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Internal Research Funding


The University's Research Endowment Trust Fund (RETF) funding to support the development of promising and ambitious research ideas and emerging initiatives in the University. The Fund is managed by the University Committee for Research & Innovation and allocates money through 3 main schemes.

Applications forms can be found under the relevant sections below when the call opens. Queries should be directed to the Research Deans Office.

University Research Fellowships: Annual call for fellowships to support researchers in arts, humanities and social sciences. They are 1 year in duration and provide £10,000 to cover teaching replacement costs and research expenses.

Open Fund: 1 to 2 calls per year to support projects between £10,000 and £50,000 for up to 2 years.

Strategic funding: For strategically important projects and emerging opportunities for the research theme. Research Deans should be contacted for further information.


Research Travel Grants

Grants are available to assist with the cost of presenting a paper or poster at external conferences and seminars. All academic staff below professorial level zone 2, and all other members of research staff and PhD students whose funding does not cover conference travel are eligible to apply. How to apply (password protected).


Research Infrastructure Fund

Every year, the University makes funding available for research infrastructure that will have a transformative impact on research capability and quality within a defined area of existing or potential research excellence. The fund considers investments of £250,000 or more in the sciences, and £50,000 or more in arts, humanities and social sciences.

An annual call is issued by the University Committee on Research Infrastructure in the late autumn.


NIRD Funding

The National Institute for Research into Dairying (NIRD) Trust Fund is providing approximately £2million per annum until 2024/25 to support research into agriculture and food. This funding will be disbursed as part of existing University funding competitions (e.g. RETF Open Call, Annual Research Infrastructure Fund call), where applications are within the NIRD Fund remit and are of sufficient quality. Alternatively, proposals that have the potential to confer significant strategic gains at national or global level may be submitted direct to the NIRD Trust Steering Group via the Head of School. Further details here.


AHRC Impact Accelerator Account Funding

Impact Project Fund

The University of Reading was awarded an Impact Accelerator Account (IAA) funded by the AHRC, which aims to expand the impact of its research in the Arts and Humanities, in relation to both local contexts and national and international imperatives.    

An important element of Reading’s IAA is the Impact Project Fund. The objective of the fund is to invest in early stages of work in the impact pipeline, to facilitate understanding of the challenges groups are facing, and investigate how the University of Reading’s research can help to address those. It is designed to allow us to rapidly respond to emerging needs and new opportunities to develop impact. Successful applications to the Fund will enable researchers to enhance the impact of their research, to undertake impact and engagement activities, and develop partnerships with external stakeholders.

Applications to the Fund are invited from anyone working in the AHRC remit. Applications are welcomed for a range of amounts but applications for more than £6000 will not normally be funded. 

This scheme is now closed for 2022.  Further information and a historic copy of the application form can be found hereFor future reference, a PDF format of the application form to see all of the questions is available to view hereThe 2023 form for submitting will be circulated in 2023.



Annual Research Infrastructure and Equipment Fund (ARIEF) 

The 2022/23 Annual Research Infrastructure and Equipment Fund (ARIEF) considers major investments of values of £100K or more in science disciplines, and £40K or more in the non-science disciplines, which will either have a transformative impact on research capacity and quality within a defined area of existing or potential research excellence within the University, or which funds the replacement of strategically important equipment or infrastructure, without which our capacity to conduct research would be negatively impacted.

Applications will be made via Microsoft Forms which can be found at the following link

Please read the guidance at the top of the form and note the point about supporting statements. Do allow enough time to obtain any supporting statements as your RDL may have several requests to deal with.  

Applications that are recommended for funding may be required to consult further with professional services such as Estates, Health and Safety, Procurement, DTS, etc. before funding is released in order to ensure that all factors relevant to the purchase, installation, maintenance and disposal of the equipment have been considered in advance of placing an order.

The deadline for applications will be announced for December 2023.  Late applications will not be accepted.


Policy Engagement Projects

The University of Reading has received funding from Research England as part of their Policy Support Fund. This funding aims to support universities to link effectively with policy research priorities and opportunities, from the local to the international.

Relevant research activity which might be funded includes:

  • New research activity working in partnership with policymakers, particularly to better understand local, regional or national challenges;
  • Extending existing research activity;
  • Facilitating the use of existing research and the exchange of knowledge between universities and policymakers;
  • Activity aimed at improving the dialogue between universities and policymakers;
  • Activity and training to better equip academics, including postgraduate researchers and early career researchers, to communicate effectively with policymakers;
  • Partnerships and collaborations aimed at supporting evidence-based policy making;
  • The exchange of people, e.g. staff secondments, contributing towards professional doctorates in policy, joint PhDs, etc.

The funding requests per project are expected to be between £3,000 and £20,000. Funds can be used to pay for staff time, travel, consumables and other direct costs. Paying for permanently funded academic staff time will only be considered alongside a supporting statement from their Head of School. The funding cannot be used to support equipment or overheads. Costs should be estimated using a cost calculator available from Research Services (contact

Additional information regarding this call can be found in the following document.  A PDF format of the application form to see all of the questions is available to view here.

All applications must be made through the online application form. The deadline for applications will be announced for December 2023.


Health Innovation Partnership (HIP)

There will be opportunities for collaborative funding arising from the Health Innovation Partnership. Please check the HIP website for the latest information.


Studentship Schemes

Details of a variety of studentship competitions can be found on the Graduate School website.


Other Internal Funding

There are potentially other internal funding opportunities depending on external allocations and details will be posted on this page when relevant.

Previously these have included:

  • Research England: In previous years, we have been allocated Research England funding in specific areas, including Policy Support and Participatory Research.
  • Impact Development funds
  • HEIF proof of concept projects.
Further Information

For general information related to RETF and NIRD,  please contact Dawn Cobbold, Executive Administration Manager (Vice-Chancellor’s Office)

For information related to Research Travel Grants, please contact Eleanor Saxon, Senior Governance Officer

For Information related to Studentship Schemes, please contact Elena Bedisti, Director of Graduate School Services