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.

Covid Support Programme

The Covid Support Programme aims to support future research leaders who will bear the brunt of major Covid-19 setbacks to individual research projects and the wider research landscape. Building on our proven track record nurturing early/mid-career researchers through targeted pump-priming awards which lead on to significant returns on investment (both financially and with respect to career development), we will focus funding with key application criteria relating to how funding will help to mitigate specific individual career setbacks caused by Covid-19. 

Support Schemes

These schemes include awards of up to a maximum of £5k across:

  • Pilot data - The acquisition of data to support new research directly informing specific planned external research funding applications or in response to reviewers’ comments on key articles 
  • Mobility - Establishing new collaborations or technical capabilities through national/global visits [note: awards will recognise the limited likelihood and risks of international travel]
  • Giving Back Time - this stream gives successful applicants a payment of up to £500 to provide a short-term boost to their work capacity by alleviating other personal pressures. For example, an award could be used to pay for additional child-related expenses  over and above usual arrangements thereby ‘giving back time’ to the recipient.   
  • Equity Bridging Fund - to support award holders with their work. This can be through salary costs via extensions to contracts or increasing hours for part-time staff if required and applies to any staff group. For researchers, priority will be given to those who have not received any COVID-19 mitigation support to date. 
  • Supporting Teaching, Technical, Research, Academic and Professional Services - provides funds to pay for workers engaged through WorkLink to support staff with their work. Applicants can apply for either 20 or 40 hours of support. 

How to apply

Please read the full Guidance Notes before applying.

All applications must be submitted to: ediresearchfund@contacts.bham.ac.uk using the application template.

Application Deadline

The first round will open on Friday 1 October 2021 and will close on Friday 5 November 2021.

EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account

The EPSRC IAA is currently closed to applications. The following is provided for information only.

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.

Follow-on Fund

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.

Applications are expected to be no more than £40,000 in value.

Please read the the EPSRC IAA Follow-on Fund 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.

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

IAS Workshops and Fellowships

The Institute for Global Innovation and Institute of Advanced studies are pleased to make support available to University of Birmingham researchers to bring together expertise from across the breadth of our university. During restricted campus operations we would like to continue to support your ideas through on-line workshops with a view to hosting an ‘in person’ event once we are able to. Topics should be interdisciplinary and include substantial input from at least two Colleges. Consideration should be given to what might eventually be the benefits to UoB in terms of engagement, impact, high quality publications and grant income generation.

Deadlines

  • 28 October 
  • 14 December 2021
  • 17 March 2022
  • 23 June 2022

How to apply

To apply for a Workshop, please complete the IAS Workshop Proposal Form.

To apply for visiting fellows and vanguards, please complete the IAS Visiting Fellows Proposal Form.

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.

 Wellcome Trust ISSF

The Wellcome Trust ISSF is currently closed to applications. The information below is provided for reference only.

In partnership with the Wellcome Trust (via their Institutional Strategic Support Fund), 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 Covid 19 pandemic has been extremely challenging for many of our researchers, who have faced common challenges such as adjusting to home working, reduced social interaction and increased caring responsibilities (well-documented to be particularly acute in female staff), but also face unique sectoral challenges in terms of access to specialised laboratory space and equipment to undertake their core work. With these challenges in mind, and building on our previous funding schemes, we have provided a new and enhanced series of schemes in order to help address some of the issues faced by researchers whose careers have been setback by the Covid-19 pandemic, or may be facing other acute personal challenges in research momentum.

Schemes Available

Pilot data Awards:

Excellent researchers across any of our highlighted career stages can apply for funding awards of up to £25,000 to deliver key experiments or other research work which provides compelling pilot data for a specified external application. Applications are expected to clearly demonstrate why the specific data is required as an enabler – for underpinning external funding applications this will be strengthened by feedback from internal (outside the applicant’s own research group) or external grant review.

High-impact publications:

In order to support researchers at any career stage, we are providing funding of up to £25,000 to address reviewer comments on key articles by the collection of new data. Applications are expected to clearly demonstrate why the specific data is required as an enabler – for publications, this should include review comments from the journal.

Mobility:

Collaboration and experience is essential to deliver world-leading research, and the ability to forge new collaborations has been particularly impacted by the pandemic. Excellent researchers at any of our highlighted career stages are therefore encouraged to apply for Mobility awards (covering travel, accommodation, subsistence and if well-justified a level of research consumables) of up to £25,000. These may establish new partnerships both in the UK and overseas, define critical research questions or learn new skills and techniques which can be brought back to Birmingham. Evidence of support from the partner site is required and requests for overseas visits must be able to demonstrate that their trip is feasible given any travel restrictions in place at that time. Whilst we are hopeful of supporting a number individuals through this stream, please note that awards will recognise the limited likelihood and risks of international travel, which your application should clearly mitigate.

Who does the Career Development Hub cover?

This approach covers a range of career stages within the Life Sciences, most importantly:

  • Doctoral students, particularly those who have faced significant challenges accruing data during the pandemic;
  • Transition from PhD to post-doctoral Fellowships;
  • Postdoctoral fellows and early-career researchers looking to secure their first major Fellowship or personal award as lead investigator;
  • Mid-career researchers (typically those with an established track record, at or below Senior Lecturer level) facing challenges to maintain career trajectory when moving from externally-funded Fellowships and/or adapting their research direction.

How to Apply

Applications should be made via the Online Application Form.

Further Details

Please see the Wellcome Trust ISSF Carreer Development Hub Guidance for further information and details about the questions asked in the application form. If you have any questions which are not answered by the guidance, please get in touch at wellcomeissf@contacts.bham.ac.uk.

Wellcome Trust Translational Development Fund

About TDF Projects

Projects supported by the Translational Development Fund seek to address early-stage translational development barriers, enabling projects to take the first step from discovery research towards identification or initial validation of clinical, practical, commercial or non-commercial outcomes.

Projects must address an unmet need in healthcare and offer a potential new solution. Projects are expected to take the innovation to a stage at which it is sufficiently developed to be attractive to another party, such as not for profit organisations and commercial organisations. 

Who can apply?

  • Applications will be accepted from the Colleges of MDS, LES and EPS – we are particularly keen on interdisciplinary collaborative approaches and projects that have identified a clinical colleague from Birmingham Health Partner NHS Trusts as a collaborator.
  • Applicants should normally be a University academic employee or be the holder of a personal research fellowship awarded competitively, with a contract lasting the duration of the project. Partner NHS Trust Clinicians that are UoB Honorary are also eligible to lead on the application but must still engage with the TRT and provide costings via Worktribe.

How much can I apply for?

  • Up to £30,000 over 3 to 6 months of directly incurred costs only.
  • Projects must be complete by 31st August 2022, to comply with the conditions of the core institutional fund award. The 2021 round will be extremely competitive, as there are limited funds remaining from the block grant.

How do I apply?

Prior to Expression of Interest submission all applicants must discuss their project with a Translational Project Manager from the Translational Research Team. Contact the team on TranslationalResearch@contacts.bham.ac.uk. If this is your first time engaging with the TRT, it may be helpful to include the Executive Summary of your research proposal in your email, so we can match you with the most appropriate team member.

Please consult the Guidance document before applying using the Expression of Interest Form below.

Deadline for EoI submissions is 12 o’clock midday, Friday 10 September 2021

 

 

Colleges

Professional Services