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

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.

Enhancing Research and Knowledge Exchange Funding Programme

Funding Purpose

In addition to the annual Quality Related (QR) funding for research and knowledge exchange, Research England are providing universities with short-term, one-off funding for the 2021-22 financial year (i.e. spend by 31 March 2022) to address current Government and UKRI priorities and opportunities. This includes strengthening working with other institutions and external partners, as well as our own internal research environment. Funding is distributed across three schemes:

  • Policy Support Fund
  • Enhancing Research Culture
  • Participatory Research Programme

The University of Birmingham has been allocated approx. £1m across these funds.

Allocations are intended to support universities in undertaking activities with local, regional, national and international stakeholders (including, but not limited to, parliament, central government, devolved administrations, local government, health and education bodies, the justice system and other regulatory organisations).  The allocations also complement UKRI’s vision and Government’s wider R&D People and Culture Strategy to support an outstanding research and innovation system that gives everyone the opportunity to contribute and to benefit, enriching lives locally, nationally and internationally by directly involving a wider pool of people, organisations and approaches in research, and by encouraging researchers in universities to engage with the users of research throughout the research lifecycle, from conception to outcomes.

Policy Support Fund

The Policy Support Fund is to enable universities to link effectively with policy research priorities and opportunities, from the local to the international. Allocations may be used to build on activity already underway, and to develop capacity for future initiatives. 

Enhancing Research Culture

This fund has been made available to strengthen university capacity around creating an inclusive and vibrant research culture. Funding is designed to enable the transition from addressing immediate Covid 19 pressures to maximising existing and new opportunities for promoting a positive research culture, post pandemic. It is designed to enable universities to prepare activities aligned with the R&D People and Culture Strategy.

Participatory Research Programme

Participatory or co-produced research strengthens research outcomes by involving the communities and users of research, better recognising their experience, needs and preferences, and giving greater agency to stakeholders to implement findings.

How to apply for funding

Applicants should read the full Guidance Notes before applying.

Applicants should complete an Application Form and then follow one of the application routes below:

  • Staff based in Colleges (including College-focussed professional services bids) should apply via their College Director of Research, who will be compiling requests. Directors should submit compiled application forms to
  • Activities in central Professional Services (such as RSS, External Relations and Planning) should come through their local Directors and will be considered separately, in order to identify existing activities which can be supported via the funding.

All funding requests must be submitted by Wednesday 22nd December.

EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account

The University of Birmingham has been awarded a £2.4 million Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) by EPSRC to support impact and knowledge exchange activities in engineering and physical sciences. The key aims and objectives of the Impact Acceleration Account are:

Aim 1. Accelerate the commercialisation of research in engineering and physical sciences across the University

  • Objective 1: Support the development of outcomes of research activities in all areas of engineering and physical sciences
  • Objective 2: Develop knowledge exchange with new and existing external partners

Aim 2. Enable researchers at all career stages to engage with impact

  • Objective 3: Support early career researchers in translating their research into impact
  • Objective 4: Celebrate the impact of engineering and physical sciences through public engagement

Aim 3. Support capacity building for key strategic areas of activity

  • Objective 5: Support key areas of strategic potential to help them gain critical mass
  • Objective 6: Provide opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration and engagement

More Information

Find out more about the EPSRC IAA funding streams:

ESRPC Impact Acceleration Account


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.


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.


  • 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

Translating fundamental science into new interventions is central to the MRC’s mission to prevent illness, develop therapies and improve human health. The Confidence in Concept scheme (CiC) aims to support innovation and accelerate the transfer of the best ideas from discovery research into new interventions that reach patients and improve the return on investment in fundamental research. It is intended to rapidly de-risk projects across the translational pathway so that they become competitive for substantial funding for further development.

CiC projects should aim to deliver key studies to strengthen existing preliminary data, establish the viability of an approach and provide confidence in the underlying concept. Projects are expected to seek further funding to continue de-risking of the innovation, or more substantial, follow-on funding from public funders, charities or industry.

All disease areas and modalities of intervention are eligible for support. We encourage applications from across the Colleges of MDS, LES and EPS, and are particularly keen on interdisciplinary collaborative approaches. Teams that actively involve clinicians from partner NHS Trusts (including Birmingham Health Partners) are welcome.

How to Apply

This round of CiC funding will provide up to £60,000 at 100% fEC (Cost to Funder) for projects no longer than 6 months. Projects must be complete and fully spent no later than 31st March 2023.

Applicants should first complete an Intention to Submit Form prior to submitting an application to ensure the project is suitable for this scheme. This form will close to new responses at 17:00 on Friday 10th June 2020

Application submission deadline: 12 noon, Wednesday 22nd June 2022

The CiC institutional fund is managed by the Translational Research Team, part of the MDS Research & Knowledge Transfer Office. General enquiries should be directed to

Find out more about translational research at Birmingham

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.

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 project. RRM is an open call with no submission 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. K&ED is a competitive funding call with quarterly deadlines.

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. E&E is a competitive funding call with quarterly deadlines.


How to Apply

Next application submission deadline for KE&D and E&E: 12 noon, Wednesday 27th July 2022

The P2D institutional fund is managed by the Translational Research Team, part of the MDS Research & Knowledge Transfer Office. General enquiries should be directed to

Find out more about translational research at Birmingham

STFC Impact Acceleration Account

The University has been awarded a £70,000 STFC Impact Acceleration Account from the Science and Technology Facilities Council, to run from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023.

Applications are invited for impact and knowledge exchange related projects from STFC-funded researchers working in one or more of the STFC core science remit areas. Example projects include:

  • Innovation and commercialisation proof-of concept projects
  • Industry / stakeholder engagement and community building workshops
  • Industry / stakeholder secondments

Find out more about the STFC Impact Acceleration Account.

Birmingham International Engagement Fund (BIEF)

The Birmingham International Engagement Fund (BIEF) offers travel awards to failitate collaboration with international partners. Further information about the scheme and details about how to apply can be found on the Birmingham Global intranet pages.

 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.


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

Wellcome ISSF Family Leave Support


This scheme provides funding to assist Life Sciences researchers who are taking family leave, with a technician or other support, to help maintain the progress of their academic work whilst they are on family leave. This scheme is specific to non-clinical researchers – clinical researchers based in MDS should refer to the Family Leave Scheme for Clinical Lecturers.

The scheme has been developed within the context of the University of Birmingham’s membership of the Athena SWAN Charter and generous support from the Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF). We are committed to supporting career development for researchers, who take extended periods of family leave when starting, or adding to, their family. It is the University’s intention that all staff should receive reasonable support during their leave and return to work period, and that pregnancy and/or becoming a parent in particular, are not barriers to career progression in perception or practice. 

Applications are invited from researchers working within the Wellcome Trust's funding remit, primarily life sciences, based within the University of Birmingham. 

Wellcome Trust ISSF funds are due to be fully spent by September 2022. Within this timeframe, there is no specific deadline for applications, but it is advised that applications are submitted as early as possible to enable timely recruitment of a suitable technician. It is possible for the technician to start before the family leave commences and/or continue after the researcher returns to work, funding permitting. 


Applicants should read the full guidance notes before making an application.

How to apply

Applications should be made using the online ISSF Family Leave Support Grant Application Form.

Wellcome Trust Translational Development Fund

The Translational Development Fund (TDF) is currently closed to new applications. Further TDF calls will be advertised as funding allows.

Projects supported by the Wellcome 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.

The Wellcome institutional fund is managed by the Translational Research Team, part of the MDS Research & Knowledge Transfer Office. General enquiries should be directed to

Find out more about translational research at Birmingham



Professional Services