage.

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

Funding streams

Developing Leaders

This scheme is designed to support academics working within the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council's (EPSRC) remit who are either returning to work following a career break / extended period of leave, or who will shortly be taking a career break / extended period of leave. This could be for a variety of reasons including medical reasons, maternity/paternity leave, or disruption caused by Covid-19 and/or campus closure. The scheme exists to assist in re-establishing the applicant's research profile and to minimise the impact of the applicant's career break upon their research profile. 

Please read the EPSRC IAA Developing Leaders Guidance for more information.

Knowledge Transfer Secondments

The Knowledge Transfer Secondment (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. 

KTS funding is provided to meet the costs of seconding University staff to external organisations and the costs of seconding staff from external organisations into the University. The scheme aims to provide flexible resources to support a variety of people and projects.

Please read the EPSRC IAA Knowledge Transfer Secondments Guidance for more information.

Policy Impact Programme

The Policy Impact programme is designed to support academics working within the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council's (EPSRC) remit to develop outcomes of their EPSRC funded research, by collaborating with policymakers and stakeholders.

Please read the EPSRC IAA Policy Impact Programme Guidance for more information.

Dates and deadlines

The EPSRC IAA is now open to applications to the above three schemes. The deadline for applications is midnight on Monday 15 March 2021

How to apply

All applications must made through the appropriate online form, available at the following links:

 

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, please contact esrciaa@contacts.bham.ac.uk

MRC Confidence in Concept scheme

The 2020 Confidence in Concept round is now closed. Details of the 2021 round are to be confirmed. See below for guidance and forms for the closed 2020 round for an indication of scope and requirements of this fund. Please direct all queries to the Translational Research Team (TranslationalResearch@contacts.bham.ac.uk).

Background

Ensuring that fundamental science is translated into new therapies, diagnostics and medical devices is central to the MRC’s mission. The Confidence in Concept scheme aims to accelerate the transition from discovery science to the early stages of therapeutic / diagnostic development by providing locally-administered, responsive and flexible funding to support preliminary translational work.

The projects supported should aim to provide sufficient preliminary data to establish the viability of an approach – i.e. to provide confidence in the underlying concept – before seeking more substantive funding.

Development stage: Research led validation, optimisation, potentially including first human testing of discovery with an identified clinical, practical or commercial outcome.

Scope and Eligibility

CiC supports the development of translational research projects providing funds of around £50,000 - £100,000 over 6 – 12 months (at 100% fEC). All projects must be complete by 31st January 2022 due to the MRC spending deadline. Projects typically contain 2 – 4 milestones with go / no‑go decisions and the application should be supported by convincing preliminary data to reflect the stage of translational development of the project.­

Application Process

The application process has two stages, with Expressions of Interest (EoI) and Full stage for shortlisted projects. EoIs are welcomed from any biomedically relevant project across the University looking to prove translational viability

Prior to EoI submission, all applicants must discuss their application with a member of the Translational Research Team. Applicants must consult their Institute / School Research Facilitator for full, accurate project costings.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to submit a Full application. Additional support can be provided by the Translational Research Team, UoB Enterprise and external consultants as necessary. In addition, prior to Full stage submission, first-time applicants should attend a Translational Training session.

Outcomes are delivered to Full stage applicants shortly after a panel review.

Documents

MRC CiC EoI Application Form - 2020

MRC CiC Full Application Form - 2020

MRC CiC Gantt Chart Template - 2020

MRC CiC Guidance

Further queries should be sent to the Translational Research Team (TranslationalResearch@contacts.bham.ac.uk) in the first instance.

MRC Proximity to Discovery

The MRC Proximity to Discovery Industry Engagement Fund (P2D) aims to support individual mobility and discovery days to enable early engagement with industry, as well as proof of principle projects with businesses that could accelerate the translational potential of your work.

All work supported by the P2D fund should be aligned to biomedical science areas of interest to the MRC, as stated on the MRC Website.

Funding Streams

There are several streams within P2D:

Rapid Response Mobility (RRM)

  • RRM supports flexible funding requests for individual mobility to enable early engagement with industry. Researchers may visit companies anywhere in the world for face-to-face meetings to pursue early interactions.
  • Up to £2,000 per award. Open call for applications (no deadlines).

Knowledge Exchange & Dissemination (KE&D)

  • KE&D can support a discovery day seminar programme on discoveries, technologies and methodologies to transfer knowledge between companies and academic institutions to inspire new collaborations.
  • Up to £2,000 per activity. Applications reviewed competitively every quarter.

Exchange & Explore (E&E)

  • E&E supports flexible interactions with businesses and industry partners that could accelerate the translational potential of your work and support longer-term relationships, through delivery of short term, initial proof of principle work around mutual areas of interest.
  • Up to £6,000 per project. Applications reviewed competitively every quarter.

