Law Faculty Research Support Fund

Next deadline, 2023-2024 academic year, is Friday 21st June 2024.

The Research Support Fund (RSF) supports research activities across the Faculty. The majority of applications are for research assistants, hosting and/or attending conferences and workshops. Research assistants will generally help with preparing publications but may also help with empirical work or preparation of large grant applications.

Please read the full guidelines.

Proposals should always be submitted before incurring expenditure.

Applications to the Fund will be judged on their academic merits and taking into consideration the available budget; there is no automatic entitlement to funding.

It is unlikely that any individual applicant will be granted more than £4000 per RSF round in total, i.e., including joint applications (£4,000 is the usual maximum amount for larger requests, such as organising a conference or match funding for external funding applications). If you require more than £4,000, you can still apply. The RSF Committee will assess your application based on the purpose and relevance of the application in terms of its academic merit, and budget availability. Note that usually requests for more than £4,000 in funds will be declined.



The following people are eligible to apply for a grant from the Research Support Fund:

- Any Faculty member who currently holds an academic post funded by the Law Faculty and whose contract will not end before the proposed RSF project’s end date, excluding new members of Faculty who have start up grants suitable and sufficient for covering planned costs.

- Any Faculty member who currently holds a College post and has a contract with their College that will not end before the proposed RSF project’s end date. Junior Research Fellows are only eligible if, in addition, they have a contract with their College that includes a teaching obligation of at least 4 hours per week during term.

- Any member of research staff employed by the Faculty, the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights or the Centre for Criminology who is on grade 07S or above, provided that their contract will not end before the proposed RSF project’s end date.

- Researchers working on somebody else’s grant (for example, Postdoctoral Research Fellows working on an externally funded project led by a senior PI) can apply to the fund if they meet the criteria specified above, however, they cannot request funds to pay for activities that would be covered by the grant they are working on. In addition, these applicants are required to secure approval from their PI for their RSF application before submission (more details on this are available on the RSF application form).

- RSF-funded projects cannot outlast the PI’s contract; extension requests will therefore not be granted in cases where the new project end date would fall beyond the end date of the PI’s contract.

- If the PI’s contract will end withing the following 6 months of the RSF application being submitted, the PI should explain as part of their proposal how they will make sure the project will be completed before their contract ends (see the application form for more details).

If you are not sure if you are eligible, please enquire with Research Administration (

Read some examples of Research Support Fund grants in the past



Please refer to the scheme guidance notes (updated April 2024).



The Research Support Fund has four deadlines each year. These will now be in week 0 of each term (as the John Fell Fund has now moved to week 2) and at the start of the long vacation. The deadlines for 2023/2024 are:

  • Friday 6th October 2023 (week 0)
  • Friday 12th January 2024 (week 0)
  • Friday 19th April 2024 (week 0)
  • Friday 21st June 2024 (week 9)


Out of round applications

Late applications

In extraordinary cases, applications submitted after a deadline will be considered; they will be treated as late proposals to the previous gathered field. These late applications will only be considered if: a) there is sufficient budget remaining; b) the proposed project cannot wait until the next round of funding and c) the applicant can demonstrate that they are approaching the fund as a result of a relevant opportunity for which the Fund could not have been approached earlier.

Early applications

If you need to submit an application in advance of a RSF application deadline (for example, for eligible activity during the vacation after the long vacation application deadline but before the Michaelmas Term deadline), please contact the research support team to discuss: Whether your application will be processed will depend on the academic merit of the proposal and budget availability.


No retrospective awards

In all cases, applications should be made in advance of any expenditure; retrospective applications will not be considered by the RSF panel.

- Planned activities, such as travel to conference should not be due to occur before a decision is made by the RSF committee members. This will always be within two weeks of the RSF deadline.


How to submit your application

The completed application form (updated April 2024) should be sent to the Research Administrator, by email (