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Research Collaboration and Impact Fund (formerly REKEC)

APPLICATIONS ARE OPEN for the Research Collaboration and Impact Fund – CLOSES 15 MARCH – APPLY NOW

What is the Research Collaboration and Impact Fund:

The University receives external funding for research impact and interaction with non-academic stakeholders.  To best help and support our researchers, we have established a process for allocating these funds through the Research Collaboration and Impact Fund (formerly known as REKEC).

Funding is available to deliver collaboration, KE and commercialisation with non-academic partners to maximise the impact of research, knowledge and skills on policy makers, practitioners, business, the public and the enhancement of student employability. Funds can be used for all scales of project, from providing funding for visits or secondments to non-academic stakeholders to larger scale exploration of the commercial potential of research work.

There are different project types you can apply for depending on the focus, this includes:

All of the above project types use the same single application form.  Accordingly, there is individual guidance available for each funding stream by clicking on the links above.  If it is unclear which of the projects types are suitable for your project or if your application is suitable for the fund, please contact your Impact Development Manager or Business Relationship Manager in Research Services in the first instance, especially if your funding request is over £5,000.

Please note – This new fund comes from existing money from Research England’s Policy Support Fund and HEIF. This new single application process replaces any previous calls for Research England’s Policy Support Fund and HEIF.


How is this different from previous rounds?

This is a funded round for projects with a short turnaround time and therefore is especially suited for smaller projects including collaborative visits, secondments etc. There is no minimum value for applications. Approved projects will be expected to begin in early April 2024 and MUST be completed, with all expenses submitted by the end of July 2024. There is no flexibility in start and end dates for these projects and funds cannot be spent in the next financial year (starting August 2024).


Key Information:

All of the project types use the same single application form.  There is a link here to a PDF copy of the application form to allow you to view the questions, but please note the online form (link at the top of this page) must be used for the application submission. Costs should be entered into a separate excel sheet to be uploaded on the application form (see costs section below for what to include on the Costing Template).

Application Deadline: Applications must be submitted by 11am on Friday 15 March 2024  – and all projects must end and have expenses submitted by 31 July 2024.


Applicant Eligibility:

Funding will be open to all staff with relevant research based projects and it is expected that most proposals will be led by a permanent member of academic staff.  All applicants are required to obtain approval from their line manager to ensure ability to commit time to the project.

Projects may be led by fixed term research staff provided their HoS and line manager are supportive and there is a permanent member of academic staff as Co-Investigator.


Eligible Costs:

  • Eligible costs include the following:
  • Salaries (and on-costs) for research, technical and professional staff.
  • Campus jobs costs
  • Secondments to and from partner organisations
  • Consumables
  • Facilities use
  • Small items of equipment (under £10K)
  • Expert consultancy e.g. for market assessment.
  • Overheads are not eligible costs.

Please note applicants are expected to adhere to the researcher concordat, particularly with regard to employing PDRAs on short-term contracts.

The costing spreadsheet to use and upload to the application form can be found in the Costing Template.


Assessment Criteria and Approvals:

First, applications will be assessed for eligibility and appropriateness of the funding stream and then all eligible proposals will be sent to a panel consisting of members of Professional Services and a selection of Research Deans. 

Proposals will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • Potential for delivery of impact
  • Strategic importance
  • Novelty and timeliness of proposed activities;
  • Quality, feasibility and appropriateness of approach;
  • Cost effectiveness and appropriate use of funds;

The recommended applications will go to the University Committee on Research and Innovation (UCRI) for final approval. There will be a maximum of 4 weeks between the application deadline and decision.


Reporting Requirements:

Successful applicants will be assigned a member of professional Research Services staff to work with (with varying degrees of involvement depending on the nature of the activity).  A short report detailing activities, outcomes and next steps will be expected for submission 2 months after the activity ends


Examples of previously funded projects from REKEC Round 2:






Agriculture, Food and Health

Evidencing the impact of IntFOLD

IntFOLD has served >26,000 users from >100 countries! We need your input! How has IntFOLD generated impact for you?


Agriculture, Food and Health

Disruptive platform technology for formulation of pharmaceutical dosage forms

Our project introduces a formulation platform technology to enhance drug efficacy.



Decarbonising national power systems using surplus energy reserves in critical infrastructure

'@UniRdg_Met show how surplus electricity backup supply can be used to support the rollout of renewable energy



Urban life and design in the drone age

Working with industry, regulators, local authorities and communities, we explore what drones mean for urban skies, residents and design



Introducing our digital knowledge exchange opportunity for novel satellite-guided services to life below water.

Introducing our digital knowledge exchange opportunity for novel satellite-guided services to life below water.


Prosperity and Resilience

Exploring connectivity issues between sustainability related information and financial statements

Investigating the link between climate change and financial reporting in partnership with UKEB! Our project delves into connectivity issues between sustainability-related data and financial statements. From identifying challenges to proposing alignment strategies, we aim to influence the international accounting standard setters to enhance transparency and reporting.


Prosperity and Resilience

Adopting authentic materials in the languages curriculum: impact on learners and teachers

Revitalising language learning: changing hearts and minds through authentic materials


Prosperity and Resilience

Countering State Sponsorship of Non-State Actors

‘@mfa_russia, u ok hun?’


Prosperity and Resilience

What the war on terror leaves behind: Engaging with post-terror conflict environments

What does the "War on Terror" leave behind? Detained Children, contested borders, and outdated terrorist lists


Top tips for consideration when applying:

  1. If you have received funding from previous rounds or other funding sources, please ensure that you outline progress since the last one to justify why you would require further funding, ensuring that the panel can clearly understand the status of your project, whether the original aims were achieved with this fund and how your previous funding relates to this new application for funds.
  2. When considering external collaborations, do consider compelling arguments for this collaboration. Is there a specific reason to collaborate with this company or institution, or is there a stronger rationale to build relationships closer to home which can provide a similar objective and cost less?
  3. If considering a workshop or event with external delegates such as other universities, consider contributing costs from other universities in the financial plan, or acknowledge why this is not possible. It is unlikely that the fund will support proposed costs of travel and accommodation for these external delegates, and will require justification of why these external organisations cannot contribute to these costs if in the proposal. A robust, well justified financial proposal helps the panel better understand the spend of this project.
  4. If your application is in relation to a project regarding mobile phone apps, do bear in mind that the market is over saturated and that it is very hard to make money from apps when so many are free to use. We strongly suggest outlining why yours would stand out, what benefits/impact it will have, how the impact will be tracked and how it can be commercialised.
  5. Targeted engagement with a small number of end users is often a more effective mechanism than a mass marketing campaign. Mass marketing approaches are expensive, higher risk and often difficult to track the update and impact of a piece of work. If you are thinking of this kind of approach, please discuss with either your Impact Development Manager or Business Relationship Manager to see if this is the best way to achieve your project aims.