KE&D and E&E Application Deadlines

  2021 Q1 2021 Q2 2021 Q3
 Application Deadline:  25 February 2021  27 May 2021  26 August 2021
 Outcomes Anticipated:  18 March 2021  17 June 2021  16 September 2021

Documents

Contact

The Proximity to Discovery fund is managed by the Translational Research Team based in MDS Research Delivery. Prior to submission, all projects must be discussed with a member of the Translational Research Team and your College Business Engagement Partner.

All enquires in the first instance should be directed to the Translational Research Team.

College Business Engagement Partner Contacts

MDS  Richard Fox  R.Fox@bham.ac.uk
 Jo Smith  J.L.J.Smith@bham.ac.uk
 Jess Stede  J.Stede@bham.ac.uk
 Flo Gannon  F.Gannon@bham.ac.uk
LES  Holly Searson  H.L.Searson@bham.ac.uk
EPS  Alasdair Maclachlan  A.Maclachlan@bham.ac.uk
 Jack Tasker  J.B.Tasker@bham.ac.uk

Birmingham International Engagement Fund (BIEF)

For several years the University has run a number of travel funding schemes to aid travel to strategic markets for the purpose of partnership building. After review of the funding schemes, from the academic year 2017/18, the University is changing the way in which international travel funds are allocated. In order to ensure the highest possible academic reputational impact from our travel funds, funds that were previously separate have been consolidated to create a single Birmingham International Engagement Fund (BIEF).

The primary criterion for an award from the BIEF is the quality of the proposed activity: only the highest quality proposals will be supported. Quality will be judged on:

  1. The extent to which the activity will further the University’s international academic reputation.

  2. Academic excellence and standing given the career stage of the applicant.

  3. Tangible outputs and the potential benefit of the outputs to the University’s submissions to REF, TEF, and international league tables.

  4. The extent to which the visit will enhance existing collaboration or pump prime new areas.

  5. The value for money of the application.

Subject to this criterion, consideration will be given to whether an application involves travel to one of the University's strategic countries or partners.

Details of the fund can be found here: https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/external/international-relations/relations/fundingopps/index.aspx

UoB-Waseda Research Collaboration Fund

Waseda University has been identified as a key institution for strategic development for the University in Japan. It is anticipated that a number of mutually beneficial, sustainable collaborations will be developed, especially in multiple subject areas. A joint collaborative fund of GBP 60,000 pa has been set up to facilitate the research collaborations between UoB and Waseda, with £30,000 pa from each institution.

 The Waseda side of fund is administrated by the Centre for Research Strategy (Contact person Prof Mikiko Shimaoka, m.shimaoka@aoni.waseda.jp ), and academics from Waseda should contact Prof Shimaoka for the bid to the fund. The UoB side of fund is administered by International Relations (contact person Ms Wenwei Wu, w.wu@bham.ac.uk ) and UoB colleagues are invited to bid to the fund.

Further details are available here.

Global Challenges Research Fund

How to apply:

All four of the following GCRF funds use the the same application form

Completed applications and questions about the funds should be emailed to Sue Gilligan s.gilligan@bham.ac.uk.

GCRF Impact Implementation Fund

Application deadline: 

The deadlines for applications are Friday 5 February and Thursday 26 March 2021.

We encourage ambitious proposals; contact Sue Gilligan if you would like to discuss your budget and project.  Sue will also advise on the process for making applications outside the deadlines.” And then the ‘Who can apply’ section and beyond can stay the same for each segment.

Who can apply?

Existing GCRF funded researchers.

Intended to support existing GCRF funded researchers only to undertake additional impact activities beyond those envisaged in their original funding application, in order to maximise the benefits to Low and Middle Income partners involved in the research. Examples of potential activities include:

  • Dissemination of research and translation of outputs into new formats, such as; creation of films, production of policy briefings, conversion of outputs into local languages or artistic outputs.
  • Engagement of academic and non-academic partners, such as; secondments or person exchange with researchers or business/ policy makers in lower middle income countries.
  • Activities to change policy or guidelines, such as; contribution to curriculum design, engagement with local governments or policy stakeholders, etc.

GCRF Rapid Response

Application deadline:

The deadlines for applications are Friday 5 February and Thursday 26 March 2021.

We encourage ambitious proposals; contact Sue Gilligan if you would like to discuss your budget and project.  Sue will also advise on the process for making applications outside the deadlines.” And then the ‘Who can apply’ section and beyond can stay the same for each segment.

Who can apply? 

Research staff from all Colleges.

The most pressing development challenges often manifest themselves in unexpected ways.  From crises such as the Ebola and Zika epidemics, to natural disasters, civil unrest and other emergencies. This fund is intended to support an agile response to unexpected situations that require an urgent action. The fund can provide support for travel and research assistance etc.

