How to fund your research

Knowing how to fund your research – and applying for that funding - is a crucial part of planning your project.

This page outlines the things you’ll need to consider when applying for both external and internal funding.

We know this can be complex and time-consuming, so the earlier you tell the UCA Research Office about your plans, the more help we’ll be able to give – especially with finding external funds.

External funding

External Research Funding

Applying for external funding is a big task, and there are a lot of different criteria to fulfil. Here's an outline of the help we can provide:

Help finding funders

Please contact us as soon as you start your research funding application(s) so we can assist you – you can use the Pre-Grant Application online form to let us know which external funding sources you are considering.

The Research Office sends out a monthly bulletin of forthcoming calls and has also compiled a list of Arts Funders

You can also join our open External Grant group on UCA Workplace. If you know of any funds or calls that we have not included here, please let us know.


 More resources

Bid Writing Tips
Partner Search Form

For further support with your funding search, please contact Tracy Crowther, External Grants Developer


 

Guidance on demonstrating impact

Since March 2020, UKRI and its Research Councils no longer require Pathways to Impact and Impact Summaries to be included in research proposals. However, they still require your proposal to demonstrate the impact of your project.

Professor Mark Reed’s Fast Track website has a wealth of information, resources and online training that can help with this.


 More resources


 

Costing, Approvals and Submission

There are various things you will need to consider when estimating your project costs. These include:

  • Staff Costs at Full Economic Costing (FEC) - we have a UCA Pay modeller which will help you to calculate the staff time required for your project (including your own time), and to estimate the overall cost. If you would like a copy, please contact Tracy Crowther.
  • Directly Incurred Costs - these include expenses such as the cost for each research assistant, technician and project manager your may need, together with equipment, consumables specific to the project, travel and subsistence, external consultancy fees, recruitment advertising, survey costs, evaluations and more. You can use Key Travel to estimate your travel and subsistence costs.
  • Estates and Indirect Costs - These costs are important as they ensure that the University has support to enable research activities to be carried out. These costs replace the previous 'overhead' charge that was applied to research projects. Use the UKRI Calculation formula to work them out for your project.

 

Approvals

If your project has funds that have to go through UCA Finance, it will need to be approved by the Head of School.

Likewise, all external Fellowship applications require approval from the Head of School, and you will often need a letter of approval from UCA.

Projects developed over £50,000 require approval from the Research Office and Pro Vice-Chancellor.

You’ll need to complete our External Funding Authorisation Application form at least five days before the submission of your bid to ensure UCA authorisation.

For more information, download our guide to the process for Authorisation of Research Grants and Contracts.


 

Ethical Approval

Your project may need ethical approval as well – you can find out more about this on the Government and Ethics page.


 

Submissions

Different funders have varying approval and submission processes, many of which will require approval from the university research office. Please make sure you are familiar with these processes and complete all the necessary steps before the deadline.

All submitted external grants must be listed on the UCA External Grants Register – you’ll need to fill out the External Grants Checklist form.

For help with costings, approvals and submissions, please contact Tracy Crowther.


 

Guidance and Feedback

Getting constructive feedback on your funding application before submitting it greatly increases your chances of success.

We are currently developing a University Peer Review Group, and any feedback from your own colleagues, family and friends is always valuable too.

If you would like to be involved in peer review – please email the Research Office.


Membership is open to any academic with relevant experience in external grants, and if you are a member, you’ll be expected to review no more than five applications annually.

In the future, we are keen to develop our external grants expertise and to set up mock panels, writing workshops, and masterclasses.


 

Managing your award

Notification: As soon as you receive notification of the award, you need to send the following to Tracy Crowther, External Grant Developer:

  • The notification of the award, and any unsigned contracts/agreements.
  • A copy of your application (if we do not already have it), including details of the costs of the project by category
  • Confirmation of your start date.

Announcement: We will then set up a form to request a new Agresso project code, which will include the investigator(s) name, the funder, start and end dates, and the budget. The Unit 4 project code request form will be used to set up a specific account code for the project in our financial system, Unit 4.

The code comprises a three-digit number for your school and a five-digit number for your project.

Next steps: We will send you copies of the project code, together with the terms and conditions (or ‘contract’) for the project. We will also send these to your Head of School.


 

Other Considerations and Useful Links

UCA Open Access: There is a strong current movement to allow outputs to be made free at the point of access, without firewalls or subscription.

UCA Quality Assurance Handbook this includes details of the due diligence process you will need to go through if your project requires partnership contracts with other institutions or international partners (See J1, J2 and J3).

Internal funding

Internal research funds

If you're a member of UCA staff, internal funding will be available to you provided your project meets certain criteria.
Before you apply for this type of funding, please read our Internal Research Fund Guidance

Am I eligible for internal funding?

Internal funding is open to staff on permanent academic contracts who are aligned to the Research Career Field, and to staff on permanent academic contracts who plan to move to the Research Field, and whose proposals fall within the definition of research.

You will need to identify yourself as the principal applicant in your application.

Sessional staff and permanent staff who are not on an academic contract may not apply as principal investigators, but can be part of a research centre or cluster that includes at least one permanent academic member of staff in the Research field.


 

How much funding could I apply for?


 

What forms will I need to fill out?

Overseas Travel Authorisation – Applicants whose projects include an overseas trip must submit an Overseas Travel Authorisation Form with their research fund application.


 

UCA Research Online – Staff who have received support from the university for a research project are required to submit their research outputs for that project to the UCA Research Online database. For help using the system, contact Amy Robinson in the Library and Student Services team.


 

What are the Open Access Requirements?

Download our UCA Open Access guide for more information. For additional advice on how to comply with our open access policy, contact Amy Robinson in the Library and Student Services team.


 

What approvals will I need for my project?

All internal funding applications will need approval from your line manager and Head of School.

Each application form requires the applicant to check the Good Research Conduct Checklist


You must also make sure that your project complies with the UCA Research Ethics Code of Practice


 

How should prepare my project costings?

Please ensure you cost your project carefully. This Internal Budget Form will help you.


 

When should I apply?

The Research Fund has two application rounds. In the interests of planning academic delivery, it is anticipated that the bulk of research funds should be allocated in Round 1 for expenditure throughout the following academic year. Round 2 should support opportunities that arise ‘in year’.

  • The deadline for Round 1 applications is in May, with the Research Fund Panel Meeting in July.
  • The deadline for applications to Round 2 is November, with Research Fund Panel Meeting in December.

Please note: No awarded funds can be carried forward after 31 July .


 

What guidance and feedback will I receive?

If your application is successful, you will receive an offer pack with an acceptance form. All applicants will be notified of the Research Office's funding decision in writing.

Should you wish to discuss the outcome of your submission further, please contact your respective Head of School or the Director of Research and Education.

If you feel your application has been dealt with unfairly because processes and procedures have not been followed, you should put your concerns in writing to the panel Chair, Director of Research and Education Vitoria Kelley.


 

More resources


UCA Webinar - Internal Grants