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Call for proposals: RETF Open Fund 2019/20

Research Funding

Could the Open Fund enhance your research?


Funding is available from the University's RETF Open Fund to support strategic research projects led by academic staff.

The funds, as part of our wider Research Endowment Trust Fund (RETF), are awarded through a competitive process and are held twice per year in autumn and spring. Applications will be assessed by the University Research Committee according to the criteria outlined below.

Deadline for applications: 17:00, 22 November 2019.


Proposals will be considered for projects ranging between £10,000 and £50,000, and up to maximum 2 years' duration. For two-year projects, a mid-term report will be required for approval of the second year of funding.

Eligible costs include salaries (and on-costs) for research, technical and professional staff, and/or teaching replacement as buy-out for academic staff to complete the project. Research equipment is not eligible and appropriate funding should be sought through the Research Infrastructure Fund. To enable the completion of major outputs (anticipated to be 4* quality), academic staff should apply to the annual competition for Research Fellowships (these will be advertised separately).

Applicants should demonstrate that funding for the proposed project is not available from other sources, and/or they should specify match funding from internal or external sources. If match funding is not available, applicants should explain why.

Applicants should list any previous RETF awards held and the resulting outcomes (grant applications, grant awards, published outputs).

All projects must specify anticipated spend in each financial year (1 August to 31 July). Projects can extend across financial years but spend cannot be transferred between financial years.

Criteria for RETF

Proposals must meet all of the ‘core' RETF criteria and at least one of the ‘strategic' criteria.

a) Core RETF criteria

Applications must meet all of the following:

  • Support research excellence at any career stage;
  • Deliver value for money with potential to leverage external funding;
  • Align to strategic priorities of the University and/or Research Theme.

b) Strategic RETF criteria

Research proposals must address at least one of the following:

  • Demonstrate ambition to achieve growth measured in terms of, for example, research income, scale, methodologies, partnerships, reputation, audiences, etc.;
  • Enable high-risk research, for example providing proof of concept to inform external grant applications;
  • Support innovation and the translation of research into products and processes, for example through supporting pilot projects.

Applications should be submitted on the pro forma available to download from the RETF page on the staff portal. Any queries may be sent to Sue Jones in the PVC's Office:

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