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Research Engagement, Knowledge Exchange (KE) and Commercialisation 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 Engagement, Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation Fund (REKEC).

Funding is available to deliver engagement, 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. 

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.


Key Information

All of the project types use the same single application form.  A PDF copy of the form to view the questions but please note the online form must be used. Costs should be entered into a separate excel sheet to be uploaded on the application form (see costs section below).

Application Deadline: 6th October 2023 and all projects must end before the end of December 2024.

The remaining date in 2023/2024 is to be confirmed but expected to be in April 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.

Costs should be entered into a separate excel sheet to be uploaded on the application form. This also included a cost calculator to estimate staff costs

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


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, academics with engagement/policy/KE/innovation in research experience 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.