New BU scheme to encourage research projects with prestigious funders

We recently advertised that BU is introducing a new scheme which encourages submissions to externally-funded research projects.  The below is a reminder of what the scheme entails with a few clarifications following on from queries received.

The aim is to:

  • demonstrate BU’s commitment to supporting research undertaken with prestigious research funders;
  • build research capacity and capability in areas of strategic importance;
  • enhance the sustainability of the University’s research culture and environment;
  • recognise and reward the research grant successes of academic staff.

The scheme has two pathways: i) PGR studentships; and ii) postdoctoral research staff. Each of these, and the relevant procedures and eligibility, are set out in the scheme document, which can be found here.

For the PGR studentship pathway, academics will need to make a case for a studentship to the Pro Vice-Chancellor (R&I), but with authorisation sought in advance from the Faculty Executive Dean. The second pathway for postdoctoral research staff will be automatically applied by RKEO to all eligible applications (following discussion with and consent by the PI).

Please read through the Scheme document (it is only two pages and answers most of your queries) and if any clarification is required then contact Jo Garrad, Funding Development Manager, RKEO.


The scheme notes have been amended to clarify that BU must be the lead institution and have a BU Principal Investigator.

The prestigious funders listed have been chosen as they carry added benefits, for example, provision of additional funds to BU, such as the RCUK open access fund; fellowships to academies, which open the door to greater peer review opportunities; and greater weighting in the REF submission and the HE-BCI report, which leads to HEFCE funding.  Whilst our aim is to strongly encourage you to submit larger applications to these funders, this shouldn’t stop you from applying to other funders.  BU is proud of all our academic successes.

The prestigious funders now include hyperlinks to the respective funders ‘funding opportunities’ page.  Please see the footnote for the links to the seven research councils, plus RCUK.

There have been some comments that this scheme is only available to a few people.  This is not true.  The point of the scheme is to support you in applying for longer and larger applications to the prestigious funders so that this becomes the greater proportion of our submissions for funding.