Research Culture and Grants

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Research culture at the University of Birmingham refers to the values, behaviours, expectations and attitudes of our research and related communities.

It informs the design, delivery and dissemination of our excellent research, and the ways in which our research efforts are recognised and rewarded. Research culture is an important consideration within the University and across the UK research and innovation ecosystem, and shapes the ways in which we engage with our collaborators, funders, and publishers .

In the context of grant funding, it is expected that researchers will develop positive and inclusive cultures in all aspects of their work - from the inception of project ideas, to team building and career development, stakeholder engagement, delivery of programmes, and communication of outcomes and outputs. Embedding equality, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) throughout the research lifecycle is very important and the resources below are intended to help grant applicants consider these aspects more fully:


Demand Managed Calls

Internal demand management processes are organised for funding calls that have a limit on the number of submissions that can be put forward by an organisation. Occasionally, calls which are not formally managed but are either strategic and/or high value might also have an internal selection process and to ensure that we are putting forward the most competitive bids and candidates and not duplicating research effort.  

In summer 2021, colleagues from Research Strategy and Services undertook an exercise across all Colleges and professional services teams supporting research grants about the effectiveness of our current internal demand management processes. A report was produced to share the findings, including feedback from the writers with recommendations and considerations on improving current processes and embedding ED&I considerations at the heart of any internal assessment and selection. 

Resources and support: 

  • Recommendations for organising a robust, transparent, and inclusive demand management process
  • College Research Development Managers can provide guidance and support for teams who are organising these processes and would also welcome feedback from researchers who participate in them. 

Resume for Research and Innovation

The UKRI are currently piloting a new modular CV format called the Resume for Research and Innovation (R4RI). This is intended to be a more flexible CV template that allows a wider range of research and related contributions to be evidenced and with the aim of recognising diverse forms of excellence. While this is being used in a few UKRI schemes presently, a wider roll-out across a range of funders is planned and an event on community adoption was hosted in March 2022. 

Resources and support:

  • To support the UoB researcher community in adopting the R4RI, an initial information session will be organised on 29th June from 2-3pm. Please contact Sarah Macmillan ( for further details. 
  • The University of Glasgow in collaboration with the UK Reproducibility Network organised a workshop on narrative CV formats in July 2021. The workshop recording and an online course covering tips to write narrative CVs are available for colleagues across the sector to access and learn from. 
  • An example of a suggested CV template can be found here and is currently used by the Royal Society for several grant application schemes. 

Embedding ED&I in Stakeholder Engagement and Research Design

To foster a research and innovation system where diverse and dynamic people and ideas can thrive and where research programmes deliver benefit beyond academia, the role of user communities and stakeholders is central to research design, delivery and dissemination – including involvement in the funding application process. This shared working may be described in a variety of ways including co-production, collaboration or participant and public involvement – all of which have specific contexts and meanings which need to be appreciated – and involve working with service users, patients, carers, policymakers, third sector organisations and businesses, amongst others. 

Developing equitable and ethical partnerships requires a sustained commitment to relationship-building and a sensitive approach to the interests and power dynamics of different participating groups. Considerations around how under-represented, marginalised or other ‘non-traditional’ communities can be involved represents both a huge challenge and a huge opportunity for research. ED&I considerations need to be at the fore of research engagement, design and delivery, and with the purpose of extending the benefits of research to everyone possible and engaging traditionally underserved communities.

Resources and support: 

  • The NIHR’s Research Design Service has provided a useful toolkit to support researchers to better understand how to embed ED&I in research design and meet funder requirements. 
  • The UKRI Good Research Resource Hub provides detailed guidance and case studies of co-production in research, building equitable partnerships, and ED&I considerations in research practice. 
  • Top tips on how to make your research more inclusive and diverse
  • A cross-College ED&I Research Community of Practice is being set up to provide guidance on embedding equality, diversity and inclusion within grant applications and sharing examples of best practice across disciplines and funders.
    • Please contact Eliot Marston ( or Ipshita Ghose ( for further details and if you are interested in either joining the community or availing of their expertise 
  • College Research Support Offices can provide bespoke advice and support on how to demonstrate inclusive and engaged research design in the writing of grant applications



Professional Services