GCRF Research Co-Design Sandpits

Application deadline:

The deadlines for applications are Friday 5 February and Thursday 26 March 2021.

We encourage ambitious proposals; contact Sue Gilligan if you would like to discuss your budget and project.  Sue will also advise on the process for making applications outside the deadlines.” And then the ‘Who can apply’ section and beyond can stay the same for each segment.

Who can apply? 

Research staff from all Colleges.

Research Co-Design Sandpits allow scholars to engage with partners to explore specific development challenges faced by LMICs.  The aim is to support initial partnership discussions and co-define problems, which will result in more significant collaborative projects being taken forward. Events can be held at Birmingham or overseas, with support for travel and hosting costs being offered. 

GCRF Capacity building fund

Application deadline:

The deadlines for applications are Friday 5 February and Thursday 26 March 2021.

 We encourage ambitious proposals; contact Sue Gilligan if you would like to discuss your budget and project.  Sue will also advise on the process for making applications outside the deadlines.” And then the ‘Who can apply’ section and beyond can stay the same for each segment.

Who can apply? 

Research staff from all Colleges.

This fund is earmarked for activities that will enhance the ability of LMIC partners to undertake research. This could include training on matters such as data collection and data management, research ethics or participant engagement. Funding to support skills audits would also be eligible. Costs to support travel and hosting will be supported, plus items necessary for training. When training is delivered it is anticipated that University of Birmingham staff will deliver this. 

Forum for Global Challenges GCRF Funding

The deadline for applications is Monday 1 March 2021 at 16:00 and all awarded funding must be used by end of July 2021.

We encourage ambitious proposals; contact Sue Gilligan if you would like to discuss your budget and project.

Completed applications should be emailed to Alex Young A.J.Young.2@bham.ac.uk and Sue Gilligan s.gilligan@bham.ac.uk

To apply, please complete the application form.

Special Call MDS, CoSS and CAL GCRF Engagement

The Institute for Global Innovation and Institute of Advanced studies are pleased to make funding available to enable and encourage interdisciplinary research collaborations across MDS, CoSS and CAL.

There is an appetite from colleagues to build these interactions and we hope that this targeted call will provide the resource to raise awareness of the breadth of our work, support joint research projects and build on the expertise we have working in Low and Middle Income Countries. After consultations with College Directors of Research, we invite applications on the theme of: Cultural and social attitudes to new medical developments, including COVID-19 vaccines in LMICs.

Deadlines for applications are Friday 5 February and Thursday 26 March 2021 at 16:00.

Please see the application form to apply.

 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. 

Please note that the Wellcome Trust ISSF is now fully allocated. The information below is provided for reference only.

Career Development Hub 

Through the ISSF the University has established 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.

Critical Data Awards

Excellent researchers across any of our highlighted career stages can apply for funding awards 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.

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. 

How to apply

All applications to the ISSF Career Development Hub must be submitted via the online application form available here.

Please read the Career Development Hub guidance available before applying.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions can be found here.

Wellcome Trust Translational Development Fund

The 2020 Wellcome Translational Development Fund is now closed. Details of the 2021 round are to be confirmed. See below for guidance and forms for the closed 2020 round for an indication of scope and requirements of this fund. Please direct all queries to the Translational Research Team (TranslationalResearch@contacts.bham.ac.uk).

Background

The Wellcome Translational Development Fund (TDF) is intended to provide modest funds to overcome key barriers to translation and enable progress further along the translational development pathway.

Development stage: the first step from discovery research towards identification or initial validation of a potential clinical outcome (commercial or non-commercial).

Scope and Eligibility

The TDF is focused on the first step from discovery research towards identification or initial validation of potential clinical, practical or commercial outcomes.

The fund will support the first stages of translational research providing funds of up to £30,000 over 3 – 6 months (directly incurred costs only). Projects are expected to have 1 – 2 milestones to overcome a translational barrier to progress along the translational development pathway.

Preliminary data is welcomed but not essential and the fund may be available for activities with a considerable risk component

Application Process

The application process has two stages, with Expressions of Interest (EoI) and Full stage for shortlisted projects.

Prior to EoI submission, all applicants should discuss their application with a member of the Translational Research Team. Applicants should consult their Institute / School Facilitator for full, accurate project costings.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to submit a Full application. Additional support can be provided by the Translational Research Team, UoB Enterprise and external consultants as necessary. In addition, prior to Full stage submission, first-time applicants should attend a Translational Training session.

Outcomes are delivered to Full stage applicants shortly after a panel review.

Documents

Wellcome TDF EoI Application Form - 2020

Wellcome TDF Full Application Form - 2020

Wellcome TDF Guidance

 

Further queries should be sent to the Translational Research Team (TranslationalResearch@contacts.bham.ac.uk) in the first instance.

 

Colleges

Professional Services