Research Strategy Fund


Research Strategy Fund Guidance

No new applications for RSF are being accepted at the moment.

The Research Strategy Fund (RSF) provides small scale funding of up to a maximum of £5k for academic staff at Royal Holloway. The RSF is a flexible internal funding source primarily focused on supporting or facilitating large scale external funding applications as well impact case studies. All academic staff are eligible to apply.

 From August 2019 consultancy income which is waived will become part of the RSF fund.

Applications for RSF funds may include the costs of:

  • initial research to support a substantial external grant application,
  • preparation and submission of a large multi-partner grant, e.g. travel and subsistence, short term teaching replacement,
  • attendance at a networking event designed to find research partners (as distinct from a conference: conference attendance is not covered by RSF funds),
  • support for other activities to strengthen the College’s REF submission,: for 2019/20 this will be limited to activities to enhance specific impact case studies for REF2021.

In all cases, applications must demonstrate how the proposed funding will contribute to the research related aims and KPIs in the University’s Research Strategy.

Condition of awards

Applications must be endorsed by the relevant Budget holder (Head of School or Head of Department as appropriate) who must commit to a school / departmental contribution of at least 25% of the total costs.  This is a cash contribution and not an in-kind contribution. Therefore, an RSF application for the maximum amount of £5,000 must have a school / departmental contribution of at least £1,250 with the maximum contribution from RSF funds being £3,750. 

InIn accepting an RSF award you are agreeing to the below terms:

  •  A short report will be proved to R&I within three months of the RSF project end date and you will provide a cost report from Agresso confirming the spend on the project. The report should not focus on the research undertaken but on the deliverables in terms of external grant applications or impact. If the deliverable has not been achieved at this point a subsequent report will be required.
  • The grant will not be used for any other purpose than that stated in the application e.g. not on a follow on project, albeit related, or conference attendance.
  • RSF account codes will be closed two months after the stated RSF project end date, any unspent funds will be returned to the RSF budget and School / Department proportionately. RSF funding periods are not automatically extended.
  • Funding must normally be spent within the financial year of the grant.  With prior approval, in exceptional circumstances e.g. if awarded after April, the grant may run into a second year
  • Any unspent funds will be recovered and reinvested into the RSF budget. Any follow-on or additional activity must be applied for separately and approved by the RSF panel.
  • The College Research and Knowledge Exchange Committee will be updated on both the project expenditure and the outcomes of the RSF awards to regularly monitor the effectiveness of the fund.
  • If, in the opinion of the College Research Committee, insufficient steps have been made in any RSF award towards the stated strategy up to 50% of the funds may be recovered from your department.
  • Failure to submit a final report or to complete the promised deliverable (typically a bid for RCI) will preclude the grant holder from having any further RSF proposals considered for 24 months following the previous end-date.
  • A PI will not be awarded more than one RSF award at a time. New proposals will be accepted once the final report and deliverables are in place.

 Application and Decision Process

  •  Applicants will complete the RSF application form, obtain Budget Holder’s approval and submit to research strategy fund
  • RSF applications will be reviewed by a panel during the Research Team meeting.
  • The RSF panel will meet approximately once a month during term time and RSF applications will go to the earliest possible meeting.  Please be aware there may be a delay in receiving a decision particularly over holiday periods when the panel will meet less frequently.  Please factor this into the start date of your project.
  • Unsuccessful bids may be rejected or applicants invited to resubmit.  Resubmissions will normally be considered at the next meeting of the panel.
  • The decisions of the RSF panel will be communicated to RSF applicants by R&I including, when required any requests for clarification or amendments.
  • Completed application forms can be submitted at any time by email to research strategy fund

 Application Deadlines

No new applications are being accepted at the moment. Please contact for more information.

Any temporary staff employed using RSF funding will need to go through the usual HR processes.  Please contact the Recruitment team if you have any queries

HR Recruitment guidance for those employing staff

 Useful Links