The ACORN Fund is now open for applications!

The ACORN Fund (Acceleration OResearch & Networking) for Early Career Researchers is now open for applications.

This  closing date is Wednesday, 30th October 2019 and all applications must be submitted to the email account: acorn@bournemouth.ac.uk.

This scheme will provide c. five awards, of up to £5,000 each, to support BU’s ECRs, with the most promising talent, to gain experience of managing and leading their own pilot research projects. These award support BU’s commitment to the Concordat to Support to Career Development of Researchers and is made possible by BU’s QR (Quality Research) allocation.

There is a strong link to BU’s ECR Network and the forthcoming  ECR Showcase event. In this way, those who do not benefit directly from the ACORN Fund scheme by receiving funding, will benefit indirectly though interaction with those ECRs who receive support via the scheme.

For eligibility, you must be able to comply with these:

  • All applicants must have completed their PhD
  • All applicants must have a post at BU (established or fixed term) for the full duration of the award and the post-award commitments or longer
  • All applicants should have held a 0.2 or above research contract from no more than six years in total, excluding periods where the applicant was involved in non-research employment or not at work (e.g. caring responsibilities)
  • ACORN award holders cannot hold more than one award concurrently

Within the Research > Pre-award area on the staff intranet, you can find out more by reading the updated ACORN Fund Policy and apply using the Application Form for this round. In addition, to assist with the budget section, please refer to the RKE Internal Funding Sample Costs . As this does not require Full Economic Costing, you should not contact your faculty’s Funding Development Officer to complete the costing for you. Please address any queries as below.

The closing date for applications is 30th October 2019. As these require faculty support, please start your application and obtain faculty approval as soon as possible. Applicants are responsible for obtaining faculty sign-off and for submitting the application to the email below.

Help and Support: There will be a one hour information session on 25th September 2019 and a two hour pre-application workshop on 21st October 2019. You must reserve your place by emailing acorn@bournemouth.ac.uk and specify which sessions you wish to attend. You are welcome to attend both but places are limited.

Please address any queries to Emily Cieciura, Research Development & Support lead for this scheme, via acorn@bournemouth.ac.uk


Putting the ACORN Fund into strategic context, under BU2025, the following funding panels operate to prioritise applications for funding and make recommendations to the Research Performance and Management Committee (RPMC).

There are eight funding panels:

  1. HEIF Funding Panel
  2. GCRF Funding Panel
  3. Research Impact Funding Panel
  4. Doctoral Studentship Funding Panel
  5. ACORN Funding Panel
  6. Research Fellowships Funding Panel
  7. Charity Support Funding Panel
  8. SIA Funding panel

Please see separate announcements regarding each initiative.

These panels align with the BU2025 focus on research, including BU’s Research Principles. Specifically, but not exclusively, regarding the ACORN Fund, please refer to:

  • Principle 5 – which sets of the context for such funding panels
  • Principle 6 and Outcome 9 – which recognises the need for interdisciplinarity and the importance of social science and humanities (SSH)
  • Outcomes 4 and 5 – where ECRs are provided with the mechanisms for support such as mentors and, through schemes including the ACORN fund, gain budgetary responsibility experience

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