Research Culture Enhancement Fund

Deadline: 20 October 2021

The Research Culture Enhancement Fund will provide funding to any activity which aims to improve research culture in the University. Proposals may be for new initiatives or may aim to accelerate or complement existing research culture or Equality, Division and Inclusion (EDI) activity across the University. Applications are generally expected to be for less than £25,000 (there is no minimum application amount), although larger amounts will be considered for exceptionally strong cases. 

Budget for the Fund is drawn from the Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF). As such, projects must look to address one or more of the 12 Key Themes of improving research culture outlined in the Wellcome Research Culture Townhalls Report dated December 2020.

Proposals must present activity that will be able to start quite rapidly and that will end by 31 March 2023, due to restrictions on the source of the funding. In some exceptional cases the end date may be later than 31 March 2023 (e.g. if a series of events from an external provider will continue beyond March 2023 and is paid for in advance), however all spending on the award must be complete by 31 March 2023. No extensions beyond this date will be possible.

Eligible applicants may be from any division, department or central service of the University and must:

  1. Hold a contract of employment with the University of Oxford for a research or research-support role that will continue at least until the end of the proposed activity.
  2. Have confirmed with their line manager prior to submitting an application that they have their manager’s support to conduct this research culture activity in addition to their existing duties.
  3. Have received confirmation from the lead department/unit’s finance or grants team prior to submitting an application that the team will support them in administering this award.

Eligible costs may include any direct cost of conducting the activity in the proposal, buyout of staff time, provision of services by an external provider, etc. The fund will not support overheads. Queries about what costs may be considered eligible for the fund can be sent to the Fund Managers before the deadline.

How to Apply
Applicants must submit an application in IRAMS and must additionally complete the Case For Support Template (available in IRAMS on the Case For Support tab as a Word document; must be converted to PDF and uploaded to IRAMS as a single PDF).

If you are applying for £20,000 or more, you must include in the PDF a letter of support from the most relevant central body to the application (Research Staff Hub, POD, Careers Service, EDU, etc.) confirming that the proposal does not duplicate current/planned future activity and is complementary to central initiatives. 

This scheme is open to applications with a deadline of 12pm on Wednesday 20 October 2021. This is the deadline both for applicants to apply and for lead departments to give Departmental Approval. Applicants should ask their lead department if there is an earlier internal deadline for submission for departmental review. This scheme is expected to have only one round of applications.